SchoolArts Magazine

March 2015

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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40 March 2015 SchoolArts Early Childhood Studio Lesson Taking Photographs The first thing we set out to do was take some dramatic pictures. In the- ater class, each student learned how to make a dramatic entry onto the stage by saying his or her name and mak- ing body movements. I decided to take this further by combining their visual dramatic presence with the visual branding of the letters of their name. Creating Backgrounds Next, I called art instructor, Maria Teresa Cardenas to assist students in creating backgrounds for their art- work. For the backgrounds, students were asked to think of something they liked that had been around for a long time and would probably be around in the future. We wanted the class to understand that, although the world is always changing and moving forward, some things are more consistent and change more slowly. Many students seem to move at the pace of the culture around them, always ready to absorb the next thing and keep moving. Merging Past and Present My observations inspired me to develop an art project that merged the pop culture and consumerism of the past with today's social media culture. I began by asking students to cre- ate a list of their favorite things and what they "like." I shared examples of art from the 1950s and 1960s that showed elements of popular culture and consumerism of the time, including the work of Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Robert Rauschenberg. I followed up by asking students how they could create an art- work that would represent their own imaginary social media pages. S ometimes, as I'm driving around Los Angeles, I try to imagine what the world must feel like to my first graders. I remember how frantic and over- whelming advertising seemed when I was a child, but today's world seems even more kinetic and fast-paced. Today, the process of branding has passed from profes - sional designers to social media, where everyone can cre - ate lists of their favorites, publicly approve or disap - prove of anything, and assemble their own persona to be viewed through Twitter, Facebook, and countless other Internet resources. My young students definitely know their way around this world, and they like taking pictures of things almost as much as they like drawing and coloring. Their minds ART WISE, As students searched, they began to understand more about what they wanted to stand for as individuals. John Purcell LIKE WISE Dahlia Ibarra, grade one. Angel Gomez, grade one.

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