Welcome to Art Room 161

This blog was created as an extension of the dialogue that began in our classroom and the purpose is to share creative ideas, images, and critiscm. All posts should be appropriate for the high school classroom and critiscm should be helpful and positive.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Art Honor Society: Field Trip to the MoMA

We had an amazing Art Honor Society field trip to the MoMA and 5 Pointz today.  Above is a short video of one of my favorite pieces an interactive media piece from Philip Worthington called Shadow Monsters which allows anyone to interact and make a monster with their own body.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Media Art: Animation

In Media Arts class we have been looking at the history of Walt Disney animation studios and PIXAR in order to prepare for our short hand drawn animation.  Friday we'll have a short quiz on the material but check out the short clip above showing the PIXAR animators discussing their student films!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Strictly Students Screenwriting Contest

This year the Strictly Students Festival will hold a Screenwriting Contest sponsored by Final Draft and just as a reminder the due date has been extended to December 21, 2012 because of the recent hurricane the deadline.  The screenplay should be 5-12 pages in standard format and in standard format.  Below are a few great writing tips from a terrific author Neil Gaiman who wrote Coraline  and The Sandman enjoy and best of luck!

Neil Gaiman's "8 Good Writing Practices"

• Write.

• Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

• Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

• Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.

• Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

• Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

• Laugh at your own jokes.

• The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Studio Art: Illustration

This week we will be creating an illustration based on a NY Times article- Hailing a Yellow Cab with an App.  Above is a short time-lapse video showing an example of how to create an illustration but basically it is a piece of art that visually describes or explains a work of writing.  Start by reading the article and then create a few pencil sketches of ideas of how to visually portray the article.  Then create a final drawing, ink it, and color it using marker, color pencils, or watercolor paint.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Media Art: Golden Globe Nominations

Golden Globe Nominations

Best Picture, Drama:
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Les Misérables”
“Moonrise Kindgom”
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Director:
Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”

Best Actress, Drama:
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Marian Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”
Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”

Best Actor, Drama:
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy:
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables ”
Ewan MCGregor, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Bill Murray, “Hyde Park on Hudson”

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy:
Emily Blunt, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Judi Dench, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Maggie Smith, “Quartet”
Meryl Streep, “Hope Springs”

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables ”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Best Screenplay:
Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”
David O’Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
Chris Terrio, “Argo”

Best Foreign Language Film:
“A Royal Affair”
“The Intouchables”
“Rust and Bone”

Best Animated Feature:
“Rise of the Guardians”
“Hotel Transylvania”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

AP ART: Repetition and Rhythm in Art

The focus for the next AP Art breadth piece will be using repetition and rhythm in Art.  When we talk about repetition and rhythm the names Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol often arise and for good reason because Pollock's drip paintings are somewhat related to Jazz music and include beautiful rhythms and Warhol is the master of repeating an image for effect but there are many other more subtle ways to include these elements in your work as well. The time-lapse video above is from the Soul Pancake website and shows artist Jeni Yang creating a piece in the theme of 'protection' which incorporates these elements in an interesting and unique way.  What's your unique way of working with repetition and rhythm?  Let's find out and share the results when the pieces are due on Monday!

If you want to check out more from Soul Pancake look at some of their creative activities

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Media Art Honor Society: Field Trip 2012

Today in Media Art Honor Society we will be reviewing our trip next week to the MoMA and 5 Pointz in NYC and the current exhibitions which include Edvard Munch: The Scream, Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, Quay Brothers, and New Photography 2012.  We'll be discussing the specifics and attendance is mandatory for anyone attending the trip which once again leaves at 7:45 next Thursday!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Media Art: Short digital animation

Digital Animation Winter 2012 by VoteNeedles2012 on GoAnimate

Animation Software - Powered by GoAnimate.
This weeks Media Arts assignment is to create your own short digital animation on the GoAnimate.com website. Above is a short demo of how the film works with instructions on the assignment. I'll do a short demonstration in class and go over some of the basics but you can begin by creating a free account and adding me as a contact, my user name is VoteNeedles2012 and the email chunckerthedonut@aol.com.  The animation is going to be due Thursday and it should be 2 minutes long and about 25 frames.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Museum: Regarding Warhol at the Met

Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years
I had an opportunnity to see the Regarding Warhol show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sunday and I would definitly encourage all my students to go and check it out before it closes at the end of the year.  The show looks at Andy Warhol's work and his influence in artists such as: Chuck Close, Keith Haring, Ai Weiwei, Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst, and Takashi Murakami.  There are some terrific pieces and nearly everyone of my favorite modern artists are included plus it ends of a great not with the cowprint wallpaper room complete with 'silver pillows' giving a pretty authentic taste of the Warhol experience!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Art Honor Society: Field Trip Winter 2012

This year's Media Art Honor Society Winter field trip will be to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan and 5 Pointz Art Space in Brooklyn

Above is a clip from the work of the Quay Brothers, one of the featured exhibitions at MoMA, their animation is pretty amazing and inspirational. Below is a really interesting time-lapse film of one of the 5 Pointz pieces being painted, it should be a great trip!

Yesterday we had filmmaker Sean Apuzzo and photographer Kate Le Roux visit and speak to classes and the Media Art Honor Society about their work and their experience at SCAD.  They both offered some great advice for students from wide ranging suggestions such as taking advantage of some of the grants an scholorships offered for college to more specific advice such as how to structure a screenplay and the importance of keeping it dynamic in the first 12 pages.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guest Speaker: Sean Apuzzo

Tomorrow we will welcome two guest speakers, Smithtown alum Sean Apuzzo who is a filmmaker and Kate Le Roux from Australia who is a photographer both of whom are currently finishing up their degrees at SCAD in Savannah.  They will be speaking to the media classes and after school to the Art & Media Art Honor Society about their work and college experience and what they have learned.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Denmark Day

Today we will be welcoming some students from Denmark into our classes and as we are reviewing the artists and styles we learned about in our art history unit I though I'd share some well known art from their home country.  The sculpture below entitled "Boy" is a favorite of mine from artist Ron Mueck and is one of the spotlight works from the ARoS museum in Aarhus.

Here is a piece from which was installed nearby in NY from Danish artist Olafur Eliasson from 2008 where he created 4 New York City Waterfalls (this one under the Brooklyn Bridge) that flowed for a little more than 3 months and were illuminated at night as a public art project.

File:BB Water.JPG

Friday, November 30, 2012

Internet Privacy in the new millennium

After this week's privacy status hoax on Facebook I thought it was a good time to speak about internet privacy specifically for artists. The nature of privacy and the importance of maintaining your rights to work as an artist has become an increasingly necessary discussion in the new millennium so we will talk about some of basics of copyright, privacy, rights, watermarks, wrongful appropriation, and digital citizenship today in class. At this point everyone should know the how to copyright your images in programs such as Adobe Photoshop but its also important to know some of the details of the agreements that we approve when using programs such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Blogs.  We will begin by reading the two articles and viewing the short video about the hoax posted below then we will have a discussion:

NY Times: Art Is Long; Copyrights Can Even Be Longer

NY Times: How to Muddy Your Tracks on the Internet

Newsy: Facebook Privacy Status Hoax Circulates

Here is a link to a page with some additional resources from the Art-Support group that deals with watermarking and copyright in artworks.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Heart the Senseless Drawing Robot

I came across this video of a SENSELESS DRAWING BOT which manages to create some pretty interesting street art in a seemingly random way, I think we found our new AP Art mascot!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Studio Art: History

This week we learned about the artist Robert Rauschenberg who is in the news this week as one of his most noted pieces,“Canyon,” a combine with a Bald Eagle attached to a painting is being gifted to the MOMA.  Above is a short video interview with the artist discussing another one of his famous animal combines and here is a link to the New York Times article about the coveted gift: MoMA Gains Treasure

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AP Art: The Sketchbook- Robert Dash

For the next 2 weeks AP drawing students will be working intensely in their sketchbooks with a new focus every other day and to begin we will look at East End artist and writer Robert Dash who created the Madoo Conservancy and look specifically at a work from the Heckscher Museum in Huntington entitled Sagaponack (which you can view in the link above).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Media Arts: Video Game Design

This week we will work on video game design and motion graphic in media art class and we'll be entering some of the games we create into the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  We will begin with a simple program that introduces the basics called Gamestar Mechanic.  A few of our alumni have found interesting and creative jobs in the field of game design so we will look at their work and see what it takes to really create an amazing video game from the art and creative side.

