Friday, April 23, 2010

Farewell, Earth Day, Special Visitors, and the Art of Donna Sakamoto Crispin

The past week was significant for a number of reasons. First, we said farewell to a couple of great kids, and fantastic artists: Avalon and River
They're moving to North Carolina, and we will miss them dearly. They've promised to stay in touch, though, so hopefully I'll be able to update their travels and adventures in the future.
We all celebrated Earth Day this past week, which fell on a Thursday. Hence, all of the photos from this post are "Thursday" photos, which I took in Evergreen. To honor our beautiful planet, students created Earth Day posters . . .
Each young artist worked very hard to depict a scene that depicted the significance of this 40th annual celebration . . .
. . . students also made ATCs to share . . . 
. . . and bookmarks, too! What made this day even more special is that Thursday also happened to be 
so we got a chance to meet (and make art with!) 
Talia and Jake!
Jake came to HSC with his mom, Miss Jen, and
Talia came with her mom, Miss Elona.

What's more is that Thursday afternoon, we all enjoyed the HSC Science Fair!
The theme, or goal, for this year's science fair was to make something that either:
1. Makes our lives easier, or
2. Helps our environment
Let me tell you: There were some AMAZING entries! 

In Explorations in Art, we discussed the portraits and self-portraits of Vincent van Gogh and Frida Kahlo. Students successfully identified van Gogh's early works as being strikingly different from his later ones, and critiqued the variety of Kahlo's self-portraits. Afterward, students created portraits that either used Impressionist colors, or depicted a Surreal image . . .
. . . Check out these very expressive eyes!
And finally, our featured artist of the week:
Lotus teapot made of red cedar bark, NW sedge, 
sweetgrass, curly filbert  branch by Donna Sakamoto Crispin

Donna is a fiber artist, who lives and works in Eugene, Oregon.

Copper Cascade made of sheet 
metal copper, copper wire by Donna Sakamoto Crispin
She often gathers her own weaving materials . . . 

Bird Transformation, made of face bead, 
assorted threads, beads by Donna Sakamoto Crispin
And uses her skill as a basket maker and fiber artist to create a variety of art. 

tiny coiled wire basket with turquoise button 
by Donna Sakamoto Crispin

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Art, Lookout Mountain, and the Work of Erica Smith

Before we look at photos from last week’s classes, I’d like to take moment to remind students of a few things. First, there are only 6 more weeks of school, which means that any “works-in-progress” will need to be completed before we break for summer. Second, we will have only 2 more “wet clay” classes in ceramics. The reason for this is that our works will need time to become “bone dry” before they are bisque fired. After the initial firing, some wares will need to be glazed and returned to Woodrow for an additional firing. Also, a number of works will be painted (with acrylics) during class once we run out of “wet clay” time. Finally, because our last official day of class is also the last day of the semester, students in each class will be assisting with the Art Show setup! This means that there are really only 5 weeks of actual art making!
Students in Fiber Arts have been working on a variety of projects. Tuesday students have been working on a “student choice” project. Some are making bookmarks, some are working on slightly larger weavings, and a few are making friendship bracelets. Photos will be published here when the works are done, but in the meantime one artist, Natalie (an experienced bracelet maker!), finished her friendship bracelet in record time.
Portrait students (Tues) spent the class time exercising their eye muscles by doing “blind contour line” drawings of fellow classmates. By looking ONLY at their subject (not at the paper!), students concentrated on shape, silhouette, position, etc.
Thursday Drawing and Printmaking students continued work with oil pastels. Clearly, the theme of the day was Rainbows! Aren’t these beautiful?
 We had a short day on Thursday, because Evergreen students enjoyed a field trip to Lookout Mountain. We learned all about native flora and fauna, took photos, hiked, and enjoyed one of the most beautiful days we’ve seen in a very long time! The 1st - 3rd grade students took turns using 4 very nice digital cameras (compliments of our tour guide, Jim), and shot some incredible photos!
  It Looks Deep, Self-Portrait by Erica Smith
Which inspires the featured artist for this week, 
Great-Grandma Laughing, by Erica Smith
Erica is a photographer who grew up in Washington DC, but now lives in Denver, CO.
Stanley Mines, by Erica Smith
Erica always strives to find a unique angle when shooting a photo. She likes to give the viewer an "unexpected" image.
Four Flies on the Window Sill, by Erica Smith
Erica considers no subject to be insignificant (as above).
Four Generations, by Erica Smith
And when shooting a portrait, or self-portrait, she endeavors to make the finished photo a work of art.
Classic, by Erica Smith
Erica's formal eduction in photography focused on traditional darkroom work. She doesn't use a digital camera . . . 
Down the Stairs, Self-Portrait by Erica Smith
. . . and prides herself on using the camera to "crop" the image, rather than a computer.
Giraffa Camelopardalis, by Erica Smith

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Winding Down, and the Work of Roxanne Swentzell

Welcome back from spring break everyone! There are only 7 more weeks left in this semester, and so we'll spend the remainder of our class days finishing works in progress, and creating projects that can be started and finished in a relatively short span of time. 
This past week, River (Evergreen) finished a piece that he's been working on for the past several weeks (above). The artwork is a mixed media piece, watercolor and marker on watercolor paper, and is titled Graffiti. River created the "graffiti" image from the letters in his name. If you look closely, you'll find them. 
Great work, River!
Ceramics I student works were recently glaze fired, and were returned this past week. These are just a few photos of the works that were returned to our class following the firing. There is, clearly, some very nice sgraffito work here! What amazing artists!
Thanks to all the students who chose to do the spring break web challenges! The following artists did ALL THREE challenges, and each added 3 more ATCs to their collection:
Ivy, Parker, Tavia, Hunter, Morgan, and John-Luc! 
Great work, everyone!
The previous challenge was to learn about "altered book" art, and to find an artist's work which appealed to the student. Several students stepped up to the challenge. They are . . .
. . . Joel, Dillon, Keith, Delaney, Morgan, Hunter, John-Luc, Tavia, Parker, and Ivy! Again, fantastic work everyone! If you get the chance to see any of these jewels in person (altered books), be sure to take advantage of the opportunity. Pictures rarely do them justice :)
Tribal Mask by Roxanne Swentzell 
I have some personal commitments that will occupy much of my time in the coming weeks, so rather than offer up new web challenges, I will feature works from artists that I often mention in class, but whose work you may not be familiar with. This week, I'm sharing the work of one of my very favorite contemporary artists, Roxanne Swentzell, who is a well known ceramic artist from the Santa Clara pueblo in New Mexico.
Steps Through Time by Roxanne Swentzell.
Roxanne has a beautiful gallery--The Tower Gallery--that is filled with her work. You can visit her gallery, which is located less than 1/2 hour north of Santa Fe, NM, in the pueblo of Pojoaque. It's well worth the trip, and is free to the public.
Babies at Indian Market by Roxanne Swentzell
Please note that, while there won't be any further web challenges this semester, I will continue to post photos of the work we're doing in class, along with each week's featured artist, so be sure to check back here each week! Also, over the next few weeks, I will count up the total number of challenges done by each student, and anyone who has done 5 or more is eligible for an ART PRIZE!
Good luck, Everyone!