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, March 27, 2014

Media Art Honor Society: Inside Out Project at the Pantheon

This week the Media Art Honor Society took photos to include in JR's Inside Out Project at the Pantheon in Paris.  Above are a few of the images which we sent of to France and which will be included in the project this April! 

Our next project will be creating a short collaborative documentary together.  We discussed ideas yesterday and on Wednesday we will work together to pitch ideas and begin working of the piece which will have an audio and visual component that are separate but work together.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Media Art: The Short Documentary

Today we will continue our look at documentaries by watching a segment of the 1st episode of one of my all-time favorite series from Showtime called This American Life which stems from the public radio show on WBEZ Chicago. 

The stories are all personal and engaging and they utilize a few different techniques that help tell the stories which we'll discuss tomorrow in class.  Above is a short clip of Ira Glass, the host and creator of the show working with Google in creating their recent Google doodle, something you should all be familiar with after creating your own for the Doodle for Google contest last week.

In April we will each create our own short documentary so keep that in mind while watching.  We'll be talking about the basics of storytelling and the different documentary terminology and styles.  Before we begin you need a story and that's often the toughest part so think about the stories that you, you friends, and your family tell others and start there.  I'll be creating a story with you so you'll get to see the process before you go through it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Media Arts: Public Service Announcement

This week we are finalising preparations for our Public Service Announcement and we are going to examine some PSAs such as the examples posted above and below to look at what makes them effective and how we respond to them. The PSA above is a great example of a project that focuses on awareness as opposed to action or advocasy. After watching the PSA we are going to answer the 4 questions on page 41 of your student guides and we will go over the group assignments for the week.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Studio Art: Graphic Novels

In Studio Art we are begining a new project on Comics and Graphic Novels and each of us will create a short 6 frame comic with a front and back cover in class this week.  Above is an axample from last year's studio art class by Alvaro showing the final comic and below is an image of how it's laid out using one piece of paper folded into 8 parts and cut in the center. 

Before we begin working on our comic which will be due on Tuesday next week we are going to examine graphic novels as an art form and discuss storytelling.  We will look at successful writers such as: Neil Gaiman, Daniel Clowes, Craig Thompson, and Will Eisner and look at some of the most well respected graphic novels such as: Maus and Persepolis along with some of the fan favorites such as: The Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim.

I had the chance to interview the author of well known graphic novels turned films Persepolis and Chicken With Plums Marjane Satrapi and below is an exerpt relating to her work being read in schools: 

I work as a high school teacher in a pretty conservative area and your book is part of our curriculum. It’s kind of amazing. Look at how far things have come.
That makes me very happy. Truly, truly.

I was wondering what you would say to those kids, especially with the movie, there is the scene of the Americans that might make them question you?
Well, just consider that a human being in the world is a human being. The privilege of loving your family and being kids and wanting to eat ice cream and going to the movies is not only something you want. Everybody in the whole world, they want to have a peaceful life. We have some psycho people, you have them here too. They are everywhere, you know, they are like ultra-religious or whatever. You have a few of these guys, but unfortunately if they are crazy you hear them much more, than the other ones. From the second that we consider that the “other one” is a human being just like us and that it’s not an abstract notion, you know, “Middle Eastern, Muslim, Axis of Evil” then it will become very difficult to bomb these people. Just consider that the “other one” is just like you wanting to play, wanting to go to the movies, wanting to have, you know, the latest t-shirt that is very much in fashion, listen to the music, falling in love, if they consider that, then you know, this is the only thing that I can say, I don’t have any pretension that is more than that.

You can read the full interview along with an interview with her collaborator Vincent Paronnaud on Short & Sweet NYC.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Studio Art: Wang Center Exhibit

In Studio Art we are beginning our graphic novel project and their is a related art exhibit locally that you might want to see in conjunction.  The show is Marvels and Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-86 and it's at Stony Brook University's Wang Center until July in the Theatre Lobby Gallery.  The Wang Center also has a great restaurant and other exhibits going on so if you haven't been there it should be a fun excursion!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Doodles for Google Contest

Today is not only the first day of Spring but it is also the final day of the Doodles for Google contest! We worked hard on our designs in class so before we submit your work take one more look and make sure your submission is complete, signed by a parent or guardian, and sized correctly.  The drawing above by Olivia from Studio Art class is a terrific example of the kind of creative ideas that were brought to the concept while maintaining the logo design.

In the process of creating your doodle we brainstormed, sketched, collaborated, designed, and digitally manipulated our drawings to enhance our work which is the same basic process a designer goes through and it leads into our next project in Media Arts classof creating a short animation.  As I'm sure you know the Google doodles are sometimes animated so take a look at the process in the video below to get an idea of how it works.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Art Honor Society: JR Project in Paris

The Art Honor Society will be participating in JR's Inside Out: Au Pantheon! project this month which will be pasted onto the Pantheon which is being renovated in Paris.  We will be taking JR style with a white background photos afterschool this week and next week and digitially mailing them to JR's studio in Paris.

Take a look at the recent JR project in London below to get an idea of what the final project looks like when the images are printed and wheatpasted in public.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Doodle for Google

Today is the last day to enter the Doodle for Google contest so we will be finishing up our designs and sending them off to the judges online.  The most important piece of your work is coming up with a great idea, the video below looks at how the artists at Google do it.

Remember Photoshop files need to be: 1894 pixels high by 2960 pixels wide at 300 dpi and if you dont remember how to check it's under the Image menu in Image Size

Studio Art: T-shirt Designing with Adobe Illustrator

In Studio Art class we are currently working on our T-shirt Designs and now that we have drawn out the designs, digitized them, and cleaned them up in Adobe Photoshop today we will learn how to vectorize them using the 'live drawing' feature and color them using 'live paint' in Adobe Illustrator.  The image above is an example of how the t-shirt actually turns out, this one is a collaborative shirt created in my National Art Honor Society.

