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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Questions? Tweet us @DavisPub, send a Facebook message to @DavisPublications, or send us an email to cmckinstr @davisart.com. YOU'RE INVITED TO CREATE! Take part in our monthl rt prompts an our work could be featured in SchoolArts magazine, the Davis Advocac lanner, or on the Davis website and social media channels. Joining the fun is eas : P ick a prompt b visiting DavisArt.com/ArtActs or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn the new prompt each month. C hoose the media ou'd like to use—an rt for ou like. C reate something awesome tied to the monthl heme. S ubmit your art using the form on DavisArt.com/ArtActs. We'll feature submissions throughout the month on social media and throughout th ear in the magazine and planner. ART A TS sance religious texts merged with the more modern influence of Frank Stella and now became some - thing new. Stella's con- trolled circular geometry had become vibrant and humanized in the buoyancy and playfulness of students' personali - ties. The decorative abstractness of Stella's work had merged with the human in the expression and emotion of each student's unique self-portrait collage. It now looked anything but abstract. "Hey, maybe somebody will look at our art and get new ideas from it to do a new thing too," one child said after viewing his artwork in the gal - lery. Anything is possible. John Purcell is a first-grade teacher at 32nd Street USC Magnet School in Los Angeles, California. drjohnpurcell@yahoo.com N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K www.theartstory.org/artist-stella-frank.htm O ne day I brought in a box of old books that were going to be thrown away by the library. One curious student picked up a book of Hiberno-Saxon art that featured pictures of the interlacing decoration from such great works as the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. As E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D IN THE ZONE OF CREATION John Purcell he looked at the book, I could tell he was fascinated by the intricate design and detailed artisanship of the works. When he finally put the book down, several other students wanted to look at it, as did I. I remembered seeing several of those works when I traveled to Ire- land and England. Yet, looking at them again in the book, they became a springboard for inspiration. Inspiration from Frank Stella I recalled a lecture in my college years about how American artist Frank Stella had been inspired by the same interlacing decoration. Yet, Stella did not let it sit on a page in a book where Cristina Valdez. a magnifying glass is almost needed to see the complexities of its design. Instead, he blew it up into brightly colored paintings that cover large spans of wall space. These paintings became known as the Protractor series because of the constant presence of the angular measuring device. Ideas started to form for an art proj- ect with the class. I showed students the Hiberno-Saxon artworks and then showed them how Stella was inspired by those to make his Protractor works. I then asked the class how we could be inspired by both artworks to cre- ate something new. Students liked the sharp curvilinear shapes and colors Stella used but thought there should be pictures inside them. They liked the idea of having the shapes frame photos of themselves like a decorative collage. Combining Ideas In addition to Stella's circle and half- circle shapes, some students wanted to use shapes that we were studying in math, such as the triangle and square. Other students liked the gold, silver, and metallic colors in some of Hiberno-Saxon art, while others preferred the almost Day-Glo colors of the Stella works. Several students wanted to combine both types of col- ors to see what would happen. Photos, Colors, and Shapes I took ten photos of each student in various poses to get a sense of their personalities. Then I called Maria Teresa Cardenas, a Los Angeles art teacher who I frequently collabo- rate with, to assist with the project. She helped students pick colors and shapes that they wanted to use. We tried to keep the shapes basic like the ones we were studying in math, but students still needed help making and cutting the cir- cles and sharp straight angles. Trial and Error Students looked at examples of the Hiberno-Saxon art and Stella's paint- ings to get an idea of what they wanted their artwork to look like. This took a lot of trial and error as students played with shapes, cut pictures of themselves, and moved their ideas and images around before gluing them. We knew that if we just let students start gluing without playing around with the composition, that the gluing would end up hampering the artistic process because things would tear and come apart if they wanted to make changes. It was difficult for some because they wanted to include too much in their work. We tried to get students to learn how to make changes and let go of some ideas that didn't seem to work. It was through this process of playing with their photos and shapes that students really started to get into a zone of creating that, at times, resembled the long attention span many would experience when playing and building with toys. They also took inspiration from each other by gazing at each other's work. Shaping the Canvas Once students glued down their com- positions, they cut out the composition based on what form it made because we wanted to keep Stella's influence of the "shaped canvas" in the artworks. Maria assisted some of the students with the cutting of the canvas and then showed them how to apply a water- based sealant over the finished work. It looked as if Stella's controlled circular geometr had become vibrant and humanized in the buo anc and pla fulness of students' personalities. CONTINUED ON XX. Anthony Hernandez. 38 OCTOBER 2018 SchoolArts SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 39 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39. 50 OCTOBER 2018 SchoolArts

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