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, March 26, 2021

Have A Terrific Spring Break- Stay Safe!


Today is the final day before we leave for Spring Break so make sure all your work is completed and submitted (the quarter ends 2 weeks after we return). I hope you all enjoy a safe and relaxing spring vacation, I'll see you all in April!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Studio Art: National Geographic Education's Five Ways of Looking at a Mars Lesson

Today National Geographic Education published an article on Five Ways of Looking at a Mars Lesson and it features Mr. Needles as well as the work of Studio Art's Emily Sang. Check out the article which looks at the different ways classes learn about Mars and reflects on some of the projects we've done as well as hinting at some that are in the future!

Film: Storytelling as a basis for short films

In class we've been learning some of the basics of storytelling and we looked at The Moth's Story Map which helps identify the different parts of a story: 

  1. The World As It Was... What do we need to know about you to understand this story?
  2.  And Then One Day… What happens to set the story in motion?
  3.  Raising the Stakes... What do you have to win or lose? What matters to you and why?
  4. The Moment of Change... What happens that changes how you see things?
  5. The World As It Is Now... How are you different after the events of this story? 
Today we'll be taking our stories and examining the structure based on the map and we'll look at a few examples of stories that were told an turned into short films like the example above from This American Life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Film- STEAM Power's Book Birthday

Today is the birthday of my book STEAM Power so we'll celebrate by doing a short project from the book which is one of my favorites, video poetry. It'll be an extra credit assignment if you want to complete it and submit it, I'll be sharing poems for National Poetry Month in April!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Film: Film Titles- Spiderman Into The Spider-Verse

As we learn about creating film title animation sequences we'll view a few modern classics such as this example from the recent Oscar winning film Spider Man: Into The Spider-Verse from 2018. The opening titles and closing titles are above, they won the 2019 Excellence in Title Design Award at SXSW and were designed and directed by the films creative directors Brian Mah and James Ramirez with influences from  the hand-drawn techniques of comics artist and Miles Morales co-creator Sara Pichelli as well as artists like Dondi White and Roy Lichtenstein.

Marvel has created some amazing title sequences in it's films that integrate with the plot of the film and help introduce themes, here's another great example from Guardians of the Galaxy 2Director James Gunn described the opening sequence in an early draft of the script as “the greatest title shot ever” so Framestore animation, the company who created the sequence knew they had a tough task. The sequence is all done in 1 consecutive shot so everything needed to be timed perfectly and it required more special effects than any other part of the film due to the continuous action.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Studio Art: Minimalist Film Poster Design


In Studio Art this week we will be learning about Minimalist Film Poster Design and the work of designer Saul Bass. We will then be creating our own minimal design for a favorite film digitally.

Friday, March 19, 2021

2021 Eastern Region Secondary Art Educator Award

I recently won an award from the NAEA, here's a look at the article from the The Smithtown Patch:

SMITHTOWN, NY — Tim Needles, an art teacher at Smithtown High School East, was recognized as the winner of the 2021 Eastern Region Secondary Art Educator Award by the National Art Education Association (NAEA), according to the Smithtown Central School District.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

AP Art: SCALA All County Competition

 This week we entered the SCALA All County Competition and submitted some great work from artists in AP Art and National Art Honor Society such as this drawing from Juliana which she created for her AP portfolio- best of luck to everyone, the results will be announced after spring break.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, here's a few of my favorite green paintings from art history to get us in the spirit! The self portrait above is Van Gogh and below is the Japanese Garden from Claude Monet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


The SCALA Showcase deadline is today, Tuesday March 16th so work and forms must be completed by 11:30 to be submitted. Nethmi has submitted a submission for the scholarship but we still have 4 spots available for artwork if you are interested, the information is below and the forms are on Google Classroom.

Only 6 students per high school building may be entered into the All County show.
CATEGORIES: Drawing, Painting, 3D, Photography, Mixed Media and Digital Media.
Best in Show 100.00, Each Category - $50.00,
3 Honorable Mentions – $25.00 gift cards
*Artwork will not be included in the exhibition if the artwork is not accompanied by the release form.

Only 1 senior per high school building is permitted to enter
This portion of the show is open to SENIORS who will be attending a collegiate art program in the Fall of 2021. Students are required to submit 3 pieces of artwork along with a typed written essay.
The theme for the essay is “What inspires you as an artist?” The essay must be typed
First place $750, Second place $500.00, Third place $250.00
*Artwork will not be included in the exhibition if the artwork is not accompanied by the release form.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Youth Art Month- NAEA Daily Prompts

As part of this year's Youth Art Month celebration the National Art Educators Association has shared a list of daily prompts for social media with the hashtags #NAEA and #YAM so this week we'll be joining in and posting on Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, March 12, 2021

AP Art: 2021 Global Goals Project

This week we completed our collaborative 2021 Global Goals Project on SDG Goal 17, the Partnership for the Goals and the final video can be viewed above on my YouTube page. It was great seeing everyone work together at home and in school, I loved the animations all of you put together! I shared the project with our global collaborators around the world so today we will view some of their projects and leave comments for them.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Studio Art: Album Cover Design

This week we are working on creating an original album cover design. We'll learn about visual identity, branding, and review some of the principals of design we learned about earlier in the year. Each student will choose an album or single music cover of your interest and recreate the cover art. Redesign an album cover of your choice using tools such as: brush ninja, adobe spark, sumo paint, tradition pencils and paper or any other medium you see fit.

The final design must be 1:1 ratio (square) and the album cover must include album title or single title and artist name. Use the elements of color, shape and line, and the principle of unity that we discussed earlier in the year to create your design. You can use what colors and imagery that you think of when you listen to the music.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Rube Goldberg Day

It's Rube Goldberg Day! Today we will finish assembling our Rube Goldberg machine then test it, film it and film it again and hope it works well repeatedly.

Monday, March 8, 2021

National Art Educators Association 2021 Annual Conference

The National Art Educators Association Annual Conference just concluded and I had the opportunity to present a few sessions to share some of the great work we have done together. One of the best parts of presenting to art educators is the amazing art that comes from it and I wanted to share this sketch drawn during my STEAM Power session on Saturday at #NAEA21 by artist and educator Simon Rios aka @stirfrywillie on Instagram, love it!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Google For Doodle Day

Today is the last day to submit your Google For Doodle design for the contest, all entries are due by 8pm Pacific tonight in order to be counted so don't forget to submit online! The example above is a terrific design from Victoria in our Studio Art class which illustrates this year's theme ""I am strong because..."

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Studio Art: Youth Art Month

March is Youth Art Month (YAM) so we will celebrate by creating a sharable work of art for YAM with this year's theme which is "Art Connects Us". Above is a great example from Sarah in Studio Art, we'll be collecting all the images to share out this month on social media.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Film: Sherlock Pilot- A Study In Pink

Today we will watch the aired 90 minute pilot of BBC's Sherlock which is titled A Study in Pink. The episode was written by co-creator Steven Moffat and is a re-vamp of the unaired pilot which was 60 minutes long along with many other small changes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards 2021 Articles

Six student-artists from Smithtown High School East and Smithtown High School West have received awards in the annual Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards and I so proud that 2/3 of the students were from my classes. The school recently released the news to the press and Angelina, Alexandra, Kiersten, and Nethmi are featured in articles on the school's website and the Smithtown Patch.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Digital Media: 2021 Rube Goldberg Machine

This week we are working on designing elements for our 2021 Rube Goldberg Machine for this year's contest which requires us to shake and pour a box of nerds and today we'll look closer at Joseph's Machines YouTube page as inspiration because his machines are some of my favorites! 

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