Also for any students that are interested in photography the Photo Forum magazine high school photography contest closes tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Studio Art: Exiting through the Gift Shop

As we head into the Thanksgiving break we are taking a look at some clips from the Oscar nominated documentary from Banksy Exit through the Gift Shop which features Mr. Brainwash and Shepard Fairey among others.  Here's a short film with an update on Mr. Brainwash from the opening of one of his more recent shows.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Dream Tonight

Tonight is Smithtown East's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream which features a number of our art and media students in the production so come out and support your classmates and take in a little hometown Shakespeare!

Monday, November 19, 2012

AP Art: Weather

Our final assignment for the first quarter was the theme of 'weather' and while we looked at a number of images taken from our recent Hurricane and Nor'Easter I chose to spotlight Clay's image above of a West coast sunny day with palm trees because it's a gorgeous image and, well..I'd like to be there right now as I sit in our cold classroom with my jacket on!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Studio Art: Art History

Ed Ruscha, Woody, and the World's Hottest Pepper from Park Pictures on Vimeo.
The last assignment of the quarter is a research assignment based on an artist that I will assign to you.  The presentation must include:
  • 1 intro page with the artists name, birth (and death) dates, and an image of the artist
  • 2 pages of bulleted biography with a link to the references
  • 10 pages of the artist work
Here are two short videos about Ed Ruscha, one of the artists we are studing as an inspiration

Ed Ruscha Presentation from Reginald Dankwa on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Media Art: Film production

This week in class we are studing how films are made and we began by screening the TED video above from producer and director James Cameron who's known for creating the two biggest moneymakers in film history Titanic and Avatar. His story is pretty remarkable and inspirational and he ends his talk with a terrific quote-

"Failure is an option but fear is not"

We will also be looking at clips from producer Lynda Obst's documentary based on her book
Hello, He Lied and Other Truths from the Hollywood Trenches which gives insight into the real world of film production and what's involved.  There will be a short test on Friday on the basics so make sure you take notes!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Little Kids Rock

I had an opportunity to attend an awards presentation by the not-for-profit Little Kids Rock program which was started by former teacher David Wells 10 years ago to help restore the arts in public schools and I spoke with Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band and The Soprano’s who was being awarded the “Big Man” award (named for his band mate Clarence Clemons who passed away last year) for his charitable work in music education.  Steven had a number of interesting things to say about art and music in schools but he made one point which really stuck with me:

"We're the only country in the world which thinks art is a luxury, it's not"

I certainly have seen this thought evident as I've traveled around the country and seen the cuts in arts education nationwide but I think something that can be learned from the unfortunate reality is for artists and educators to remind the public why the arts are important and to understand the impact they have on our culture and our economy. The event featured an array of guests who I spoke with including: Elvis Costello, American Idol winner Kris Allen, Robert Randolph, The Midtown Men (the original cast of The Jersey Boys) and I was also lucky enough to photograph surprise guest Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny who joined Steven onstage for a few songs so for the complete interview check out my article on Short & Sweet NYC.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quarter1 Ends Friday

Quarter 1 ends this Friday so make sure all of your work is in this week because we'll be discussing grades and looking over the grading rubric used for the different classes later in the week. In the Media Arts classes this means we are now at the halfway point because it is a semester class so it is especially important to make sure you are up to date with all of your assignments!

Friday, November 9, 2012

AP Art: Art History Redux

This week the two works from the art history unit are due above is an example of the first which was to take an aspect from one of the artists you studied in class and use it in your own piece this one from Gabby references Duane Michals and the second was to take a piece from one of the artists who uses a different media than you and interpret it in your media (do a famous painting using photography or a photograph as a painting).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Welcome back from the storm!

