This year, a major goal for our 6th Grade Artists is to learn the importance of building ideas on a solid foundation. This can be interpreted symbolically–they need to brainstorm, research, and connect with their personal experience before making work that is rich and meaningful. It can also be interpreted literally, as in they will learn how to build their ideas on sketches and preliminary plans to solve problems and thoroughly flesh-out their ideas. Aiming to build more skills with drawing and sketching throughout the year, each Sixth Grader has their own sketchbook, and we begin each session with brief exercise to build foundational drawing skills. Recently, we practiced contour line and thumbnail sketching with basic shapes. For our first drawing project, students made drawings from a still-life, focusing on identifying basic shapes, arranging objects on their page with intention, proportion, and lightly building the structure of forms before adding details. Here are some pictures of their works in progress!
5th grade artists jumped right in with materials on their first day of school, as they worked with partners to create expressive, symbolic plaster cast masks. After recovering from the initial shock of having vaseline and plaster applied to their faces, each artist used paint, collage, folded paper, feathers, and beads to bring their masks to life. They designed features that represented their own unique strengths they bring to SGS as well as the qualities they hope to develop moving forward. Finally, we all celebrated their perseverance, courage, and creativity with a mini-showcase for families at the end of the project. Congratulations, 5th grade!
2016-17 will be a year of experimentation, playfulness, skill building, and problem solving. Students will get their hands messy, take their ideas to the next level, and build foundational art skills as they learn about mixed media, sculpture, digital art, photography, activist art, and beyond. They will learn the ancient art form of encaustic (beeswax) painting, express their inner and outer selves through an assemblage project, celebrate themselves and their community through photography and Photoshop, and practice using art to communicate, raise awareness, and inspire social change. I look forward to a joyful year of creativity!