Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome Back to School!

Summer passed very quickly! I'd like to welcome back all my former students, and extend a hello to new students--both in Westminster and in Evergreen. We're going to have a lot of fun in art class this year.

This virtual classroom will be an extension of our "real" one. Please feel free to ask questions and make comments. To get us started, I've posted some project samples from a couple of last year's classes: Cultures of the World, and Explorations in Art.

One of the cultures we studied in 2008-2009 was Mexico. We learned about the ancient Aztecs, and recreated colorful masks; we created very authentic looking God's Eye weavings; and we learned about the importance and prevalence of the Ex Voto in Mexican culture. An Ex Voto is a "thanks" painting, and each student created an Ex Voto to represent something that they were personally thankful for.
Ex Voto: Miss Frida, Crayon and Sharpie Marker, 12" x 9"
In Explorations in Art, we talked about both contemporary artists, and artists from recent and ancient history. One of the projects we did, in Explorations, was a contemporary version of the pre-history Faiyum mummies. The originals included portraits, done in encaustic, and tombs that were elaboratly decorated with pigments and gold leaf. 

Our "portraits" were cut from magazines.  And, just like many archaeological sites, our mummies were complete with "grave goods," also cut from magazines. When these were completed, each student shared their work with the class by introducing their mummy (each had a name!), and explaining the significance of the grave goods.
The Mummy of Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel, front (above) and back (below).
Cardboard, tissue paper, magazine cut outs, newspaper, glue

This was, perhaps, the most interesting and funny project we did in Explorations. The students came up with very inventive names, and highly detailed stories to explain the "grave goods." No doubt, the laughter coming from our room traveled all over school!

To get the kids started, I introduced them to Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel, and explained her story . . .

This is the mummy of Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel. Among her grave goods, archaeologists found the following: 

Her favorite chair, where she would spend hours and hours; either reading, or gazing out the window to check for changing weather patterns.
 Her little dog, Fruit Loop, who was a constant and loyal companion.
 Her favorite meal of all time: sushi. Especially the  California and avocado rolls.
A cameo brooch; her most sentimental possession, which had been handed down through the generations. It originally belonged to her great-great-great-great Grandmother, Beulah Pumpernickel.
Chocolate chip cookies, because she always felt that a meal wasn't complete unless it was followed by dessert.
Her Mini Cooper, which she nicknamed "Zoom." She had saved for years and years, and purchased it only a week (to the day!) before her sad and untimely demise.
Her favorite boot.  She only had one leg, but that didn't slow her down. Every other Saturday night she went out "one stepping" with her friends. Actually, her friends only knew how to do the "two step," but that's beside the point.

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