I hope everyone made it through the Hurricane and Nor'easter without too much trouble so welcome back!  The end of the quarter has been moved to next week on November 16 so there is quite a bit of work to catch up on and below is the run down for the major classes:

  • AP Art- Art history visuals test tomorrow, assignment 2 due Tuesday
  • Studio Art- Drawing self portraits due on Wednesday
  • Media Art- Screenplays due tomorrow, montage films due Wednesday

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy 2012

With the devastation and power outages from Hurricane Sandy this week we will not have class again until November 7 (and November 9 is the end of the quarter) so for any art and media students who want to work on an extra credit assignment in the meantime create a series on the Hurricane and it's aftermath. 

Photographers should take 4 images and we can montage them like I did with my photos above when we return (or you can use a free app like Pic Stitch or Photoshop.com to do that on the computer or your mobile device and montage like I did above).  Fine artists can craw or paint a scene using any media. If you want to share them now you can post photographs to Instagram and add #NeedlesClass or post them online and tweet or email me the link and I'll take a look and comment this week or else I'll accept them when we return. 

I hope you are all safe and warm, I'm still without heat & power but luckily there's a Starbucks not too far from home!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Smithtown High School East Haunted House 2012

This year's Media & Art Honor Society Haunted House for Smithtown High School East's Spooky Hallways was a big success with lines of kids, teens, and even some adults who wanted to see what was causing all the screaming and experience it first hand.  Below I'll be posting some of the pictures from the night (but they because of the specialized black and strobe lighting they don't do the haunted house justice).  Thanks to Jess, Gabby, Clay spent most of the day organizing club members to pull it together along with Sarah who also brought pizza and Alli who did an amazing job with makeup!  We had over 50 club members working to the event, bringing in supplies, and handing out candy along with a handful of extremely younger siblings who really did a great job so thanks to everyone for all the hard work!

AP Art: Art History Test today

In honor of our test today on the art history unit here's one of our artists, Chinese dissident activist Ai Weiwei, showing off a specialincarnation of Gangnam style.                 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Japan Society: Welcome to my Life

This week we will conclude our Welcome to My Life project on Going Global with the final four images.  Logon and post them by Friday and don't forget to comment on at least one other person from another school!
WEEK ONE – Create a photo collage of the most important places in your community. Comment on other students’ pictures.

WEEK TWO – Create your own photo collage of your personality. Comment on other students’ pictures.

WEEK THREE – Create a photo collage of where you spend your free time. Students will comment on collages.

WEEK FOUR – Students create a collage of their futures using your own photos or internet pictures. Students will comment on collages

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Art Honor Society: Haunted House 2012

This year's 'Spooky Hallways' is this Friday October 26 from 3:30-6:30pm and the Art & Media Honor Society has been assembling our annual Haunted House. Elementary students grades K-5 have been invited to participate in fun activities including Halloween themed crafts, spooky storytelling, an obstacle course in addition to our haunted house and this year we ask that you bring 3 non perishable food items (i.e.: corn, peas, gravy, corn muffin mix, stuffing, cranberries, cake mix, or canned fruit)  to support the Thanksgiving Food Drive. Hope to see you there!

Media Art: Screenwriting

Before we begin writing our screenplays in class it's important to write an outline of what is going to happen and in the film world that's called a script breakdown.  The breakdown should include five plotpoints or major things that happen, below is an example of the five plotpoints for the film Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl:

Elizabeth Swann (Keria Knightly) is in love with an orphan named Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) since she rescued him on her father’s ship as a child. She is captured by pirates looking for a magic coin to break an ancient curse. Will sets off with the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to save her from the evil Captain Barabossa. Will and Jack chase her across the sea, and when they finally rescue her, the evil Pirates have set new sights on Will. Once they return him to the original island of the curse, it’s up to Jack to rescue Will and save his own skin.

So use this method of organising the story and combine it with the screenplay cheatsheet that we used in class and type both up for Wednesday so that we can begin writing our screenplays.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

College Visit: SCAD

Our first college visit of the year is this week with the Savannah College of Art & Design aka SCAD and they will be here in artroom 161 on Tuesday from 11:45am-2:00pm talking to students and reviewing work. I myself have visited and taken classes at SCAD a number of times and I really love the creativity and energy there as well as the design which seems to be present in everything from the school buildings which are often renovated from historic building to the classes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

AP Art: Art History Test

This week in AP Art we will continue to review the artists each student researched and Friday we have the first part of the test on all of them.  While we are going over the artists in class there will be a concurrent art assignment which is to take a specific piece from any of the artists that we are covering and to remake the work but to make it more interesting photography students will remake a painting and fine art students will remake a photograph. The piece will be due on Monday so choose wisely and have fun!

