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, December 20, 2013

Photography: Scholastic Art Awards

We reviewed all of the photographs we created so far this year this week in class and choose our favorites now it's time to print and submit some of them into contests and shows.  One of my favorite competitions is the Scholastic art and writing awards which has some fantastic prizes such as a $40,000 scholorship, shows, workshops with professionals in NYC, and an award ceremony in NYC.  As an added incentive I'll award extra credit to everyone from photo who enters (due by Monday, January 6, 2014 and there is a $5 fee per individual submission). 
Special Instructions- Photographs can be entered into 1of 2 categories based on the information below and you can enter a piece into both categories as well.
  • Identify type of photographic techniques used in the “List Materials” section of online registration. 
  • Editing software (Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Photo Pro, Photo Explosion, etc.) is acceptable to use for minor touch-ups and image correction in a manner that replicates traditional darkroom techniques (cropping, dodging, burning, adjusting brightness, contrast, color balance, etc).
  • Works that are digitally collaged, cloned, layered, merged, distorted, or heavily manipulated with computer software must be submitted in the Digital Art category
  • Emter Here: Scholastic Registration
Here is a link to some of the previous winners to give you an idea of what has been chosen: Scholastic Winners.  The winners are posted Friday, January 31 at 5pm so good luck!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Art Honor Society: Holiday Party and members show

Yesterday the National Art Honor Society had their annual holiday party and assembled our members show which will open when we return from break and be up for two weeks.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Photography: Tiltshift

Today we will review the tiltshift photos we created last week in class.  Above is a terrific example from Alix that was taken in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum on the Media Art Honor Society's Fall field trip.  Today our double exposures are due and tomorrow we will begin working on a group assignment.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Studio Art: Zentangle

Before our holiday break we will work on a unique drawing called a Zentangle.  There are a few great examples in the Zetangle Pool on Flickr and the video above is an example from Tiffany Lovering.  These are fun, stress-free, and in creating a zentangle the process is as important as the result so try not to be a perfectionist and let yourself go.

Friday, December 13, 2013

AP Art: Solarplate Etching

Yesterday's solarplate etching workshop with Dan Weldon was a great success and above are a few of the results from Paige, Harry, Allison, and Andrew.  You can see some of the different additive and reductive techniques that were used to aid your work on our future printmaking projects but what's nice about these prints is that they reflect the individual style of each artist.

This week in AP art class we will begin uploading the AP Studio Art Submissions  using our etching in the breadth section.  Below is the information you need to know to sign up:

School Code: 335001
Teacher Key: xwt0100

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Photography: Alternative Process II

In Photography we are continuing our work on Alternative Processes this week with creating double exposures and tiltshift images (look at the awesome example above by Keith Loutit).  Below are a few techniques and the final 2 images are due on Monday:

 Double Exposures: There are a variety of ways to create double exposures the most controlled being to take two images and merge the as layers on Photoshop.  You can also use cameras which allow for two exposures such as the Holga and Diana or apps on your smartphone.  My favorite app is Hipstamatic but not that they are charging here's a link to a few free apps which allow you to create double exposures.

Tiltshift: We are not actually doing tradional tiltshift which use a special lens (which tilts and shifts) but rather mimicing the effect.  The three basic methods are hand blurring the images in Photoshop, using a website such as www.tilitshiftmaker.com, of creating them on the smart phone with apps such as Instagram (using the little teardrop icon) and here's a link to a few other free apps which allow you to create tiltshift images.

AP Art: Solar Plate Etching

Today is our Solar Plate Etching workshop periods 2-5 so make sure you have your prepared piece to work from and meet in artroom 161 at 8am so we can begin on time.   Above are examples of the works from students last year using the three different techniques.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Denmark Day 2013

Today we have students from Denmark visiting so lets take a quick look some of my favorite Danish at art and media and learn a little bit more about the home of the Vikings.

In the world of film Babette's Feast is a modern Danish classic and films such as: Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, and the far out their Melancholia came from Danish director Lars von Trier who was part of the Dogme movement which came about in the 90's with like: Thomas Vinterberg, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen and Lone Scherfig.

