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, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays

Today is the final day of class in 2015 so I'd like to wish everyone a happy holiday and a terrific winter break.  Today the I will join students from the Art Honor Society to deliver 250 hand-made holiday cards to the Mills Pond Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in St. James that were created by the honor society and students in classes.  Pictured above is the AP Art class with some of the cards the created before our secret snowflake gift exchange.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Digital Media: 3D Printing Architectural Designs

In Digital Media class today is the final day to complete our Architectural Designs using the 3D Printing software Tinkercad.  When you are finished you are going to take images of different angles of the 3D design you created and combine them together in Adobe Photoshop.  Use one image and place it over an actual photograph to get an idea of how the structure would look in real life.  Jak's Architectural Designs below (you can also see him working on it above) is a great example of how complex the structure should be, it's modeled after the famous Torii Gate at Itsukushima, a Shinto Shine in Japan.

The final design should have 4 different images of angles on a clean white background and 1 over a photograph like the example below.  The example below from Victoria is reminiscent of Frank Gehry's EMP Museum in Seattle and shows what the final design should look like.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Cards for local Nursing Home Residents

In all of the fine art classes we will be creating hand-made Holiday Cards for the residents of the local Nursing Homes this week and we'll be delivering them on Wednesday after-school.  Create a holiday of Christmas card with a short note inside and make sure to include your first name and last initial on the back.

Friday, December 18, 2015

AP Art: Alumni Visit- JeriAnne Vestuto

Today in AP Art we have a special guest visit from SHSE AP Art and Art Honor Society alumni JeriAnne Vestuto who will talk about art, college, and the realities of life after high school.  She'll be visiting from Pratt in Brooklyn, where she is currently attending.

She'll be speaking with the AP Art and Drawing classes.  Check out some of her recent work above and below are a few examples of her previous works ranging from the Shanti Peace poster contest to her AP senior show!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Digital Media: 3D Architectural Design

In Digital Media class we are going to test out our 3D print design skills by creating original works of 3D Architectural Design using Tinkercad.  The demonstration I created is shown above and it give an idea of the kind of designs you can create.  For this project you should create a final design featuring 5 angles such as my example above and one can show your design in a real life space.  you have total freedom to create any kind of architecture- from your backyard to a baseball stadium to the space station so have fun.  The final design is due on Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Art Honor Society: Holiday Card Donations

This month the Mr. Needles classes and the Art Honor Society will be creating Holiday Card to give to some of our local seniors at the nearby nursing homes.  We'll be creating and collecting cards until Tuesday December 22 when we'll be delivering them to our local seniors in person!

Scholastic Art Awards Due Today

Today is the due date to upload and mail in the Scholastic Art Awards so if you plan on entering make sure the work is finished by the end of the school day so that it can be mailed in time.  Students who enter work will receive extra credit (in AP art both Google # Scholastic contests must be completed for extra credit) in addition to possibly winning up to $40,000.  Included are some examples of great entries such as Jamie's colored pencil drawing above and Luke comic page below. Best of luck!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Digital Media: 3D Printing Design

To begin our work with 3D Printing in Digital Media we will use the Tinkercad program to learn the basics and enter their #uglychristmassweater community challenge.  You are welcome to design an ugly sweater for any winter holiday but first you must learn the basics of how 3D design works by doing the tutorials.  The final design is due on Friday and should include 2 views such as the example I created as a demonstration in class today above (use Photoshop to create the final image).  We'll be exploring a number of different 3D printing design programs beginning with Tinkercad which is web based to Morphi which is on the iPad and Meshmixer which is installed on the computers.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Studio Art: Doodle Art

Making Art with Doodles is as fun as it is creative and interesting and it's what we are going to be focusing on this week in class.  You will create a page of doodles that elevates itself to a work of art,  Just because you want it to look good when it's finished doesn't mean you need to pressure yourself or get self-conscious as you are drawing.  To create a great work from doodles I suggest you let your mind go and just draw whatever your subconscious leads you to.  Here's some great examples of artists who create art from their doodles and their work can be seen below:  
Jon BurgermanLei MelendresChris Piascik and Heike Weber

