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, December 21, 2018


Today is the last class day of 2018 so I want to wish everyone and terrific holiday and winter break!  Make sure all assignments are submitted by today for credit because we only have 12 class days left of the semester.  Enjoy the time off and have fun!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

National Art Honor Society: Holiday Party

Today is our last National Art and Media Art Honor Society meeting of 2018 and we'll celebrate with a holiday party afterschool!  We'll end at 3pm and have a short officers meeting to plan the new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Film- Squash and Stretch Animation Challenge

In Film class we are wrapping up the basics of animation and focusing on Frank & Ollie's Twelve Basic Principles of Animation.  We watched how of the the rules of animation apply and what happens when you don't follow the rules.  We will now incorporate the learning into our animation challenges.  The squash & stretch challenge can be done on paper or digitally or even with post-it notes if you're up for the challenge!  It's due Friday.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Digital Media: Digital Zentangle

In Digital Media class this week we will be drawing and designing Digital Zentangles in Adobe Photoshop.  The file size should be 8" x 8" and students can create any kind of ORIGINAL design (don't copy and paste other people's work) to fill the page.  They work best with a central design element (shape or word) but feel free to be creative!
Image result for Digital Zentangles

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Art Honor Society: Japan Society Junior Fellows Program 2019

We will once again take part in the Japan Society Program in 2019 so any students interested in hosting Junior Fellows at Smithtown High School East in March can talk to me about the program if you are interested.  I've taken part in the program along with other Smithtown teachers, administrators, and students.  You would host a student that is matched up with your interests for a little under 2 weeks and they would follow you to classes.

If you take part in the program you can also apply to travel to Japan in the summer and be hosted by a Japanese student for a week:

Deadline for Application: Friday, February 15, 2019 (Postmarked)
Program Schedule for U.S. to Japan Trip: July 8–28, 2019 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Studio Art: LI's Best Art Competition

In Studio Art we are beginning work on the LI's Best Art Competition which is due on Wednesday next week.  Below is a link to the artworks you can base your work on- it should be used as an inspiration for your piece, don't copy the work directly.  You can use any media and it can be any size smaller than 20".  Above are some winning examples from last year.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Studio Art: Hour of Code Week

In Studio Art we are finishing up Hour of Code Week today.  We did 3 short coding assignments: Artist, Frozen, and Intro to App Lab.  When you are finished you will Beta Test 2 student created video games from my Digital Media class that are located (along with a rubric) in the Assignment drive.

Friday, December 7, 2018

AP Art: LI Best competition at the Heckscher Museum

In AP Art we are currently working on the entries for the LI Best competition at the Heckscher Museum.  Be sure to complete your entry and your artists statement about how your work was inspired from a the piece you chose which showed in the museum this year.  Below is a terrific example from Anna in last year's AP Art class that made it into the exhibition.  It was based on Rubens Santoro's painting Grand Canal, Venice on the left.
Here's the link to the works exhibited this year in the museum: 2017-2018 Museum Art

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Art Honor Society: Murals and Classroom Re-design

I'm proud to share my latest article on our Classroom Re-Design Project which was published in this year's issue of the TAEA TRENDS Journal.  Today we will be continuing the re-design project in our new classroom space room 157, measuring and preparing for the twin zen gardens, and completing the Art mural in the hallway!  We will also begin working on our Sketchbook Project and planning and going over the AP Art course guidelines.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Studio Art: Artist Inspiration

This week in Studio Art we will complete our first art history unit by creating a work of art in our sketchbook inspired by one of the artists we learned about in class.  This is done by professionals as well such as the portraits above by Picasso and Matisse who showed their work to each other and were rivals and friends.  The piece is due today on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Media Art: Poster House + The Library of Congress Poster Animation Challenge

We are learning the history and basics of animation this month and creating animations for a Poster House + The Library of Congress competition which is asking for modern takes on historical designs like the one above.