Friday, October 19, 2012

AP Art: Art Friday

This week's theme for both the fine and media art students is pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month so create a work incorporating the color and well collage the works together in a large mural.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Media Arts: Screenwriting

We are beginning our screenwriting unit in media arts class and here's a short interview with Oscar winner Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby, Crash, Letters from Iwo Jima) that gives some perspective on the process and the realities of screenwriting.  We are also going to take a look at the SKYPE in the Classroom talk that our media arts students had with screenwriter and Smithtown East alumni Kevin Bisch earlier this year, below is a short clip from the talk.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Japan Society Talk: Hiroshima survivors speak with President Truman's grandson

We are continuing our work with the Going Global project today and before we begin we are going to learn a little bit about the vocabulary and how the Japanese school system works in the video above.

Today we also have a special opportunity to virtually attend an education event at the Japan Society which features a talk between two survivors of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Ms. Setsuko Thurlow and Mr. Yasuaki Yamashita, who will share their reflections, remembrances and personal testimonies with President Harry Truman’s grandson, Mr. Clifton Truman Daniel on Ustream.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Media Art: Extra Pep, Extra Credit

This month I have an ongoing extra credit assignment to photograph school events and sports for our Smithtown East MSG Varsity Page and I've been recieving some terrific images so far such as these photographs from the Pep Rally and Homecoming Football Game from Kevin in AP Art.  Remember the extra credit is open until the end of the quarter so submit 10 good shots from any event before November 9 for the extra credit!

Also take a moment to vote for Smithtown East in the Homefield Advantage contest while you are checking out the MSG page!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Edscape Conference 2012 Recap

I attended my first Edscape conference yesterday which was put together by "the twitter principal" Eric Sheninger at New Milford High School in New Jersey and it was really a pleasure to be part of a conference that was focused specifically on innovation and creativity which incorporated so much classroom technology in meaningful ways. 

The keynote speaker was Vicki Davis, the co-founder of Flat Classrooms, and I only managed to catch the end of her talk thanks to the nightmare that is the Cross-Bronx Expressway (even though I did leave at 6:20am) but luckily the talk was streamed on Ustream so I had a chance to see it thanks to technology.  I did attend a number of sessions which were both informative and intimate including a session on Digital Storytelling by a Teq, a classroom technology support provider that ironically is a few towns over in Huntington Station, which was really right up my alley as a media arts teacher.  I was also really impressed with Inanimate Alice which I learned about in Laura Fleming's session on Transmedia LearningWorlds, something I had never heard of previously but which relates directly to the classroom.  I also had a chance to participate in a fun and educational Mystery Skype with Bill Krakower (along with Jerry Blumgarten and Paul Nagle virtually).

I ended the day by presenting my own workshop on global education and technology along with Robert Fish from the Japan Society in NY and we spoke about the Going Global project that we've been working on with students from Japan, Pakistan, and the US along with a few other global resources such as Skype in the Classroom and some of my other favorite classroom technology tools. I've been to a good deal of professional development conferences in my years so my goal is to come away with at least one real thing that I can actually put to use in class in each workshop and happily this conference exceeded expectations.

AP Art: Art History

This week we begin the famed art history unit so I've assigned each of the AP Art students two artists to research and put together a presentation on and they are listed below. The presentation should include a powerpoint with at least 10 large images from each artist as well as a biography including notes about the artists style and process. In addition you should create a new work that pulls from some way from what you learned from the two artists. The presentations and the pieces are due on Wednesday!