I myself do this all the time and have even used some of this method to create illustrations for magazines such as the Long Island Pulse like the example below.  The great thing about doodle art is that it actually relaxes you as you are doing it.  We are going to begin the process with some deep breathing and meditation then begin wandering on the page with our doodles and see where they take us.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Digital Media: Hour of Code Guest Speaker

Today in our Digital Media class we completed our Hour of Code projects and had a chance to hear from a Guest Speaker, a professional coder and app creator Mike Desmond.  Mr. Desmond shared his background and talked about some of the realities of the career in coding and also gave us some advice on our long term app projects.  We also learned some great information about coding languages such as JavaScript and Objective-C, the Stony Brook Innovation Lab, and the future of 3D printing!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Studio Art: Colors of Long Island

This week we'll be working on creating pieces for the Long Island Museum's Colors of Long Island exhibition.  Create a work in any media you want but make sure to include the two basic elements: Color and Long Island.  You can create an image of your favorite location on the Island, portraits of Long Islanders, or something more abstract and imaginative- it's up to you.  The work will be due at the end of class on Friday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

AP Art: Preparate

The College Board which administers the AP Art exam has a new call for student artists work to coincide with their Preparate conference.  If you are in the AP Art class you can create a work in any media (24 x 36 inches or smaller) that has is themed around the Academic and Creative Achievements of the Latino Culture and submit the work.  The deadline for class extra credit is Jan. 15 and the submission deadline is Friday, Jan. 22, 2016

All submissions must include a statement of work, written by you, that answers the following questions:
  1. What does “Academic and Creative Achievements of the Latino Culture” mean to you?
  2. How does your artwork reflect this theme?
Your responses will be used to evaluate your artwork and, if your work is selected, may be displayed along with your piece.
Here are some suggested links to research information on  Latino Culture: 

Digital Media: The Hour of Code

This week we'll be working on our The Hour of Code project using Minecraft and Star Wars game designs.  Make sure you log in so I can see your progress on the coding projects as we progress through the week and we'll culminating with an event on Friday.  We have a special guest speaker on on Friday who will be joining us who is a professional coder and app creator.

Monday, December 7, 2015


Today is the due date for this year's Doodle4Google contest and I'll be submitting all of the finished entries.  I love the creativity and personal touches students have put into their art work this year such as Emily's fashion doodle above from the Studio Art class and Rosalie's entry from Digital Media class using her own dyed hair below!  Make sure you complete the entry form and have it signed so your entries can be submitted.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Extra Credit: Making Meaning out of Ocean Pollution Contest

This month's extra credit assignment is the 2016 Ocean AwarenessStudent Contest! The theme is Making Meaning out of Ocean Pollution, and it challenges you to research, explore, interpret, and say something meaningful about the connections between human activities and the health of our oceans.

Making Meaning is rooted in our belief that when you are asked to create something yourself, rather than just memorize facts and spit them back out, not only does learning become fun but it also becomes permanent.

We define Ocean Pollution as human-created physical, chemical, or biological waste that is release into rivers, lakes, or the ocean that causes harm to the ocean environment. There are many significant ways that human actions and waste negatively impact the environment, including:
• marine debris/plastic pollution
• oil spills
• nuclear waste
• sewage and runoff
• acidification
• invasive species
• sound pollution

This year, we challenge you to focus on ONE type of ocean pollution and “make meaning” of it through art, poetry, prose, or film. We would encourage you to connect it with your own life, your own local community, or something else that is personally meaningful to you, but what’s most important is to pick a topic that inspires and motivates you.

Art - All visual interpretations of the prompt are welcome in this category — painting, drawing, prints, sculpture, textile, photography, and much more are all welcome.

You need to submit:

1. YOUR ART - Up to 3 high quality photos or scans of your artwork as JPGs. Please make sure they are good resolution, not crooked, and can easily be viewed.

2. YOUR REFLECTION - A Word or PDF document with the title of your work, a Reflection of up to 250 words and a bibliography (any style) of any ideas, facts, and quotes that are not your own.

Film - All types of cinematic interpretations of the prompt are acceptable in this category, from advocacy films to PSAs to short films to newscasts to educational videos and much more. You need to submit:

1. YOUR FILM - A YouTube link to your film (you will paste it into the online form, please do not submit a Word or PDF document with a link to the video)

o Length for Middle AND High School 2-5 minutes
o Please include a title and credits in the film itself for any information, sound, or video clips that are not your own.
o Please name your name your YouTube Film as “2016 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (Film) – Film Title – by Your Name,” and please paste your reflection and bibliography into the video description.