In the world of art I've always admired the work of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, who  studied  with Jacques-Louis David in Paris as well as work from contemporary artist such as: Per Kirkeby, Richard Winther, and Olafur Eliasson who did the terrific piece shown in the video above in 2008 titled New York City Waterfalls.

Hans Christian Andersen is probably the most famous author from Denmark and there's a terrific Little Mermaid statue based on his 1913 story by Edvard Eriksen in Copenhagen that you might recognize. Danish design and architecture is also pretty amazing notably Jørn Utzon's iconic Sydney Opera House which earned him the distinction of becoming only the second person to have his work recognized as a World Heritage Site while still alive.  Finally in music modern groups such as: The Raveonettes, Mew, and Lars Ulrich, drummer of the band Metallica are Danish

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Photography: Critiquing our Light Paintings

Last week we worked on learning how to paint with light and all of the final edited photographs are due today so we will critique them along with the grunge filter portraits in class.  The photo above was done in class with Irene, Sophia, and I using lightbomber and edited on the iphone using grunge textures.

Monday, December 9, 2013

AP Art: Solar-plate etching workshop

This Thursday December 12, 2013 students from our AP Art class will be participating in an In-School Field Trip with guest printmaker Dan Weldon from periods 2-5 for a solar-plate etching workshop.  Take a look at some of the solarplates Weldon has done with artists such as: DeKooning, Flavin, Fischl, and Salle through his company Hampton Editions for inspiration in order to be prepared for the experience.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Media Art: Global Nomads

This year Mr. Needles media classes we will participate in a new exciting online exchange program called Global Citizens in Action through the Global Nomads Group.  We are being paired up with a class in Islamabad, Pakistan and the collaborative lessons will focus on cultural exchange, media literacy, and global citizenship.  I recently worked with our partner teachers in an online professional development program and we reviewed the lessons which should be as engaging as they are insightful and interesting!  We will be starting just after the winter break and it should be a wonderful addition to our class!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Studio Art: 8 Bit Wonderland

We are taking a cue from street art legend Space Invader for our next project and we'll be creating a simple grid version of a famous piece of art which we studied earlier in class.  Below is an example that I created using the Mona Lisa as an example.  I have the grid saved in the assignment and public drive and today I'll demonstrate how it's created in Photoshop.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Studio Art: Photoshop Skills

In Studio Art class we have been learning a variety of photoshop skills such as layering (check out Ashley's excellent example above) and design with the poster contest (here's a great entry from Olivia below) which is due today. Our two assignments will be design based computer arts projects and for inspiration you should take a look at Computer Arts Magazine which has some amazing examples of digital art as well as tutorials and we will decide together as a class which assignment we will do next.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Photography: Experimental techniques I

This week in class we will be learning two experimental photography techniques light painting and creating a grunge filter.  Both assignments will be due a week from today on Tuesday next week. (I'm assigning 2 at the same time due to equipment and space constraints so that everyone can be working on one or the other)

Today I will first demonstrate how to use images of wrecked type, scratches. grime, grit, and coffee spills along with some advanced Photoshop tools to create a unique grunge filter. There are also so tutorials in the link above that you might want to try just be sure it is an original image that you are working with and not someone else's.  It is also important to make sure you work with an image that would look good weathered so you might want to take one later today for use tomorrow (there are examples from students in previous classes above).

Light Painting
Today I'll demonstrate the basic techniques involved with light painting and then you can create your own either using our DSLR camera or one of the long exposure apps for the smart phones such as light bomber which also hosts regular contests and require that the image is nor Photoshoped making it crucial that you get the exposure and contrast right for the shot.  The more complex your painting is the harder it is but the cooler it looks so if your up for the challenge go for it!  Above is an example I did by signing my name in light, the trick is you need to learn how to sign it backwards if you are behind the light, tricky!

Here are the two examples from the demonstrations I did in class with Trent, Graham, and I of the two different projects.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Welcome Back

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a terrific break and enjoyed the holiday!  Our Art & Media Art Honor Society trip to the Metropolitan Museum was a great success and now we are fully into the holiday season.  Below is a breakdown of what each of the classes is working on right now as a reminder so take a look in case you forgot!

