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). 

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