After sifting through thousands of posters in the Library’s collection, Poster House selected 31 images that speak of ages past, are free of any copyright issues, and are ready to party. All you need to do is visit the Library of Congress online to download a high res version of the file, crop it as you see fit, and lend your creative touch by animating it in a unique, fun, and compelling way.

We will learn the basics of digital animation they create films using these historical posters by December 21.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Film: Scholastic Short Films

As we are working on our Scholastic Short Films we looked at director Spike Jonze and how he can tell a short story without works like the example above. Monday you have all class to edit your films and you can access free music to use in your films here: Bensound.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Extra Credit: Scholastic Art Awards and StoryCorps

There are 2 extra credit assignments for December: entering the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards which are due by Tuesday at midnight and recording a Storycorps interview with a family member and posting it online by January 2.  Follow the links for more information and see me if you have any questions.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Art Honor Society: Winter Projects

Today in Art Honor Society we will review our Winter Projects some of which are listed below and review the field trip we took last week to MoMA in NYC as well as collecting photos and videos for our film.

  • National Art Honor Society Induction Ceremony
  • Media Art Field trip to Museum of the Moving Image
  • School Murals- Challenge Day, Art, & the Classroom
  • Holiday Cards for the local Nursing Home
  • The Sketchbook Project
  • Artist Trading Card Swap

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Film: Choice Film for Scholastic Art Competition

In Film this week students have a choice Film assignment for the Scholastic Art Competition.  Create a film using any media and in any genre for the competition and complete it by Tuesday for submission.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Studio Art: Scholastic Art Week

In Studio Art it's Scholastic Art Week so we'll be taking on one of the AP Art summer assignments:

A Day In Your Life - Choose a moment from your everyday life and express it visually using any media. This can be a moment that’s memorable or very average, reoccurring or just a moment you remember. Try to use media that helps illustrate the moment and think about your perspective vs. others when creating the imagery.

Also make sure to study the class Quizlet for the quiz on Thursday and Friday!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Digital Media:The 3D Design Ugly Holiday Sweater Challenge

This week we'll design new 3D printing designs in Digital Media using Tinkercad to enter their #uglychristmassweater community challenge. These will be purely digital designs that we will not be printing but we will share for the challenge.  You are welcome to design an ugly sweater for any winter holiday. Make sure the sweater looks correct and the decoration is up to you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

National Art Honor Society: MoMA Field Trip

We had a terrific National Art Honor Society field trip to MoMA in NYC yesterday so thanks to everyone for making it fun and easy!  I hope you enjoyed the visit and learned about some new art and artists.  Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your chilly break this week!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Digital Media: Beta Test of Hour of Code

In Digital Media we will do a short Beta Test of Hour of Code, the activities such as code.org's Dance Party.  You should create a fun and complex animal dance party.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

National Art Honor Society: Field Trip to the Museum of Modern Art

In National Art Honor Society today we will collect all of the permission slips and payment for our upcoming field trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC.  The trip is 8am-4pm on Tuesday November 20, the week of Thanksgiving.  The museum is the home to some of the world's most famous art such as Vincent Van Gogh's Stary Night and Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory so we'll discuss the relevance and history of the art the week before our trip.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Digital Media: Video Game BETA tests

In Digital Media we completed our Video Games so now it is time to play and review them for each other and  BETA test them so we can go back and edit bugs or issues that come up in game play.  The above image is of Will's game which was the best reviewed game from class so far.  We are using the class rubric (attached in Google Classroom) to rate the clarity, design, coding, originality, and play ability of each game.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Film: Animation

This week we will begin our animation challenges in class.  today we looked at some award winning student films as well as the video above by Hombre McSteez Aka Marty Cooper.  Below is another great example from street artist Blu and artist David Ellis which is equally as impressive but totally different.  Tomorrow I will do a short animation demonstration in class and teach you the basics before you begin animating yourself!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Studio Art- Artist Research Projects

In Studio Art we are finishing up presenting our Artist Research Projects and next week we will have the test on the artists and art we learned about so be sure to study the quizlet to review!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

