SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

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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Chase, grade six. Sage, grade seven. It took one class for the studentdirected photo shoot. Students ended up with eight to fifteen 4 x 6" (10 x 15 cm) photographs of themselves. Later, these would be arranged and combined to illustrate students' personal visions. Finding inspiration I suggested that students quietly discuss daydreaming at their respective tables. I put huge stacks of magazines on each table and instructed them to find images that might inspire a daydream or images that appealed to them. We discussed compositional elements and layering of images. I asked them to be mindful about collecting larger images that could act as a nice background for the medium and smaller images. Creating a Daydream Once images were gathered and faces assembled, it was time for lessons in artistry and the power of image pairing. Larger background images provided a setting for other images to overlap. Cut-out images that would be layered on the background needed to be carefully trimmed right up to Some were playful and zany, while the edges. Students also spent time others were more reflective and seripairing different images, and we disous. When the completed works were cussed the influence that pairing had displayed, even the student body was on meaning. Yes, this was a daydream engaged in ways I haven't seen before. and surreal in This project nature, but it allowed success What if students could make was still telling for all students their daydreams available a story, so placeregardless of for all to see? What if we ment of images skill. By emphagave students permission to sizing process, was important. daydream—and celebrated it? all options for After the portraits and magapersonal expreszine images were trimmed and ready sion were accommodated, even the to be assembled, students spent sevwildest dreams. My students proved eral classes playing with their images that there is no wrong way to dayto create meaningful and pleasing dream. compositions. After these decisions Amy Ruopp is an art teacher at Woodland were made, students glued their School in Traverse City, Missouri. pieces in place. I then introduced the addition of text. Students used their images to inspire nonsensical verbal NaTioNal STaNdard strings of words that wove their way Students intentionally take advantage through their compositions. of the qualities and characteristics of There's No Wrong Way to Dream As students saw the pieces of their compositions coming together, they became more excited and more daring. Each daydream became unique. art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas. Web liNk 35

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