•Ali- Edvard Munch & Tara McPherson
•Alli- Alfred Stieglitz & Andrew Wyeth
•Alejandro- Dave McKean & Marjane Satrapi
•Brianne- Starn Brothers & Jasper Johns
•Carissa- Donald Baechler & Yaeko Abe
•Clay- Annie Leibovitz & William Eggleston
•Devon- Richard Hamilton & David Salle
•Gabby- Duane Michals & Ai Weiwei
•Jenna- Chaz Addams & Aubrey Beardsley
•Jess- Henri Cartier-Bresson & Laura DeAngelis
•Kerin- Erwin Wurm & Bex Finch
•Kevin M- Arnold Newman & Richard Avedon
•Kevin P- Barry McGee & George Condo
•Lindsay- Marilyn Minter & Jenny Saville
•Meagan- Alphonse Mucha & Heinrich Kley
•Melissa- Os Gêmeos & Maurice Sendak
•Sabrina- Larry Rivers & Francis Bacon
•Samantha- Käthe Kollwitz & Henri Matisse
•Saylor- Carroll Dunham & Autumn DeWilde

Friday, October 12, 2012

Edscape Conference 2012

Edscape Conference 2012- How to Go Global: Connecting and Motivating American, Japanese, & Pakistani Students Online Tim Needles October 13, 2012- New Milford High School
Since Fall 2011, my students and I have been participating in the Going Global Social Network run by the Japan Society which has connected my students to classrooms throughout the United States, Japan, and Pakistan. It has been particularly successful in creating connections across disciplines, sparking interest in world affairs, and engaging all students.

Going Global Projects:

What's My Sentence: An idea taken from Dan Pink's terrific book Drive modified for the classroom which asks students to write in one sentence what they accomplished 30 years from now.

It works both as a motivational tool and as an icebreaker in the Going Global project plus it's interesting to see the similarities and differences in students goals across cultures.

Favorite Foods: An icebreaker which asks students to share their favorite foods, recipes for those dishes, and expands to ask their favorite foods around holidays.

Everyone loves food so it's an easy introduction that can be approached from different angles depending on the class subject. I did it with my photography class as you can see above (most delicious project ever), the cultural differences are evident immediately as you can see in the comparison with the photo below.

What is Beauty: A project that asks students to think about what beauty means to them and create an image in any media then share it explaining what makes it beautiful.

The project was a success in that the work the class did was strong and they had a virtual audience to share and discuss it with which helped them understand what they were doing a bit better.  It also gave a glimpse into some of the different values of the cultures as a whole as well as the individual students as you can see from the comparison with the photo below from a Japanese student.

Technology In The Classroom:


Best Practices:

The art of the hashtag-

Creative ideas that spread outside the classroom-
Inside Out

Go Animate

Merge your outside activities with the classroom-
Short & Sweet NYC
Chewy Donuts

AP Art: Friday Artday

Today's theme for both the fine and media art students is "School Spirit" and the work should be pulled from life meaning that the fine art students should go out and actually draw in the hallways today along with the media students who will taking pictures and video for our Smithtown East MSG Varsity page!

Special Guest: Alexia Anastasio

Wednesday we had special guest speaker actress and director Alexia Anastasio visit the media arts classes and the Media Art Honor Society and talk about her work on projects such as Boardwalk Empire and Bored To Death as well as her feature length documentary on Oscar winning animator Bill Plympton titled Adventures in Plymptoons.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Media Art Honor Society: Hamptons Film Festival

Members of Smithtown East's Media Art Honor Society volunteered at the 20th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival this week in East Hampton and Sag Harbor and in addition to helping out with the festival students had an opportunity to see some of next year's upcoming movies and meet a few well-known actors and directors such as: Mike Nichols, Meryl Streep, Nathan Lane, Toby Jones, and Liev Schreiber who is pictured above with club officers Clay and Gabby.

Studio Art: Charcoal Drawing

Today we are going to complete our charcoal grid drawing from the picture above that we began last week so after your pencil sketch is complete you can begin shading with the compressed charcoal. Also remember to study the drawing vocabulary terms for Friday's quiz!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Special Guest: Alexia Anastasio

Today in media art class and in the Media Art Honor Society we are welcoming a special guest speaker, artist and director Alexia Anastasio.  Alexia most recently released a documentary on the Oscar-winning animator Bill Plympton titled Adventures in Plymptoons! which was a Tribeca Film Institute Recipient and recently screened at The Museum of Modern Art and Savannah International Animation Festival.  Alexia will speak a bit about her film and how she because a director as well as taking questions from the class so come prepared!

