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, September 29, 2016

Arts Integration: Engaging with Creativity

Here are 4 diverse ways to incorporate fine art into any curriculum:

Making words more visual has a profound effect on learning and remembering the material.

Visual students have a tendency to draw out notes in any class and sometimes get admonished for their doodles rather than being reinforced for visualizing the material.  Encouraging students to create sketch-notes and modeling sketch-noting as an educator can be a very effective and simple way to incorporate arts into any curriculum with great positive outcomes.

Drawing out you notes helps separate the important takeaways from the page making it easier to see the most important learning and allowing educators to understand how the material is being processed rather than just copied.

The sketch-notes above are some of my examples but here are a few links to other examples and demonstrations available on the web:

  • Smashing Magazine- How to Get Started with Sketchnotes

  • Core77- The Basics of Visual Note Taking

  • Roh Design- Mike Rohde Sketchnotes

  • Pinterest- Explore Sketch-notes

  • Using paintings, drawings, illustrations, photographs, sculptures, and architecture to underscore material is a great way to incorporate the arts into any curriculum.  Math teachers around the world have long been using artists like MC Escher in class and science and social studies teachers can easily visualize material with Davinci's notebooks.

    Art history is a great tool but the issue is often finding the right art and artists to use in class so I suggest asking the art teachers in your school or local museums.

    Here are a few of my favorite examples of art history references that can be used as examples for the core subjects:

    Science: Damien Hirst, Leonardo DaVinciDaniel GoldsteinZahner Company

    Math: Tony RobbinMC Escher, Piet MondrianAlbrecht Dürer

    English/Language Arts: Lewis CarrollBilly Collins, United States of PoetryAubrey Beardsley

    Social Studies: Ai WeiweiGilbert Stuart, BanksyOliver Jeffers

    Asking students to illustrate concepts and ideas can lead to some powerful learning and connections. I made an artistic leap in high school when my English teacher offered an option to draw a piece based on the book that we were reading rather than write an essay.  Here are a few great examples of illustrations for different subjects:
    This student drawing references World War II and incorporates what was learned in an original way.

    A student pen and ink illustration of a massacre in China.

    This mini-comic book is based on graphic novels that students studied in English class.

    They are created with just one piece of paper that is folded into 8 pages that becomes a piece of micro-fiction.

    Using inexpensive and recycled materials like cardboard, tape, and glue students can create 3D visualizations of what is being learned in any discipline:

    It can range from a short day long activity to a longer, collaborative project that results in a cardboard sculpture to decorate the classroom and reinforce what was learned:

    For inspiration look at an artist like Wayne White who we learned in my studio art class and who inspired us to create 3D works of famous artists in class:

    The advent of 3D printing also allows students to create 3D designs easily that are virtual using apps like Morphi and Tinkercad among others.

    Here are 4 diverse ways to incorporate media art into any curriculum:

    I love using Vine to introduce my students to how we can use video in class.  Here are a few examples of demonstrations and visual illustrations of lessons:

    Once you master the basics of creating and sharing these videos you can pair Vine with other iphone apps such as Replay and Hyperlapse allowing time-lapse and text:

    Animation is an incredible resource for education.  There are various techniques that range from simple demonstrations using time-lapse to animated sketch-notes to complete digital animations that aid students in understanding curriculum in school in a different way.  The example below is a terrific TED talk by author Dan Pink that was animated as sketch-notes by the RSA and it really communicates his ideas is a clear way:

    Here'a an example of a collaborative animation that was created in class with each student drawing one aspect of author Stephen Fry's essay:

    If educators don't have time to create that kind of animation they can always pair a short animation with Vine for a demonstration or showcase of student work.  This can be done in just a few minutes, here are a few of my examples:

    It's also possible to work with an outside educational entity like my friends at Art Heroes who created this amazing visual animation showing the basics of design:

    There's no question that social media is fast becoming a major part of our future so it really makes sense to utilize it as a way to communicate ideas, teach, and incorporate the arts.  If educators don't have any experience incorporating the arts into the teaching why not use social media like SKYPE in the classroom, Twitter, and Google to connect and collaborate with an art class for a shared, interdisciplinary lesson.

    I've had great success collaborating and incorporating visuals into lessons with other classes and schools from around the world.  Here's an example from a Japan Society partnership with a class from Japan paired with my class in NY:

    This kind of activity also adds another layer of cultural understanding but social media also allows opportunities that wouldn't be possible otherwise such as Mystery SKYPE's and Google Hangouts with professionals in the field.  I had the opportunity to have my students interview actor and musician Nick Cannon in school a few years ago and the conversation ranged from bullying to the arts.

    There are other ways to use video to incorporate the arts into different disciplines like the example below of a video poem.  Visualizing writing adds another dimension to the words and allows the writing to be shared and enjoyed in a new way.

    Student created public service announcements such as this example created with our school improvement team are another great example of how educators can use video to communicate to the school and community.

    Video is also great as a tool for student reflection that can be shared with future classes.  I edited together some of the short student reflections with examples to create the video below that shows what we do in class and gives future students, colleagues, parents, and the community a better idea of what is happening in my classroom.