2. YOUR REFLECTION - A Word or PDF document with the title of your work, and a Reflection of up to 250 words.
High School Gold Awards $1,500 - Gold Award Winner’s School $1,500
Silver Awards $1,000
Bronze Awards $500
Honorable Mention Awards $250
Sponsor Recognition Awards $750

All the images in this post were winners from previous years to give you an idea of the expectations. This assignment is open for extra credit until the end of May and the credit will be added whenever it is handed in.  This project may be done in groups but only for special circumstances so check with Mr. Needles first.  The Oceans teachers in science are a great resource for research so feel free to include them as well and get feedback.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Digital Media: Instagram Update

In Digital Media class we will be working on a long Photography unit which will include mobile photographys so I thought I would share some useful information about some of the changes coming to instagram on the next Instagram Update.  Below is a list which is described in grater detail in the video above and some of these changes are a pretty big deal so make sure you take a look.

1 - Following Status
Check if someone is following you.

2 - Notification Center
Sort your activity by likes, comments, follows or tags.

3 - Groups
Navigate your timeline sorted by interests.

4 - Albums
Organize your photos by albums.

5 - Multiple Accounts
Have more than one account logged in at a time.

6 - Mutual Following
Check who you have in common with someone.

7 - New Icon
Because, you know…

Also feel free to add me @timneedles to be able to submit assignments online or use the hashtag #needlesclass to sgare your work!

Art Honor Society: The Sketchbook Project

Today the National Art Honor Society will meet to review and prepare for our first field trip of the school year on Friday to the Brooklyn Museum and to plan the last pages of our collaborative Sketchbook Project.

Our Great Doubts and Massive Victories themed sketchbook is nearly complete so just a few more entries need to be finished to submit the book by the December 2015 break.  I've been sharing a few of the entries on social media and the response has been very positive, even from the Sketchbook Gallery itself.

Our field trip Friday marks the first time we'll visit the Brooklyn Museum but in addition to their terrific permanent collection we'll see exhibits from KAWS (image above) who attended SVA with me and two shows featuring Coney Island such as Stephen Powers installation (below).  We'll talk more about what to expect and see at the museum in our meeting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AP Art: Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

This week in AP Art and Drawing class we will be creating work for the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  In drawing we'll be focusing on the drawing and illustration category.  Students in AP can choose any category to enter and create a new work to submit. Each category has links to more information along with examples of previous winners. You can also enter any additional categories but make sure all the work is digitally submitted by Monday (Dec 16, 2015). 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Art and Digital Classes: Doodle 4 Google

This week we will be working on creating designs for this year's Doodle 4 Google contest in all art and media classes.  The theme is What Makes Me...Me, a personal and open theme that allows for creative designs.  Today we will sketch out ideas and through the week we will develop and color our ideas then the final design is due on Friday and must be digitized with a parent's signature by Monday  December 7 so they can be submitted.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Digital Media: The Great Thanksgiving Listen

In Digital Media we will be doing our final preparations for the Story Corps The Great Thanksgiving Listen project that should be recorded over the holiday break (if you haven't recorded it already).  The recording is due in class on Monday and we'll work on editing and organizing them so they can be uploaded.  Remember uploading the story is not required but it does count for extra credit as long as you post it with the hashtags #TheGreatListen2015NY and #Needlesclass on social media.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Studio Art: Figure Drawing

In Studio Art and digital media class we are finishing up our figure drawing work and we'll have a quiz on the basic terminology we learned during the lessons.  The terms can be found in Quizlet which can be used to study.  The final drawings will be due  on Tuesday December 1 and the quiz will be on Wednesday December 2.

