SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2010

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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High School Studio Lesson The PoWer of the Print Jeff Tam T Prints can remind us of things we he print has a long-standing are uncomfortable with or simply give tradition of carrying a politius hope. Remember all those Obama cal message. This can be posters? "Change You Can Believe seen in the works of artists In," or "Yes We Can." Who can deny from the German Expressionists, their power or influlike Käthe Kollwitz ence? and Emil Nolde, to Prints can remind Mexican printmakers us of things we are like José Posada and uncomfortable with or Motivation The first thing I do Leopoldo Mendez. simply give us hope. is to show students Whether it was during examples of work the Mexican Revolufrom my collection of prints, bumper tion of 1910, the War in Iraq, or the stickers, and political posters. While 2008 presidential election, prints pop talking about the art, I share a little up everywhere throughout history. about print history and its roots with social issues. 38 August/September 2010 SchoolArts finding a Cause The next step is to help students realize what they are passionate about. What upsets them the most about the world? What changes are needed? In summary, they need to find a cause. Once this is established, the artmaking begins. Putting It on the Block First, I will assume you know how to print a one-color linocut or woodblock. I like my students to use a softcut block that can be found in any art store. I like it because it seems easier to carve than wood or linoleum. Working with this surface cuts down on accidents and increases safety, considering we will be using carving knives. Normally, I have students do several sketches on paper. Once a design is finalized, I have students color the backside of their drawings with charcoal or conté crayon (coloring with pressure to ensure a rich covering). Then students turn the paper over, tape it on the block, and trace the image with a pen or pencil. The image is now visible on the block and is ready to be cut. Remember, any words need to be written and traced backwards. Another approach to the image is to just freehand draw it on the block with a pencil and then trace it with a fine-tip permanent marker. Either way, students hand-print with water-based ink on drawing paper. Students usually respond with surprising images that explore the power of the print. Hopefully, they will view printmaking as a method of participating proactively in our culture. Jeff Tam is a visual arts teacher at St. Andrew's Priory School in Honolulu, Hawaii. jtam@priory.net NatioNal StaNdard Students evaluate and defend the validity of sources for content and the manner in which subject matter, symbols, and images are used in the students' works and in significant works by others. Web liNk www.interviewmagazine.com/art/ shepard-fairey

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