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.

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).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Media Arts Class: Stop Motion Animation

In Mr. Needles media arts classes we have been learning the basics of stop-motion animation and the classes each created a short, introductory animation as an example.  We shot over 150 images in the last week and the film clocks in at just under one minute long right now, take a look at what we have so far above!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Art & Media Art Honor Society

Yesterday we had our first Art & Media Art Honor Society meeting of the school year and we welcomed a number of new members.  Our next meeting will be Wednesday September 19 at 2pm and we will continue to work on ideas for Safe Halloween, the Going Global project, and our volunteering at the Hampton's Film Festival.  Welcome to all our new members!

Art and Media Art Honor Society Meeting

The first meeting of the Art Honor Society and the Media Art Honor Society will be this today after school in Mr. Needles room 161 at 2pm.  We will be discussing some of the events that we'll be participating in this year, notably:

  • Volunteering at the Hampton's Film Festival on October 6-7
  • Building our Safe Halloween "Haunted Museum"
  • Our fall field trip to New York City and our spring trip to the Hamptons
  • Our ongoing "Going Global" project with the Japan Society
  • Our college and alumni visits as well as SKYPE in the classroom
  • The MSG Varsity program and website

All are welcome, our future meeting dates will be on Wednesdays and Thursdays, see you then!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering September 11

It's been 11 years since the tragic events on September 11, 2001 and we will be watching a series of short animations created by NPR's StoryCorps along with animators the Rauch Brothers which show some of the personal stories from that day. 

We will also be viewing a video clip from my trip to Hiroshima, Japan where I heard Mr. Tsugio Ito speak about surviving the atomic bomb where he lost his brother to leukimia and losing his son in the World Trade Center on 9/11 .

Monday, September 10, 2012

Studio Art: Shanti Peace Poster Contest

This week we will be working on the Shanti Peace Poster Contest which promotes the concept of peace while celebrating Mohandas Gandhi's birthday.  The posters can be done in any media and can use text but need to be on 8 1/2" x 11" paper.  Above is one of Smithtown East's previous winners, Aidi Wang, from 2009.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Media Art: Stop Motion Animation

This week in media arts class we will be creating short stop-motion animation films of the class as an introduction to the basics of film making.  Here's a terrific example of a creative stop-motion by the PEZ (aka Adam Pesapane) who used over 1500 images during the course of 6 weeks to create the short. He is now working on his first feature film but check out some of his other film on his You Tube page.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Illustration Friday

Every Friday throughout the first quarter we will spend the first 15 minutes of class drawing in in Mr.Needles fine art classes and we will use the terrific art blog Illustration Friday for inspiration and theme. This week's theme was "Identical" and here are a few of the results from the AP Studio Art class.

This week's theme is: Imagination

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Going Global 2012

This year Mr. Needles classes will be participating in a global project with students from Japan, Pakistan, and the U.S. in which we will simultaneously work on a collaborative lesson.  The project is sponsored by the Japan Society and is entitled Going Global.  Before we begin the project we will learn a little bit about the culture of the students that we will be working with including how to say hello and introduce yourself so above is a simple video that teaches us how to say hello in Japanese and below are the phrases we will use:

Good Afternoon - Konnichiwa
How do you do (nice to meet you) - Hajimemashite, dozo yoroshiku

Thank You - Arigatou (casual) gozaimasu (formal)
Excuse me, I'm sorry - Sumimasen

Goodbye - Sayounara

Additionally, below is a short piece on the popular Japanese inspired company Tokidoki ("sometimes" in Japanese) which is very popular both in New York and in Japan as well as Europe that well speak about in class as part of one of our projects.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Today's the first day of classes so I'd like to welcome everyone and give you some basic information about some of the tools well be using in classes this year!  Below are the Semester 1 classes with links to some of the websites and blogs we'll be using in class:

AP Studio Art:
Wiki- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Placement_Studio_Art
College Board- http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/sub_studioart.html
Artnet- http://www.artnet.com/?gclid=CKW4_bj4m7ICFYFo4Aod61UAag
Drawn- http://blog.drawn.ca/
Japan Society- http://www.japansociety.org/
Going Global- http://goglobalsns.org/
You Tube- http://www.youtube.com/user/TimNeedles
MSG Varsity- http://www.msgvarsity.com/long-island/smithtown-east

Studio in Art:
Google Art Project- http://www.googleartproject.com/
Illustration Friday- http://illustrationfriday.com/
Going Global- http://goglobalsns.org/
You Tube- http://www.youtube.com/user/TimNeedles
MSG Varsity- http://www.msgvarsity.com/long-island/smithtown-east

Studio in Media:
IMDB- http://www.imdb.com/
SKYPE in the classroom- http://education.skype.com/users/16980-tim-needles
Going Global- http://goglobalsns.org/
Short & Sweet NYC- http://www.shortandsweetnyc.com/author/tim-needles/
You Tube- http://www.youtube.com/user/TimNeedles
Statigram- http://statigr.am/
MSG Varsity- http://www.msgvarsity.com/long-island/smithtown-east

Young Arts- http://www.youngarts.org/
LI Best- http://www.heckscher.org/pages.php?which_page=education_high_school
Scholastic- http://www.artandwriting.org/

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