Media Art: Hand drawn animation (50 cards due Wednesday)

Studio Art: Type Poster Design (Completed Poster due Wednesday)

Photography: 3 Color and 3 Black and White Studio Portraits (due Today)

AP Art: The Scholastic Prize (critique today, final due Wednesday)

Also the art and media art honor society will be putting together our annual gallery show so make sure to bring work in Wednesday to show!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Art and Media Honor Society: Remembering 5 Pointz

Today we are going on our annual field trip to NYC and what was supposed to be 5 Pointz in Queens.  I stopped by 5 Pointz a week before it was destroyed to scope it out and shot a short video of the murals which I posted above in remembrance of the artspace.  Have a great Thanksgiving Break!

PS- Banksy fans might want to take a look at this NY Times article on the fate of the final Banksy work, the graffiti ballons, which was put up just down the street from 5 Pointz.

Monday, November 25, 2013

AP Art: The Gedenk Award for Tolerance

The next theme we will be working on comes from the Gedenk Award for Tolerance which is sponsored by the SCHOLASTIC ART & WRITING AWARDS this year. 'Gedenk' is a Yiddish word meaning “remember” and the award asks us to consider what we can all do to learn from humanity’s mistakes.  Five National Medals and prizes of $1,000 each will be given for work in any of the Awards’ categories (which can be found in the link above).  We will critique and collect them after the Thanksgiving break and submit them in December.

Photography: The Portraits

Today we'll be critiquing the completed studio portraits such as Nicole's images which are pictured above and look terrific along with the results of the three part portraits that were due on Friday, below is a favorite from Nick.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Studio Art: Creating Fonts

In Studio Art we have been working on creating fonts and learning the elements and tools of graphic design and below are two great examples of fonts created in class by Jordan and Nikki,  This part of the project is due on Monday and you will use it next week when you design a poster with your fonts in Photoshop.

The theme of the poster is ‘Across Opposites’ from the Typography Day 2014 student poster contest.  You should take a look at these two designs from last year's competition which was 'Between The Lines' by Richard Doubleday and Christine Mitchell to get an idea of the expectations.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Photography: Altered Portraits

In photography class we are currently working on portraiture doing two assignments at once, the (6) studio portraits which we are shooting in groups as well as the (4) three part altered portraits like the one shown above that was the demo in class.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Art Honor Society Field Trip Reboot

If you haven't heard the news, yesterday the murals at 5 Pointz were all destroyed by one of the owners to end a controversy about trying to save the building vs. it being torn down so we will obviously no longer be visiting it on our field trip next week.  We will still be visiting the Metropolitan Museum (and possibly another short surprise spot but we are currently trying to work out the new details and timeline).  It is certainly a sad day for art, our club has visited the engaging spot for years and it's always been a terrific experience, below are some of the highlights from the past few years...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Photo Contest: Photo Forum

Today is the due date for the 34th Annual College & High School Photography Contest so students in photography and AP art should think about entering because the fee is only $5 and the award are $25,000.  Last year two students were finalists and had their images printed in Photo Forum.  Below are the basics, best of luck!

•    Rights remain with photographer
•    Subject matter is open
•    Finalists notified by January 24, 2014
•    Winners notified by February 10, 2014
  • Image Size should have a long dimension of at least 1000 pixels and no more than 3000 pixels
  • Save file as (JPG) with maximum quality.
  • Color Space should be Adobe1998, sRGB or untagged color space.
  • File Size should be no more than 4 Mb
  • All Uploaded Entries are FINAL and Cannot be Replaced, Deleted or Edited

  • Prizes
    $2,000 Best COLLEGE Color or BW PLUS Nikon D7100 camera and lens system (MSRP $1,999.95) $2,000 Best HIGH SCHOOL Color or BW PLUS Nikon D7100 camera and lens system (MSRP $1,999.95)

    2 SECOND PLACE AWARDS $1,000 cash grant 2nd Place College $1,000 cash grant 2nd Place High School

    2 THIRD PLACE AWARDS $500 cash grant 3rd Place College $500 cash grant 3rd Place High School

    10 FOURTH PLACE AWARDS 5 $100 grants to 4th Place College 5 $100 grants to 4th Place High School

    200 HONORABLE MENTIONS 100 College and 100 High School Honorable Mentions will be listed in the May 2014 issue of Photographer’s Forum magazine and will receive a certificate of outstanding merit.