    There are also great free educational resources to use such as PBS Learning Media which offers videos, lesson plans, and assessments that are catered to various disciplines:

    Thanks, if you have any questions or comments please contact me:

    Studio Art: Artist Trading Cards

    This week we are going to learn about and create Artist Trading Cards that will be exchanged with other students from states around the US as well as countries from around the world. The video above shows some ATCs that I created with fellow art teachers around the world this summer as part of a daily art challenge called #TERPart (The Everyday Renaissance Project). Well be participating in the Mini Matisse ATC exchange so you can take a look at some examples of the work done so far as well as some suggestions from the organizer, teacher Nic Hahn. You can see a sample of how many different states participated in the ATC exchange last year on the map below: You can create any kind of art in most any kind of medium (as long as it can be mailed and wont ruin other cards) on the front of the card as long as it's appropriate for all ages (some of our cards might be exchanges with elementary and middle school students) but on the back be sure to include you should write your name, school, location (city, state, & country) and my name (Mr. Needles). Below are a few examples of cards from last years trade:

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016

    2016 Shanti Peace Poster Design Competition

    This week the final art for the 2016 Shanti Peace Poster Design Competition is due to be submitted so make sure to include your name, grade, age, email, and teacher (Mr. Needles) on the back of your submission.  The above example is one of the great works that was submitted by last year's winner Ilysa in AP Art class.  Best of luck in this year's competition!

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    Wyland National Art Challenge

    This week we will begin our work on the Wyland National Art Challenge, a mural painting and photography contest which is due in December.  World-renowned environmental artist, conservationist and muralist Wyland is inviting classrooms across the United States to take part in the 4th Annual Wyland National Art Challenge, a nationwide environmental mural and individual art contest with the theme of conservation. The contest begins Oct 1., 2016 and runs through Dec. 1, 2016. Teachers are invited to create with their students a 4-foot by 8-foot (or larger) mural painting to celebrate how conservation shapes our lives and our world.
    Each student in Studio Art and AP Studio Art will create a mural design this week for this year's theme of conservation and then we'll critique the strengths of of the designs based on the creativity, communication of the concept, and the quality of the art to choose which design will become the basis for the class mural.

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    Photography: Editing Spirit Week

    In Photography this week we will learn some new advanced digital editing techniques and work on editing our images from Spirit Week and the Pep Rally last week.  Each student should have one edited image for each day we photographed during spirit week and 5 edited pep rally images each with borders and copyright by the end of class on Friday.

    Friday, September 23, 2016

    Museum Day Live!

    Tomorrow is Museum Day Live! which allows for free admission into a number of local museums from Stony Brook to Manhattan.  Check out the list and sign up for free tickets!  Museum Day Live! is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket. 

    Below are a few suggestions of museums I enjoy that might interest you:

    • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
    • Society of Illustrators
    • The Morgan Library & Museum
    • The Rubin Museum of Art
    • Guild Hall of East Hampton
    • Nassau County Museum of Art
    • The Heckscher Museum of Art

    Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Digital Media: Computer Coding Art

    In digital media class we are working on learning the basics of making art with computer code with the artist series after learning the basics by creating a personalized Flappy Bird video game. When you complete the 10th artist level you should create a colorful and unique digital code drawing and share the link in the public drive by Thursday September 22 for a grade. We will film some of the code art like the example I created above and share them using some of the animation techniques we learned last week.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    National Art and Media Art Honor Society

    Today is the first meeting of the National Art and Media Art Honor Society in Mr. Needles art room 161 after school at 2:05-3pm.  We'll be discussing some of this year's events and activities as well as opportunities for scholarships and contests.  Below are some of our upcoming Fall activities that we'll be participating in:
    • Classroom, School, and Community Murals
    • Wyland Marine Life Mural Contest
    • Fall Museum Field Trip
    • Japan Society Junior Fellows Program
    • Guest Artist and Alumni Programs
    • Global Artist Trading Card Exchange
    • Special Art and Technology Workshops
    • Creating Self-driven art
    • Scholarships, College Visits, Conferences, and Contests

    Photography: Spirit Week

    In photography this week we are photographing portraits of Spirit Week and the Pep Rally.  Monday we did a class demo on Pajama Day showing how to how to arrange, create, and edit a group portrait and on Tuesday, Sports Day, we went out and began photographing in groups.  Everyone should have at least one good photograph for each day that we will edit next week using Photoshop.

    Monday, September 19, 2016

    Studio Art: Sketchbook Week

    Each day this week in Studio Art class we will be working on a short 15-20 minute drawings in our sketchbooks and sharing them, all 4 will count together for a grade on Friday. The pieces can be created in any media as long as it uses the full page.

    Below are the week's themes with links to specifics and examples:
    Monday: Illustration Friday- Rain theme
    Tuesday: Doodle Fills
    Wednesday: Sketchbook Project- Tiny Diagrams
    Thursday: Observational Drawing
    Friday: Words

    Below are a few examples of different styles of sketchbook work from students and professionals:

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