End of Quarter 1 Tomorrow

Congratulations, you've reached the End of Quarter 1! Tomorrow is the final day of the quarter so make sure any incomplete or missing assignments as well as any extra credit assignments are submitted by tomorrow because I'll be closing out the grades over the 3 day weekend.  I hope you enjoyed part 1 of the class and learned something valuable!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

AP Art: Visit From Hartford Art School Today

Image result for hartford art school
Today in AP Art we will have a visit from the Hartford Art School where we have had a number of successful alumni attend before their careers in art such as Chelsea NorwichSteve PonzoAidi WangJess BrettDylan Ahern,.  We will be learning about their programs and looking at portfolios.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Digital Media: STEAMroom

In Digital Media class we will be closing out the first quarter which ends Friday by completing and sharing our video games.  We will be beta testing them later in the week and revising them for the Scholastic competition in December.  
We will also begin to learn about some of the most important figures of STEAM using The STEAMroom quizlet. We will be using these figures to begin our animation unit in quarter 2 but we want to be familiar with them first. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

November Extra Credit: Wyland Art Contest

November's Extra Credit assignment is creating designs for the 2018 Wyland National Art Challenge.  You can begin by creating a design in your sketchbook and share it with so I can give you suggestions and advice based on what I know about the contest then you can  flesh it our with color and complete it.  We will take all the final images and talk about our favorite designs then choose one for our personal entry or a collaborative mural which we will enter at the end of November.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

National Art Honor Society: Museum of Modern Art

In National Art Honor Society today we will hand out permission slips for our upcoming field trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC.  The trip will take place during the school day 8am-4pm on Tuesday November 20, the week of Thanksgiving.  The museum is the home to some of the world's most famous art such as Vincent Van Gogh's Stary Night and Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory so we'll discuss the relevance and history of the art the week before our trip.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

AP Art: Figure Drawing Week

In AP Art class it's Figure Drawing Week so each day we will bring in student models to pose and we'll be drawing and painting from life in different media.  This includes Halloween so we'll have figures in costume Wednesday.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Digital Media: Video Game Design

In Digital Media we are working on creating and coding our Video Game Designs for the upcoming Scholastic art and writing awards, below are the requirements and the game is due this Friday November 2 and the final entry for extra credit is due to be uploaded by Tuesday, December 4, 2018.

Video Game Design
Category Description
An interactive media experience that makes use of gameplay and digital media (e.g., visual art, sound design, digital storytelling, etc.). This category also includes conceptual designs of playable games.
Special Instructions
  • Video Game Design submissions must be playable games or conceptual designs of playable games.
  • Conceptual designs include, but are not limited to, character designs, game scripts, gameplay diagrams, or any combination of those.
  • Students may create playable games using the software or coding language of their choice. Some examples of these are: Scratch, Flash, Ren’py, Game Salad, Unity, and Game Maker.
  • Alternatively, students may submit playable games in another platform where the final game can be played by the judges on a browser or a PC without the purchase of any proprietary software or having to register for a private community.
  • If you are submitting a playable game, you can upload one file (.exe, .zip, .rar, or .swf). You must also enter a 250-500 word gameplay summary in the provided text editor and a gameplay video of your game being played no longer than 5 minutes in length.
  • If you are submitting conceptual designs, you can upload up to eight images and/or text documents. We highly recommend that you enter a description of your concept and its parts in the field provided on the upload page. This will ensure jurors can understand your work during judging.
Video Game Design submissions can include up to 5 collaborators. A collaborative Video Game Design entry should only be registered ONCE for judging: choose one student to create an account and upload the work -- this student can then identify up to four collaborators on the Edit Info page.
If the other collaborators are not listed when the work is submitted they will not be eligible to receive an Award.  For students using SCRATCH here's a really helpful forum with some help in creating and coding the game: SCRATCH FORUM

And if you're trying to make a game on code.org then you can use this tutorial below:

Friday, October 26, 2018

Challenge Day Reflection

This week I had the opportunity to attend Challenge Day once again and it was a terrific experience.  We are going to follow-up the program by inviting everyone who participated to write how they will be the change on our Art Honor Society Challenge Day mural.  Think about what the experience was like for you and try to state how you will change then share it and be accountable to follow through on that change this year.