Monday, March 17, 2014

AP Art: Japan Society's Junior Fellows student guests

Today we are welcoming Hikaru and Anna to Smithtown East.  They are both students visiting from Japan and they will be staying with us for 2 weeks through the Japan Society's Junior Fellows program.  they will be working with us in class as well as working on a project they've designed which we'll participate in. I've also arranged a short talk with our guest and all the students in classes and the Art Honor Society who worked on the Going Global program this year.

Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 Japanese Student Visitors

Next week we will be welcoming two visiting students from Tokyo, Japan for a two week stay through the Japan Society in NY who's Going Global project some of us worked on last semester.  The students will be staying with Gabby and Allison from my AP Art class and they we be participating in a talk that I am putting together with my classes for next week. 

This visit is a great experience for all of us to learn a bit about a new culture and teach them about ours.  The video above is from a terrific TED talk Derek Sivers gave that gives some perspective of how the different cultures view things and opens you mind to how we might view things differently.  I encourage you help welcome the girls next week, to be open to the experience, and most importantly to try not to judge things that you think might be weird, they are just different.

To give you a sense of how different school is in Japan, below is a photo of me and a class of Japanese students from the Nagoya area of Japan in the Aichi district.  The school had some elements like dress codes, student cleaning periods, student led field trips, and grade charts posted on the walls that were different but when class began the learning and students were very similar.

We'll be doing an art project I designed while in Japan next week based on the Tanabata Festival where you will interpret the myth visualy and use the color palette from Japanese woodblock prints.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

AP Art: Senior show 2- Harry and Gabby

This week was Harry and Gabby's show which might've had more work shown than any previous AP show.  Harry's figure drawings and paintings cover the walls with Gabby's digital art, drawings, and photographs cover the floor intermixed with cranes and sculptures.

Smithtown superstar Mr.Kelly even made a cameo appearance stylishly pairing a pinstripe suit and backpack.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Art Honor Society: The 2014 Whitney Biennial Field Trip

The Whitney Museum's Biennial is happening right now in New York City and we are going to learn about why the exhibition is important and get acquainted with some of the artists featured this year. 
This year 3 curators each oversee one floor: Stuart Comer (MoMA), Anthony Elms (ICA Philadelphia), and Michelle Grabner (SAIC, Chicago) and each chooses work they feel is important.
Sculptors Alma Allen and John Mason have work in the show along with video artist Darren Bader and fine artist Karl Haendel and looking at the variation in their work gives you an idea of how wide the scope of the show is. This Biennial will be the last to take place in the at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street before the Museum moves downtown under the high line.  We'll talk today in the club about whether we want to visit the show on our next field trip to NYC.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Studio Art: Designing T-shirts

In studio art class we will be continuing our design unit with a t-shirt design project this week. Before we begin designing we'll take a look at the amazing short documentary series above from a NPR's Planet Money which shows how the t-shirt they make for listeners is created from start to finish.  The series was funded via Kickstarter and will help us learn about the global economy.  We'll see how the clothes we wear are actually made from a cotton farm in Mississippi to factories in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Colombia  then shipped back to America.

To create our t-shirt design we will be using Adobe Photoshop along with a new sister program Adobe Illustrator.  We'll learn the difference between the pixel based program and the vector based program and why it matters but before we get too technical you need a great idea and it needs to be sketched out.  The video below gives you some ideas on what makes a good t-shirt design and some of the basic rules we'll be following such as centering your design and choosing an appropriate shirt color.  We'll begin by drawing 5-10 thumbnails in our sketchbook wiof design ideas and variations.  Remember to be original and not to use copyrighted ideas or characters in your work. The final graphic image should be one-color and scanned in and it will be due on Friday at the end of class. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

AP Art: NYC Art Week

This week is Armory week with a number of huge events in and around NYC.  The big NY Armory show and Armory events in NYC shows off tons of work and showcases what's going on in the art world along with the 77th Whitney Biennial which is a must see as it is the last to be held in the museum before their move downtown to new facilities.

Today is the due date for any students that are entering the Heckscher Long Islands Best show so make sure the artist statement is submitted along with the entry form and the work is prepared for the drop-off date with the printed paperwork.

UPDATE: I had the opportunity to interview artist Carly Ivan Garcia at the Fountain Art Fair during Armory Weekend Saturday and asked a few questions relating to students, I'll be posting the interview shortly on a blog called Warholian (which is also a worthwhile follow for artists). 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Media Art: Storyboarding

Today we we be storyboarding our public service announcements using the 12 frame template and reviewing for our quiz on cinematography tomorrow. Here's the quizlet to review: cinematography flashcards.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Media Art: #15secondpremiere

This week the Tribeca Film Festival and Heineken are partnering for a twitter based #15secondpremiere, a 140-character screenplay pitch as a lead in to this years festival. The winning pitch will be cast and made into a film which will premiere at the film festival in New York. For all of the aspired screenwriters out there this is a great little challenge! I submitted my entry above so if your interested in creating one the rules can be found here: pic.twitter.com/rjwnli1SvR. Remember the idea is be original and fun and don't forget retweets count so help each other out and give a little retweet love!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Media Art: Cinematography

Today in Media Arts we'll recap the biggest moments from last night's Oscars then Begin looking at the basics of Cinematography.  We'll examine what the responsibilities of the cinematographer (better known as director of photography or d.p.) are and the different jobs that exist in the camera department on a film

We'll also study the basic camera angles and compositions that are used in film and some of the resources cinematographers need to use.

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