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, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Today we will be doing figure drawing using models from the class in costume in all of the art classes.  I'll be taking pictures and posting some of them here and on Instagram and I will be grading the drawings so make sure to give it a real effort.  I know some of you are shy and might not want to get up in front of the class but remember- models get candy!  The photos above of the "Witches of East" show two members of our fantastic computer department getting into the spirit, I'll be posting some from class below!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Talks with Teachers podcast

I was honored to be the guest on the educational Talks with Teachers podcast hosted by fellow teacher Brian Sztabnik this week. I met Brian at a recent Long Island EdCamp conference and we met because he noticed my very visual note-taking (I draw most of my notes as you can see from my tweet below).

The conference was a terrific learning experience and we recorded the podcast shortly afterwards. We had a great conversation about teaching, creativity, art, and some classroom philosophy that you can download or stream on iTunes from the link above. I 've been listening to the Talks with Teachers podcast for a few months now and they have a great array of inspiring educators such as: Dave Burgess, Joy Kirr, Tom Whitby, Starr Sackstein, and Grant Wiggins I recommend listening and joining the conversation about education!

Drawing: Illustration Friday- Puppet

In Drawing class we are working on the current Illustration Friday theme of "Puppet".  Here's my entry, a take on finger puppets, yours are due later today!

Shanti Peace Poster Contest

Congrats to Paige Meyer from AP Art for winning the Shanti Peace Poster Contest! She was awarded her prize yesterday from the Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone along with Art Honor Society members Christian and Maria who were awarded for their presentation!

View image on Twitter

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Art and Media Art Honor Society: Halloween, elections, and NYC

The Art and Media Art Honor Society's will meet today and we will be discussing our Safe Halloween Haunted House, election of officers, and our upcoming trip to NYC!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Drawing: The Bechdel Doodle Dare

This week in drawing class we'll be taking part in the doodle dare posed by MacArthur "genius" winning cartoonist Alison Bechdel (watch her working on a charcoal drawing from her residency below) and the WNYC radio show Studio 360.  She began the drawing and you will be asked to finish it using whatever media you'd like.  Take a look at my first attempt above, it's a great creative challenge- good luck!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Media Art: Voice Acting

Today in Media Art we are going to learn about the basics of Voice Acting and watch some clips from John Di Maggio's film on Voice Overs and Voice Acting I KNOW THAT VOICE.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Art Honor Society Haunted House today!

Today is the Art & Media Art Honor Society's Haunted House and the Safe Halloween Spooky Hallways program so we'll be setting up and dressing up after school and the event runs till about 7:30pm!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shanti Peace Poster Contest

Congratulations to Paige in our AP Art class on being one of the two winners of this years Shanti Peace Poster contest.  She will receive her award on Wednesday next week from the Shanti Fund organizers and the Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone.  Below are some of Smithtown East's other finalists who are still in the running for inclusion for this year's calendar: (T- B: Rose, Jamie, Natalie, Kyle, & Emily)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Art Honor Society: Annual Haunted House

Today the Art Honor Society will meet today to continue to assemble our annual Haunted House for the Spooky Hallways event on Friday.  This year we have three new themed rooms we'll be putting together along with the Media Art Honor Society.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Studio Art: Mini Comic Books Due Today

Today in Studio Art class our Mini Comic Books are due.  We'll grade them and hand them back with comments and then we'll scan the final comic in the computer lab so we can share and trade them with other classes and other schools.  Above are some of the books I've read so far, pretty creative and interesting work!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Drawing: Illustration Friday- Trouble

In AP Art and Drawing class we are continuing our drawing month with a new Illustration Friday theme which is Trouble.  The Example I did in class on Friday is above so finish up your illustrations and post them by this Friday!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Whitney Weekend

To celebrate the final weekend of Jeff Koons: A Retrospective and the Whitney’s Museum's uptown location the Museum will stay open for 36 continuous hours from Saturday, October 18, 11 am–Sunday to October 19, 11 pm. The famed museum will be closing it's doors after this show and opening a new museum downtown but if you have never visited the building Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith designed in the early 1960's at 945 Madison Avenue at East 75th Street in Manhattan in New York City, this is your chance.