    PARTICIPATION GIFT All entrants from the U.S. and Canada receive 2 FREE ISSUES of Photographer’s Forum

    Studio Art: Type Design Basics

    In studio art we are currently working on our graphic design unit and we are now beginning type design.  Above is a video from artist Sean McCabe and below is a video from artist Dave Foster showing off their type design skills and we will be following a very similar process to design fonts then import them into Photoshop to create a poster with.  Today we will begin by taking a quick look at the film Helvetica about one of the world's most influential and used fonts then we will go over the basics and sketch out 10 original ideas for fonts in our sketchbooks.

    Friday, November 15, 2013

    Art and Media Honor Society Fall Field Trip

    This month is our Art and Media Art Honor Society Fall Field Trip to 5 Pointz in Brooklyn and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.  This will likely be our last trip to 5 Pointz as  it looks likely it will be torn down in the coming months to make way for an apartment building so bring your camera and take some pictures!  The trip is on Tuesday, November 26 (the day before our Thanksgiving break) so it'll be here quickly.  Take a look at the map of the Met if you haven't been there so you can plan out what you want to see.

    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Photography: Type Photography

    In photography, now that we've taken pictures that represent letters we will now write out part of the HOLSTEE Manifesto using these letters in groups.  The Manifesto is below and each group has been assigned a fragment which should be completed by Friday.

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Studio Art: At the auction

    Studio Art Yesterday the two big NYC auction houses had sales of modern art featuring record prices for some of the artists we recently studied notably Francis Bacon, who's triptych of friend and artist Freud sold for a record art price of $142.4 million at Christie’s Post War Art Auction.  Take a look through the slideshow at some of the pieces and also check out Banksy's Laugh Now which sold for $485,000 at Phillips Contemporary Auction along with works from Warhol, Murakami, and De Kooning.

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    Quarter 2

    Welcome to quarter 2, above is a great image created by Irene in Photography using images from around the school last quarter. Today we are starting new assignments in every class for the new quarter which are listed below, anyone with missing grades make sure you hand in work today as grades are finalized on Wednesday.

    Media Art: We begin our hand drawn animations today by going over the basics of animating and story design.

    Studio Art: We begin our design sequence to with an introduction to poster design and Adobe Photoshop.

    Photography: We begin studio portraiture with the SLR camera along with environmental portraits concurrently in groups.

    AP Art: Media and drawing students will begin new projects based on the theme of the Symbolism.

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    End of Quarter 1

    Today is the end of the first quarter and all assignments are due by the end of the day. In AP art the media students just completed the triptych assignment and here are 3 great examples from Juliana, Allison, and Lena, nice work!


    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Media Arts: Bullying Public Service Announcement

    In Media Arts we are currently working on creating visual infographics based on bullying statistics for our bullying Public Service Announcement.  Above is a great example by Michelle which outlines some surprising numbers and includes all the necassary information such as where the statistics are from and a good sense of heirarchy.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Art Honor Society Voting

    Today we are voting for the new cabinet members of the 2013 Art Honor Society in Smithtown East and below are the links to the polls which close on Friday:

    Vice President
    Upper Cabinet
    Lower Cabinet

    AP Art: Double Exposures

    In AP Art the media students will be working on double exposures and ways to use the techniques to create an emotional response or narrative in the work.  Above is a simple demonstration with Allison using two color and done entirely on the iphone.  I demonstrated three additional techniques and students are free to use any, all, or none of them just as long as they create an original work with at least two exposures by the end of class Friday.

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    Photography: Alphabetography

    In photography class we are taking pictures of things that resemble letters (known as Alphabetography) which we will then edit in Photoshop.  The example above is from class and includes the full alphabet along with an asterisk and and exclamation mark for balance. The first step is to take pictures of things resembling letters then we'll be arranging them together in Photoshop and editing them like the example above.  Finally we will actually write out photo words with the letters we created.