Challenge Day allowed us all to connect and understand each other better and reminded us of the importance of empathy as we learned about some of the different issues many of of deal with.  Below is a short reflective video about some of the program highlights from this year.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Challenge Day

This week I will be out of classes from Monday - Thursday for Challenge Day so I will see many of you there.  Everyone else will continue working on their projects in class and I'll check in if I can!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Digital Media: 8 Bit Animation

In digital media we are stepping away from coding for a bit to learn the basics of Animation. We will use the PISKEL program to create an original character that we can later use when we create a video game. We will animate our character using the frames tool and create a short looping 8bit animation.  After the character is created copy it to a new sprite and create a moving background like the example above.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

National Art and Media Art Honor Society: Mural Week

We took the VR Image above last week in National Art and Media Art Honor Society and the live view-able version is below.  This week we will be preparing for Mural Week next week when we will finish the Challenge Day mural and begin working on the Art and classroom mural.  Members will work together to come up with designs and next week we will start painting!

2018 National Art Honor Society - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Studio Art: Drawing Terms

Now that we have completed the sketchbook week implementing the new drawing terms we learned in Studio Art we will now formally go over all the terms using the Drawing Terms QUIZLET.  Make an account and add into the Studio Art 2018 class then we will use quizlet in class to review for the quiz on Friday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Film: The Screenplay

This week in class we will learn how to format and write a screenplay. The video above gives us the basic formula and we'll use the free CELTX program to create a demo screen play in class.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Digital Media: Coding Terminology & Vocabulary

In the first month of school we learned about Photoshop, green screen, coding, and augmented reality and this week we will review the new terms on coding we learned for a quiz this Friday.  We will be using the class Quizlet below to review and it can be accessed at home to study. Here's the direct link to the Coding Quizlet, make sure you study bu doing the: Learn, Match, and Test options by Thursday:

Friday, October 12, 2018

AP Art: SCAD Visit

 Today we have a representative from SCAD coming to Smithtown East to talk about their program and review AP Art portfolios.  Here's a few photos from one of my recent trips to Savannah where I took a tour of the art school while attending the educators workshop.  We have a number of students attending SCAD along with tons of alumni over the years but if you want to get a taste yourself look into their summer student programs: SCAD summer

Thursday, October 11, 2018

National Art Honor Society- Mural Week

In Art Honor Society this week we will work on our Challenge Day Project by painting the mural in the hallway as well as working on the ART and classroom murals.  We will also prepare for our upcoming fall field trip and nominate officers for the society.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

AP Art: Young Arts

October's extra credit assignment for AP Art class is to create and submit art work for the Young Arts contest. There are a number of categories and in the video above you can see some of the winning work from a previous year.  The contest comes with a $10,000 scholorshio and a number of other perks.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Film: Creating an animated GIF in Photoshop

In Film class our 3rd animation challenge is creating an animated GIF in Photoshop.  The video above shows the basics.  Create a 6-12 frame animation using different layers then open a timeline to convert them to animation frames.  Next make any adjustments then publish and share it with me along with the other 3 challenges by Friday.  Below is a more advanced animation example if you wish to take it further.

Studio Art: Sketchbook Work

This week we will begin working on our Sketchbook designs following a different prompt each day (listed below).  You can see some of my sketchbook advice and practice on the Sharing Our Notebooks Blog and we'll also look at how other students and some famous artists used their sketchbooks.  We'll be learning about the Sketchbook Project (example- The Telephone Game) as well as a few new drawing terms during this assignment.  Remember that our first quiz is next Friday on the terms, you can study on our Quizlet here: Art Class Quizlet.

  • Words/Geometric Shapes
  • Portraits
  • Asymmetrical Balance
  • Analogous Color

Studio Art: Inktober 1-5

In Studio art we are completing our Inktober 2018 prompts 1-5 today, below are a few samples I created in class and tomorrow we'll take a look at yours and critique them.

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