I've seen quite a few amazing shows at the Whitney over the years- notably the Biennials, Robert Rauschenberg's last works, the Kusama exhibition, the Hopper's and Calder's, but my most memorable experience was my first time there.  My first exposure to the Whitney came as I was finding my way through college in UMass Boston when a teacher exposed me to the work of photographer Robert Frank, who went on to become a pronounced influence on my work.  

There was a retrospective of his work in Washington so I grabbed friends and took a road trip to the national museum to see the work (remember this is pre- "everything's on the Internet" days so you couldn't just Google him) it really effected me so when it traveled to NY's Whitney I was there again on the first night hoping to meet the man himself and see some of the films he had made.  He wasn't there but many of his beat generation friends were and I had a chance to meet poet and photographer Allen Ginsberg which was amazing!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Studio Art: The Ultimate Zentangle

In AP Art Troy tipped me off to one of the coolest Zentangles's ever, a wife who used Sharpie to Zentangle her husband's 1995 Nissan Skyline R33 GTR.

Media Art: Film Industry Research Project

This week in Media Art we'll be working on our Film Industry Research Project in which each student chooses an aspect of the film and television industry and is given a professional in that are to research.  Each student should create a 5-6 page Powerpoint or digital presentation with a cover and references on their professional which we'll share next week.  Below is the list for this semester:

Adham- George Lucas (writer, producer, special effects)
Alex- Ben Affleck (writer, actor, director)
Thomas- Wes Anderson (writer, director)
Antonio- Martin Sheen (actor)
Matthew D- Conrad Hall (cinematographer)
Michael D- Robert Wise (editor, director, producer)
Jack- Paul Haggis (writer, producer, director)
Caitlin- Meryl Streep (actress)
Alix- James L Brooks (director, producer)
Lauden- Francis Ford Coppola (director, producer)
Jeffrey- Thelma Schoonmaker (editor)
Mason- Alec Guinness (actor)
Alexandria- Christopher Walken (writer, actor, director)
Jessica P- Robert DeNiro (actor, producer)
Samantha P- Danny DeVito (actor, director, producer)
Michael P- Jack Nicholson (writer, actor, director, producer)
Matthew R- Marlon Brando (actor)
Sean- Clint Eastwood (actor, director, producer, composer)
Rachel- Dante Ferretti (art director, production design)
Kristen- Tom Hanks (actor, producer)
Adelina- Robert Redford (actor, director, producer)
Suzanne- Hal Ashby (director, editor)
Zakria- Morgan Freeman (actor, director)
Chris- Dustin Hoffman (actor)
Nikki- Eric Sibley (director, special effects)
Douglas- Brad Bird (writer, director, producer, animator)
Brandon- Daniel Day Lewis (actor)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

AP Art: Art and Science

This week in AP Art each student was teamed up with a partner to critique each others work and given the new theme of Art and Science.  It's a theme that has persisted in art from DaVinci to Damien Hirst and has led to a few successful AP Art Concentration themes over the years so whether it's biology and the body or Physics and quarks find an artistic link to a science and explore it creativity.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Studio Art: Sequential art & comics

This weekend was Comic Con in NYC and to celebrate we are working on comics and graphic novels in studio art class.  Tomorrow is the quiz on the basics which you can study here: sequential art terminology.

This week we will be creating mini 7 page comic books with a cover using a clever one page design that we learned today in class.  The picture above is from my recent show at Gallery North in Stony Brook of my graphic novel work, later this week I'll bring in some of my work and show you how it's created!

AP Art & Drawing: Young Arts

I mentioned the YoungArts competition in class last month but I wanted to remind everyone in AP Art and drawing class that the applications are due this week!  Click the link above to apply online.  Alumni are Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony award nominees and I've had students win on the national level in the past so make sure you give it a shot!
By applying to the YoungArts program you are eligible for:
  • Up to $10,000 in monetary awards
  • Exclusive U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts nomination
  • Master classes with world-renowned artists
  • Access to scholarships, career opportunities and professional contacts
  • Opportunity for works to be viewed by top artists in their fields
  • All applicants to YoungArts have the opportunity to learn about college programs, scholarships, summer programs and festivals through participation in the YoungArts Student List Service (SLS)
In addition to the great visual art program they also have some terrific writing, dance, and music programs- check out the video below of their "one take" cover of Lorde which teams up student musicians for a timed, improv cover performance in just one take, pretty amazing!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Media Art Honor Society: Hamptons International Film Festival

