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, June 18, 2021

Congratulations Class of 2021!

Today's the last day of school for seniors so congratulations Class of 2021! It was a pleasure to work with you, have a great summer, and best of luck in the future!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Last Day of Class (in person)

Today is the last day of class in-person unless you are a senior so be sure to hand in any work that you might owe and take your work with you! It's been a pleasure working with you through the toughest year ever as the pandemic threw many changes our way but we made it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Positive Press for our Art Projects

Excited to share some recent positive press we have had such as the NEWSDAY article we are mentioned which came out this week on our ongoing storm drain project with Mrs. Williams science classes at HSW. The class is also featured in my article in the latest issue of NYSATA News along with some great student art from Kiersten, Alex, and Kayleigh. Thanks to NYSATA for celebrating my NAEA award as well!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Benjamin Cono competing at the US Olympic Swim Trials

Proud to have a former student, Benjamin Cono (HSE class of 2014), competing at the US Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Nebraska this week in the 100 meter & 200 meter breaststroke events! We're all rooting for him & celebrate his perseverance, watch the 100m finals tonight on NBC!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Film: Our Final Film

In Film class it has come time to make our Final Film as we have just 4 days left of class. It is a choice film so you may take on any genre and create a short film which will count as your final project. We'll discuss the options today in class!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

AP Art 2021-2022 Summer Assignments & Meeting

Today the AP Art 2021-2022 class will meet for a short review of the summer assignments and an explanation of the AP Art test in it's current form- some changes have been made in the last few years some parts like a section based on your best 5 pieces of artwork like the example shown above still remain while the other sections have evolved to emphasize the creative process and exploration. Below are the AP Art summer assignments:

AP Studio Art 2020 Summer Assignments


PART 1: Complete all 5 Assignments

1) Juxtaposition 

Artists like MC Escher, Rene Magritte, and Meret Oppenheim are known for Juxtapositions in their artwork.  A Juxtaposition is an act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. An example is to create a Juxtaposition landscape where two opposing elements come together for a purpose. In some of Escher’s landscapes you will find he takes two different environments and places them together as one.    Try to work from life as much as possible. 

 2) A Self-Portrait WITHOUT Showing Your Face

(without showing your face)- The important thing here is to reveal something about yourself without using your face. In fact, you need not use any part of your body at all in this assignment. Instead, you are challenged to portray who you are in some alternative way. What image can you create or invent that would tell us something about you - your personality, your interests, your character, your inclinations, your talents, your passions, your obsessions, your desires, your needs, your likes and dislikes, your essence?

3. Humans and the Environment

Create a work showing the contrast between humans and the environment around us. This too can be personal or social (environmental, philosophical, imagined, ect) and literal or figurative. Try to stay away from the cliché imagery and find a unique take on a very ancient theme.

4. Inspiration- Take a look at this list of artists from ART21 and choose any artist that interests you. The list includes contemporary artists who use varied media such as: Maya Lin (Vietnam Veterans Memorial) and Barbara Kruger to Anish Kapoor (Cloud Gate) and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Research the artist using the website with videos and then create a piece responding to (not copying or in their style) their work.  https://art21.org/artists/ 

5. Shanti Peace Poster-  Create a 8"x10' poster for the Shanti Peace Poster Contest, the theme is peace and you are free to use quotes from Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and/or John Lennon if you wish.  Please see the Shanti Fund website at https://www.shantifund.org/mission-index-impact .

PART 2: Choose 1 of the assignments below:

A. Create a body of work of 10 artworks based on a question in any media

Use a question to inspire 10 works of art using any media.  The question can be personal (Something you’re asking yourself) or aimed at a larger group (focusing on your family or community or a larger group such as the country) or it can be open to anyone. (such as a philosophical question like what is the point of life?) The 10 works should look like they’re from the same artist but they do not need to be in the same medium.  The artwork should be related to the AP test you plan on taking.

B. Create a body of work of 10 artworks based on a big idea

Use an idea to begin creating artworks that are related in any media. The idea should be specific enough to entice an audience and keep them interested.  As a good example, you may want to explore TED talks or the art in ART 21.  The 10 works should look like they’re from the same artist but they do not need to be in the same medium. The artwork should be related to the AP test you plan on taking.

C) Sketchbook

A sketchbook is the single most important tool for any artist.  It’s a way to explore with technique, media, style and ideas without the pain and anxiety of struggling with a large project. 

A Sketchbook is a Never Ending Journey, Not a Destination.

Assignment:  Use your 9x12 black, hardcover sketchbook that you already own.  Fold over your first clean page

and write “summer sketchbook”.  Complete AT LEAST 60 Pages in this sketchbook over the summer.(remember to number each page).