Monday, November 23, 2015

2015 Wyland Foundation Water is Life Mural

“We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.” – Bill Clinton
Today we are finishing up work on our 2015 Wyland Foundation “Our Coasts and Climate” Water is Life Mural which is due digitally Wednesday.  Above is a time-lapse Vine of students working on the mural last week in the art honor society and AP Art class.  The room will be open for painting extra periods in order to complete the mural in time.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Digital Media: Digital Drawing

In Digital Media class we are going to transition from traditional drawing to digital drawing and here's some inspiration.  Anyone who hasn't posed for the class will get their opportunity today or Monday and them we will choose our best drawings and work back into them a with different media. Five completed drawings from life will be due next week on Tuesday, choose your best and we will scan some in to work with digitally.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Art Honor Society: Wyland Foundation 2015 Class Mural

Today in AP Art class and after school in the National Art Honor Society we will continue work on our 2015 Wyland Foundation Class Mural design which is due on Wednesday next week.  It's been a great collaborative effort and my room is open all day for anyone that has a free period and wants to paint!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Digital Media: The Great Thanksgiving Listen

In Digital Media class we are working on preparing for our StorycorpsThe Great Thanksgiving Listen project in which each student will interview an elder (grandparent, parent, family friend, ect.). The interview should be recorded via the StoryCorps app on a smart phone and you will use the worksheet provided in class to prepare your questions.  Each interview should have 10-15 question and be under 40 minutes.  The project is due right after Thanksgiving break on Tuesday Dec 1.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Drawing: Revising and Completing Figure Drawings

In both AP Art and Drawing class we will be continuing working on figure drawing with an emphasis on learning how to revise and complete the drawings making them into finished works.  You may use either digital or traditional media to complete these 5 pieces and they will be due on Friday at the end of class.  Above are some examples I created using drawings I made in class to give a better idea of the expectation.  Remember this is you opportunity to be creative and make it personal!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Drawing: C is for consciousness: paint your rich inner life

In Drawing class our next assignment is taken from The Guardian C is for consciousness: paint your rich inner lifecreate a work of art that expresses your conscious experience. It could be inspired by philosophy, or neuroscience – or you might prefer simply to celebrate the diversity of your daily reality without seeking answers.  It's a very open project that you can interpret individually and it's due at the end of class on Tuesday 11/17.  You may want to take a hint at Yayoi Kusama's work which we recently learned about because she incorporated her consciousness in much of her work!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Studio Art and Drawing: Figure Drawing

We are working on Figure Drawings in Studio Art and AP Studio Art class this week and as we have done in the past we will do a number of figure drawings each period.  We'll use a few different techniques such as drawing with the opposite hand, gesture drawings, blind contour drawings, and using multiple colors.  The focus in our figure drawing work is improvement so we'll pay special attention to getting a likeness, body and face proportions, hands and feet and including details in the drawings.  Remember these will be graded differently than other work because you'll have an opportunity to choose your 5 best drawings that will be assessed in comparison to your earlier drawings rather than assessing all of them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

AP ART: The Sketchbook Project

In our AP ART we are about half finished with our collaborative Sketchbook Project on our greatest doubts and victories.  I completed my page as you can see from the Vine video above and each AP art student who is part of the art honor society should complete their page by Thanksgiving.  When completed our sketchbook will be permanently on view at the Brooklyn Art Library as part of the largest collection of sketchbooks in the US.

Friday, November 6, 2015

AP Art: PDNedu Student Photo Contest

Photo by Carli Choi

The PDNedu team has re-launched the Student Photo Contest call-for-entries site for the 2016 edition, and we're excited to publish new work from students around the world. We are offering a very affordable early-bird entry fee through November 9 at $15 per entry (up to six images). The regular deadline period extends through December 15 at $18 per entry.

The contest is aimed to help you get your foot in the door while you're still in school, giving exposure to your photography through a print gallery in the Spring 2016 issue of PDNedu (sent to 50,000 readers) and an online gallery, promoted to PDN's network of 200,000 followers.
There are some pretty cool prizes, too. Grand-prize winners, one per category, will each receive a Nikon DSLR camera, $150 to B&H Photo and Video and a portfolio consultation. Categories include Fashion & Portraiture, Documentary, Still Life, Travel & Landscape, Fine Art & Personal Work, Multimedia & Video, and High School (any subject).