    Media Arts: The Bully Interviews

    Last week Smithtown High School East media arts and AP students in Mr. Needles classes had a chance to have a talk with actor and performer Nick Cannon about bullying and the world of entertainment.  Above is a short clip from the question and answer portion of the event which underscored a few of the most important points.

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    Media Arts: The bully interviews

    This week we had the opportunity to talk with a few celebrities about their careers, advice on the industry, and most importantly bullying.  Here's the first edited clip from the interview with Brock Ciarlelli (from ABC's The Middle) with a good question from Sabrina.  Additional clips will be posted next week.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013

    Happy Halloween!

    Happy Halloween! Today the fine art classes will take a break from their projects and we will be doing some live figure drawing.  We will be drawing and painting students in costume with 5-10 minute poses and hang the best of the works out in the Artroom161 gallery!

    How Much Candy Do We Eat At Halloween?
    In media arts classes we will be creating infographics using visual.ly and easil.ly (like the one on Halloween to the left) about bullying using the bullying statistics we researched last week. Below is a short video showing you the basics.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Media Arts: Talking about bullying

    Yesterday we had a terrific conversation with Nick Cannon about bullying and the entertainment industry and today we are following it up with another talk with actor Brock Ciarlelli (from ABC's The Middle).  Brock has been on the show since 2009 and won 2 Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a TV Series. 

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Our Talk with Nick Cannon and actor Brock Ciarlelli

    Mr. Needles Smithtown High School East media classes have been working on an ongoing project this month as part of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and this week students have the opportunity to talk with actor/singer Nick Cannon (from NBC's America's Got Talent) and actor Brock Ciarlelli (from ABC's The Middle) about bullying.  The performers will be talking to the students and invited guests who had person experiences with bullying via a video conference made possible by Skype in the Classroom and Google in Education Tuesday and Wednesday.

    After the talk the students will create a short public service announcement which follows-up on the video they created last year. The students have been working with classes in Japan and Pakistan discussing the issues related to bullying as well as comparing and contrasting their own personal experiences through a Japan Society social media program entitled Going Global.  The final public service announcement will include input globally from all the classes involved around the world.

    Monday, October 28, 2013

    Studio Art: Banksy's residency in NYC

    Banksy's "Better In Than Out" residency in NYC comes to a close this week so I took the opportunity to visit some of the works while they are still around.  I was lucky enough to have found the new Sunday Banksy painting in Greenpoint Brooklyn pictured above just moments after he posted it to his site and Instagram which is terrific because other street artists quickly tag or deface the pieces.  I also had a chance to see both the Waterfall truck and the Sirens of the Lambs truck at the Grim Reaper installation in the Bowery which was quite a scene.

    Friday, October 25, 2013

    Art Honor Society: The Annual Haunted House

    Today is the art and media art honor society's annual haunted house which is part of Smithtown East's Spooky Hallways Safe Halloween program.  Over 100 students volunteered to help construct the 3 room haunted house and perform in it.  Below are a few pictures from the terrific event and here's a link to some of the portraits we took at the event Haunted House 2013!

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Studio Art: Interpreting a Master

    In studio art the new assignment is to take one of the works from one of the artists we studied and create a interpretation of it using water color paint, pencils, and ink.  Above is a great example entitled from a work entitled Las Meninas- Diego Velázquez did the original on the left and Pablo Picasso did the interpretation on the right (one of 58 versions of the painting he did).  These are just closeups from the larger paintings which you can view in the links above but you can see that each artists style is unique even though they painted the same subject matter.

    Extra Credit:
    If you're interested in doing an additional interpretive piece you can get extra credit for creating a piece for the Heckscher Museum's contest entitled Young Artists in which you choose a piece from the museum that showed this year and respond to it artistically.  If you're interested look through their education website for more information and speak to Mr. Needles

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    2013 Art and Media Honor Society Elections

    This week in Art and Media Honor Society we'll be going over next week's elections (the candidate's are pictured above) as well as setting up for Friday's Spooky Hallways Safe Halloween event with our annual Haunted House.  We'll also have more permission slips for our fall trip to NYC if anyone needs them, we'll be visiting the Metropolitan Museum of art as well as another art stop in the city next month.

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