SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2008

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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Page 37 of 63

High School Studio Lesson Funding art Lori Stevens Y ou may know this story: decades of teaching, hours and hours of car washes, bake sales, raffles, collecting now-forbidden shop fees, writing letters begging for donations, scrounging, recycling, and wondering what your job title really is. For me, the animal astonishingly revealed itself after way too much work. The definition of "The Work of Art:" make art, display art, make a living in the arts—sell! It can be done, even at the high-school level. And, in all ways, students reap the rewards. Orland is a small agricultural town in Northern California. The community has been deluged with fundraisers and requests for money. Our budget has been fine, but not generous. I knew there must be a way to self-fund. I took a closer look at what made some of our community artists successful, and I looked at what the public bought. My challenge was to put together a project that would sell. I traveled to local studios, talked to thriving artists, and got their views on the local market. Painting for Sale The first project of the quarter was entitled A Painting for Sale. The project was primarily inspired by Joseph M.W. Turner and by local Chico artists Cynthia Schildhauer, Ann Pierce, and Caitlin Schwerin, who helped with materials, colors, and design ideas. We studied and discussed these artists, and analyzed why they were pleasing and likely to sell. Students next picked a word from a hat—knot, garlic, fish, paper airplane, faucet, etc.—and began by creating a half-dozen thumbnails incorporating that image into their compositions. 36 December 2008 SchoolArts Vanessa McGuire We reviewed design principles and long to complete. Once dry, students color schemes and Schwerin's and painted their backgrounds using Turner's work, focusing on design, small rags, fingers, and chopped-up color, texture, pieces of cardboard. value, and gesso No one was permitWe were all amazed, and paint applicapleased, and fortified in ted to paint their tion. subject until we our efforts to support our were all satisfied Once the program and show the that the background thumbnails were value of student work. approved, students itself could be conput gesso on scrap sidered a "finished" plywood. The application of the gesso piece of work. Seldom have I seen was as important as the completed students work so diligently on their painting, so this step took almost as negative space. Students painted their

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