You can see the current list of judges and the complete prize packages at contest.pdnedu.com. There, you'll also find rulesFAQlast year's winners' gallery and more.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Art Honor Society- Painting Murals

Today in Art Honor Society we will continue to work on painting murals in and outside of the classroom and we will also be going over some details about our upcoming field trip to the Brooklyn Museum of Art on December 4th.  We will discuss this years induction and collect all the names of students to be inducted at the beginning of our meeting so be sure to get there on time!

Digital Media- #TheGreatListen 2015

In Digital Media class we will be participating in the StoryCorps #TheGreatListen 2015 project as the final project in our audio unit.  Monday we watched StoryCorps founder Dave Isay's TED talk (posted above) in class that gave insight into the project along with some examples.

Today we will start preparing for our interviews with a worksheet, the free StoryCorps app, and a list of questions you can pull from along with some hints and advice.  The final recording is due on Friday November 20 so you have 3 weeks to create your interview.  I'll hand out a permission slip to everyone to sign but in terms of sharing and uploading your final interview it's your choice and not mandatory for the class.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Inspiration: SCAD's graphic design alumnus David Clark

Here's a great video from SCAD featuring their graphic design alumnus David Clark and his kartwheel design company.  There are a few terrific examples and lessons to be learned from this one, enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2015

AP ART: Photographer's Forum 36th Annual College and High School Photography Contest

Reminder to all my AP ART students, today is the deadline for the Photographer's Forum 36th Annual College and High School Photography Contest.  It's an easy and cheap contest to enter (pay $6 and upload digitally) so make sure to enter your best image or two!  Above are some examples of finalists from AP recently and below are some of the prizes!  Hit the link above to enter

FIRST PLACE :: COLLEGE :: $2,000 cash grant
FIRST PLACE :: HIGH SCHOOL :: $2,000 cash grant
SECOND PLACE :: COLLEGE :: $1,250 cash grant
SECOND PLACE :: HIGH SCHOOL :: $1,250 cash grant
THIRD PLACE :: COLLEGE :: $500 cash grant
THIRD PLACE :: HIGH SCHOOL :: $500 cash grant
5 FOURTH PLACE AWARDS :: COLLEGE :: Five $250 grants
5 FOURTH PLACE AWARDS :: HIGH SCHOOL :: Five $250 grants

Studio Art: Artist Research Presentations

Today in Studio Art we will continue to present our Artist Research Projects and we'll be looking art artist such as Shepard Fairey (OBEY) and Alexander Calder who have done work locally.  Check out the video above for a more in-depth look at some of OBEY's work and remember we'll have a visual test this Friday on all of the artists we learn about!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Digital Media: Audio Part 2- Makers Approach to Instruments

Today in Digital Media class we will begin our 2nd project in our Audio unit in which the class will design and construct it's own instruments in small groups using the LittleBits Korg Modular Kit and makers materials.  We will actually use these instruments to record a short piece of music in conjunction with whichever instruments or vocals you want to contribute and the Keezy smartphone apps.  I'll be doing a short demonstration of how LittleBits works and then you will form groups and begin brainstorming.

Also as a reminder tomorrow in class is our reflection essays on the Technology Innovators and Entrepreneurs research project so don't forget to look over you notes and refresh your memory.  The extra credit assignment is also due at the end of next week (look back on the blog for instructions).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Art Honor Society: Mural Painting today

Today in Art Honor Society we will be working on a number of different Murals including the in-classroom murals, the hallway mural at the visitors entrance, the Wyland murals and the outside area murals so come prepared to do some painting!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Artist Research Project Quiz

This week we will finish presenting the Artist Research Projects in class and will have the visual and written quizes on Thursday and Friday in class.  We will review for the Quiz on Wednesday so bring your notes and study up!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Extra Credit November: Hechscher Museum of Art

This weekend I had a chance to create a digital painting (see the VINE below) on the new, huge 55 inch touchscreen in Huntington's Hechscher Museum of Art and view their three great exhibits of James RosenquistStreet Life, and modern printmaking.  

I encourage everyone to visit but I'll offer extra credit for the art students being that their upcoming Long Island's Best show will include work based on what's being shown in the museum.  If you want extra credit just take a selfie at their new selfie station and tag it #needlesclass along with the museum hashtag #hmaselfie and tell me what you thought of the show.  We'll talk more about Long Island's Best later in the year but it's a great idea to get inspired early.

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