(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
Last night was the opening of the Hamptons International Film Festival and Bill Murray was on hand to premiere his film with Director Theodore Melfi and actor Jaeden Lieberher.  Club members will be volunteering all weekend but remember to follow the advice that I gave in our meeting earlier this week.  I'll be taking and posting photographs of our volunteers her all week with updates so have fun and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Drawing: Illustration Friday- Silence

In Drawing class we are currently working on our Illustration Friday work with the theme of "Silence".  My example is above and if you want to take the extra step and use social media to post your work online here's a link to how it works.  The advantage to linking your work to the website to to get some real life feedback from professional illustrators and artists which although it might be intimidating at first, its really useful!

Take a look at the statement below from Illustration Friday which gives an idea of the spirit of the critique:

The Illustration Friday community is a supportive, friendly place to view artwork and meet other illustrators, doodlers and creative people online. We have participants from all countries, backgrounds and age groups. We ask that your illustration submissions be mindful of this. Please post nothing that you wouldn't want your mother to see.

If you need help with the posting process I'll be available today after school at during the Art Honor Society and Media Art Honor Society meetings where we'll be discussing: volunteering at the Hamptons Film Festival, Homecoming, NY Comic Con, Safe Halloween, and our fall field trip to MoMA.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Hartford Art School

University of Hartford | Hartford Art School from University of Hartford on Vimeo.

The Hartford Art School will be visiting AP Art class tomorrow to talk about their program and possibly review portfolios.  This is our first college visit of the year and advanced students can request to join the presentation if interested and available.  Take a look above at the video for a quick glimpse of the school for some background, we've had a number of successful Smithtown East graduates come through their program such as: Jess Brett, Steve Ponzo, Aidi Wang, and Blair Apgar to name a few!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Drawing: Art history visual test

Tomorrow is the art history visual test in AP Art and Drawing class so be sure to study the notes on the artists after our review today.  Above is an image by Daniel Danger, a contemporary artist and print maker who's included in both tests, don't let his dystopian future be yours- be prepared!

Friday, October 3, 2014

AP Art: In Chelsea

There are a few terrific gallery shows in Chelsea NYC right now that I'd really suggest seeing.  The first is Wayne White who I've mentioned before who has a great show at Joshua Liner Gallery featuring 15 foot moving puppets of country musicians The Louvin Brothers made out of cardboard among other things.  He's always interesting, proof is in the trailer for the documentary about his life, Beauty is Embarrassing below!

Street artist DALeast is famous for his unique line quality and he currently has a gallery show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery on 23rd Street that I'd recommend seeing before it closes tomorrow.  

DALeast - Discount Evolution (short version) from Jeff Coles Smith on Vimeo.

There is also a great show of Brooklyn artist José Parlá's work at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery.  Parlá uses writing in a totally unique way and has teamed up with photographer JR who we've talked about in class. Check out the video below of how he works, pretty amazing!

While your there I'd suggest checking out the High Line walkway which is a great way to get around that area of town and features plenty of great art itself.  There is now a new section that just opened north of the galleries so it should be a great view over the river to New Jersey.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Studio Art: Sketching with watercolor

In studio art this week we are working on sketching.  We'll begin like I do with a quick warm-up like the zentangle above that I created on hall duty and then we'll start sketching the room.  You should draw 10 sketches from scenes around the room that aren't setup and well be working with pen, pencil, and watercolor.  Here's the basics: you're free to look around and create 6 sketches on tour own but 4 sketches should be standard- one should include a person, 2 should be created with watercolor first, and the last sketch should be of my film library behind my desk.  I'll grade all 10 sketches on Friday.

Here's an example of a sketch I was drawing in study hall that shows you my process but every artist works differently so you're free to experiment with some of the different techniques.  Additionally each table will get a brand new set of watercolors that the table is responsible for along with new sable brushes for each student that you'll use throughout the year.  Write you name on your brush and make sure you put it back in your shelf with your sketchbook each day because if you lose it you'll have to replace it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Media Art Honor Society: Hamptons Film Festival

In the Art & Media Art Honor Society we will be discussing our upcoming volunteer opportunity at the Hampton's Film Festival and the fall field trip to NYC on October 24.  The trailer above for St. vincent starring Bill Murray is the opening film of this years festival.

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