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.

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
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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!

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