SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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20 OCTOBER 2018 SchoolArts Mrs. Phelps's encouragement makes students want to persist and keep trucking along with their projects and overcome obstacles. Media The requirements were simple: create a boxed figure that loosely resembles the human body and create a picture of the body for each one of those boxes. As for the media, that's a whole other story. We were required to use different types of media and drawing methods for each box, including realism, color scheme, and lines and texture. Some students expanded the project by sculpting with clay and printmaking. One stu - dent, Jack McDougall, used things we learned in past projects and incorpo - rated them in his themes and media, such as steampunk and blind contour drawing. We challenged ourselves so we were satisfied with our outcome. Art comes with mistakes, and all artists should know that. Alex Garcia, another student in the art program, says this: "Mistakes are meant to be built off of," and these words are very true. All artists should know that it is okay to mess up, and all artists have to start out somewhere. Planning with Large-Scale Drawings To start the project, we took recycled jewelry boxes and positioned them in a way that related to the shape of the human body. We traced our boxes on a huge piece of drawing paper, then filled them with different ideas for body parts and how we could make our art unique. These large-scale draw - ings showed samples of color, texture, and bulleted notes. These rough drafts became artwork on their own and ended up being completely different from the final projects. This gave them personality and uniqueness. Adding Square Forms Pushing boundaries is what an art class is for, and adding ideas to expand our knowledge is a great way to develop our minds. That's why Mrs. Phelps had us add ideas that kept the form of a square, and then include those ideas in our drawings. These themes of things in "squares" or "fours" could include the four elements, the four times of day, the four dimensions, and the four choral parts of singing. This posed a challenge for some of us and made us really think about our art, rather than tossing it off without effort. This became one of the many requirements of the project that we adapted to. While working on the project, many students decided to change their drawings and ideas midway. This created a challenge as they came up with new ways to create their art. This is why Mrs. Phelps emphasizes change and the fact that it's okay to change your ideas so you love what you have created. Project Results: Teacher Perspective The project results were assembled pieces that reflected students' personal styles and learning goals. This project surpassed my expectations. What I thought would be a two-week project meeting every day turned into a month-long project with a few short breaks for other small projects. I followed students' lead as they wanted to expand their box project ideas and experiment with materials, adding layers by developing their drawing skills. Boxed Humans acted as a final project for the semester, since it had so many elements incorporated into the learning. Teacher's Comments: This lesson is one that I will defi- nitely be using again. It kept grow- ing and students really took charge during the creative process. I shared with the class a copy of SchoolArts and told them that teachers often publish their lessons. This inspired them to say that they wanted to write their own article. I chal - lenged them to start and told them I would help. Harrison went home and got started. During class time, he involved other students by ask - ing them questions and asking them for feedback and help with editing. I took a final look at the article and added my introduction and closing before submitting it. This article was really about students taking the lead. The requirements were simple: create a boxed figure that loosel esembles the human bod nd create a picture of the bod or each one of those boxes. Ethan Wacker, grade eight.

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