Mediums: Paint (acrylic, tempera, watercolor), marker, pencil, colored pencil, crayons, oil pastels, chalk pastels,

stamps made out of erasers or potatoes, and ink.  Use anything that will make a mark – Be Inventive! 

mat knife, box cutter or X-acto knife, scissors, wax paper, ect (digital tools are also great)

Subjects: When working try contour line, gesture line, completed value drawings with strong lights and darks.

Try a variety of different subjects that include: People- family, friends, as well as strangers (try them still),

or capture movement (at the mall, or playing sports)).

Still Life- arrangement of dishes, eggs or lemons wrapped in different textured cloth.  Pay attention to the

smoothness of the eggs against the rough quality of the towel. Do several views of the same still life.  Use

different media.  Finish at least one well rendered piece after completing several views.  Draw a pinecone,

all or part of it, or any cone, to show the repetition in the pine cone patterns and details.  Look at material

such as: a shirt over a chair, a sheet around a pillar, clothes on a line etc. Draw this with color (watercolor,

pastel) and overlay it with another medium like pencil or ink.  Draw your bicycle, the family car, children’s

toys, are all good subjects.

Landscapes- observe and record your surroundings.  Draw a composition looking out of a window in your

room using the window as a format.  Draw something from your backyard and simplify it into a contour

drawing.  Show as many details as you can with just lines.  Create a drawing that shows diminution. Create

a drawing that shows loss of clarity due to distance (sfumato).  Draw landscapes using Linear and atmospheric


Draw from your memory or imagination- Create a drawing from life in any material that has a mysterious

mood.  Create a fantasy environment.  Transform everyday objects like food into fantasy creatures. You should try to draw in your sketchbook every day.  Draw from observation/imagination. Work with a variety of drawing, painting, and design techniques.  DO NOT WORK ONLY FROM PHOTOGRAPHS!!! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Studio Art: Final Exam

 This week is our final exam (which will be paired with a final portfolio) so today we will review together in class. The test is short, only 20 questions, covering a range of things we learned this year and we will use Quizlet to study as we have in the past.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Studio Art: Completing and sharing our mini-comics

This week in Studio Art we will work on completing and sharing our mini-comics. They should be colored and photographed before physically handed in for a grade. When we are finished we will share and critique some of the different approaches students took with the comics. To start off the conversation we'll look at the work of Nathan W Pyle's Strange Planet comic series which is a personal favorite.

Friday, June 4, 2021

10 Days of School Left

Happy Friday everyone! This is a reminder that we have 10, that's right 10 days of class left so be sure to get any incomplete or late assignments in because we are almost there!!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Film: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

This week in Film class we are watching and critiquing the film Hunt for the Wilderpeople in preparation of our final narrative film project together. We will look at director Taika Waititi's take on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump. We will look at the work in context of Taika's other films as well as the symbolism of elements like wild Huia and explore the underlying themes and issues that made an impact on us watching it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Digital Media: Final Choice Project

In Digital Media we begin work on the Final Choice Project today! Last week we reviewed the research projects and explored our final project together so you should have submitted a proposal on a Google Doc for what you would like to do and what you timeline would be for doing it. Is there something you would like to explore further? Above is an example of Angelina's animation from out OKgo animated music video which turned out amazing. 

The final project should be completed by June 15 so make sure you have ample time to finish what you are setting out to do. Below are some of the possibilities but you can propose something else as well:

  • Classic Construction, Cardboard, and Upcycling
  • Film, Video & Animation
  • Web Design, Social Media & Podcasting
  • Coding, App Design & Video Game Design
  • Digital Drawing & Design 
  • 3D Design, Printing and Construction
  • Augmented & Virtual Reality

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Studio Art: Creating A Mini-Comic

This week we are drawing and designing Mini-Comics in Studio Art class.  We will learn about the basic elements of a story, the folding techniques, and the variations in the media.  Then we will brainstorm ideas and begin drawing and designing our own.  We'll learn some warm-up cartooning activities and start developing new original characters then work on the final comic which will include 8 pages including a cover with your name and a title and a back with Smithtown High School East, the year, and Mr. Needles written.

We will begin learning how to fold the paper and create the book then sketching out a simple storyboard like the student example seen above.  Once we have a storyboard in full color we'll create the final min-comic like the examples seen below.

After you comic is shaded, toned, and/or colored you should open it back up to one piece of paper and scan it.  We will be scanning these comics after they are completed to show and trade them. The cover and back should be fully toned and colored with the title and your name. Below are a few finished student comics from previous classes.
A number of former students have become comic book artists and work in the film industry creating films based on comics.  We'll take a look at a few during the process of this assignment.

Blog Archive