AP Art: Pose

Here's a great short video from Known Gallery showing street artist Pose working on pieces for the upcoming Sanrio show this Saturday, its always great to see an artist at work!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Studio Art: Grid Drawing

In Studio Art class we will be working on creating a Grid Drawings for the next two weeks and above is a quick demonstration of how it works.  The first drawing will be a self-portrait in charcoal and the second will be a portrait of you choice in pencil.  The trick is not too rush, be patient and think of the features as shapes when doing the initial drawing!

Monday, October 8, 2012

AP Art: Antediluvian

The theme of this week's piece is Antediluvian meaning literally 'before the flood' but it may be interpretted literally or descriptivly to mean extremely old.  Above is a short video on an antediluvian city, Atlantis, that you may take as an inspiration.

Friday, October 5, 2012

AP Art: Friday Artday

AP Art it's Friday Artday again this week we'll be focusing on using texture in our work (regardless of wether its media or fine art work) and below are this weeks themes:

Fine Art:
SUGGESTED BY Jonas Anderson
"I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five."
~ Steven Wright
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Black & White
"The eye should learn to listen before it looks."
~ Robert Frank

Thursday, October 4, 2012

AP Art: The Colleges Are Coming!

Our first college visits of the year will be on Tuesday October 23rd with Savannah College of Art & Design and November 1 with the Hartford Art School and I'm in the process of scheduleing a few more in November. We've had a number of students attend both of these schools and really enjoy their experience so it should be great to hear a little bit about their program!

Additionally, the National Portfolio Day events are coming up with dates at: Hartford on Sat, Nov 3, Purchase on Sat, Nov 17, and NYC at the Javitz Center on Sun, Nov 18

Media Art: Spotlight Films The Sessions

This week the Media Art Honor Society will be once again volunteering at the Hamptons Film Festival along with the festival I will be doing interviews with the cast, director, and producer of one of the Spotlight Films The Sessions starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes (and which was amazing btw).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

AP Art: Reinterpreting Historic Subject Matter

In AP Art this week we will be exploring subject matter and themes in art history that has been interpreted by a number of different well known artists.  Religious and mythical subjects like Madonna and Child and the Birth of Venus have been regular subject for hundreds of years but even in modern times Picasso reinterpreted Matisse as well as Lichtenstein had his version of an abstract expressionist painting.  This week each student will be asked to choose a subject that artists have explored and to create their own interpretation of it and in doing so you may change the context of the original in order to create new meaning.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Studio Art: Drawing

This week we will be focusing on drawing techniques as well as learning the drawing terminology that we'll be using in the unit.  After going over the basic types of shading and how to use a grid to transfer the image we will draw the classic car above in our sketchbooks using a grid and the shading techniques.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Media Arts: Storyboarding

In film and animation creating storyboards is always one of the first and most vital steps in making a film work (and in saving time and money) and it's something that we will be doing as a class before each big project.  Storyboards are basically like comic books that show what will be filmed in order to plan filming and it allows directors and animators to work out decisions on the page rather than in the middle of filming which would be chaotic.  Here's a link to a terrific Vimeo film school lesson on storyboarding with some more information and examples to aid you in creating your first storyboard for this week's pixilation and below is an example from a student in class.

Media Arts: Stop Motion Animation

We are begining our Stop Motion Animation unit in Media Arts class this week ao take another look at Bang Yao Liu's amazing post-it note animation 'Deadline' above then take a peek at the making of video below to get an idea of how much work goes into an animation of this quality.  Each member of the class will be creating a short 1-3 minute stop motion clip that will be able to synch together to create a larger film so remember to be creative and make sure the camera is steady when you are filmming.  The film isdue on Monday!

Friday, September 28, 2012

AP Art: Friday Artday

It's Friday again so we will begin with the following fine and media art assignments (the example above is from Katie in Studio in Art class):

This week’s Illustration Friday topic is: Book

This week’s Photo topic is from Going Global: Create your own 4 picture photo collage of your personality. Comment on other students’ pictures.

Shanti Peace Poster Contest

Here are the top 6 entries from Smithtown High School East's submissions for this years Shanti Peace Poster Contest so congrats to Clay, Alli, Carissa, Brianne. Gabby, and Meagan and best of luck as the contest moves on!  Thanks also to the many students that participated we had some wonderful entries this year!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

AP/Media Art: Hashtags

We will be using a variety of digital media in Media Arts class and the best way to stay organized and submit work digitally is by using the hashtag #NeedlesClass in Instagram and Twitter. For my AP Art students we are going to use the hashtag #NeedlesAPClass for future postings.

This week we are continuing work on our Going Global project and now that everyone has uploaded their "What's Your Sentence?" images we will be creating a short stop motion animation with everyone's result as well as logging on and commenting of the sentances from students elsewhere in the US, in Pakistan, and Japan.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Media Art Honor Society: Hamptons Film Festival

Media Art Honor Society will once again be volunteering at the Hampton's Film Festival and all the volunteer forms should be faxed ASAP if they haven't been already. This year has a terrific lineup of films and events and expected to attend are guest such as: Alec Baldwin, Melissa Leo, Nathan Lane, Alan Cumming, Sienna Miller, Justin Long, Richard Gere, Stevie Nicks and one of my favorites Mike Nichols as well as the Hampton regulars such as: Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Speilberg, Billy Joel, and Howard Stern.

Monday, September 24, 2012

AP Art: Yayoi Kusama and the essence of texture and pattern in art

This week in AP Art we will be exploring  texture and pattern in art and it's fitting to begin by looking at the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama in our segue from the Japan Society project.  Kusama is an astoundingly original artist who brushed up against many movements but never was formally part of them.  Her work is known for the creative use of dots and other pattern but it makes more sense when you look at her body of work as a whole beginning with the poisoned plants after the atomic bomb into her textural abstracted "nets".  Her retrospective is currently on view at the Whitney Museum of Art in NY until September 30 along with her installation "Fireflies On The Water" and I would highly recommend it! If you happen to see it you may also want to swing by Louis Vuitton in Midtown or SoHo where some of her pieces are also on display and her collaborations are being sold.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Educate NY Now

I joined fellow teachers, parents, and students yesterday for the non-partisan Educate NY Now! rally at the Suffolk County Offices to support funding for education for Long Island schools and students.  I was great to see local parents and students joining in to support education!

AP Art: Friday Artday

    jj_editor_lizpe's selection from #JJ Green and White challenge (credits below)
Fridays in AP Art always begin with a thematic focus so today's themes are listed below along with the creative group they derived from Illustration Friday and JoshJohnson's Photo Forum.  You will have 15-20 minutes to create a piece in the theme below and remember to try to find a creative and unique solution!

Fine Art- Illustration Friday: "Crooked"
Illustrate the adjective \ˈkr-kəd\ -not straight or dishonest

Media- @JoshJohnson:  "Green and White"
Take a photo emphasizsing the two colors
                                  photo credits:     

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Media Arts: Going Global- Our town

Today we will continue working on the Going Global project and in Media Arts class we will work on arranging the photographs that we've taken of our town and local sights in Photoshop and then posting them to the social network to show the students in Japan and Pakistan what our community is like.  Above is a great photo Don took last week of the St. James General Store which, aside from being a popular local landmark, is the U.S.'s oldest continuously operational general store.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Going Global Week

Throughout this abbreviated 3 day week we will be focusing on our first Going Global project and today we will begin by looking at the culture and environment of our cooperative classes in Tokyo, Japan.  This video above from ANA airlines gives a good look at some of the major sights in the city but when I was there I also really loved the Roppongi Art Triangle and the Shibuya area (especially the Starbucks overlooking the crossing). In your interested in more information National Geographic also has a terrific website on Japan.

Friday, September 14, 2012

First Nine Days

Here's my Instagram photo diary from the first nine days of school, I cant believe haw fast everything went! I'd like to wish everyone a happy holiday as we head into the four day weekend!!

AP Art: What's Your Sentence?

 This week we started our first Going Global project with the Dan Pink "What's Your Sentence?" assignment in which students are asked to imagine what goals they would like to achive in their lifetime then write it in the future as if they've completed it.  Here are two examples from Clay (above) and Brianne (below).

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