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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48 March 2015 SchoolArts and interests. Your carefully consid- ered room alterations will support the growth that you and your students will experience. Julie Toole is a National Board Certified Choice-Based art teacher. She teaches 1st– 8th grade in an independent school in Wilmette, Illinois, and is a member of the Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) leadership team. choosingchoice. Katherine Douglas is co-author, with Diane Jaquith, of Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom (Teachers College Press, 2009). W E B L I N K Continued from page 14. P O I N T O F V I E W The Choice Studio 14 April 2015 SchoolArts Continued on page 48. C hoice studio practice holds that students are artists and the artroom is their studio. There is a shift from teacher- chosen projects, media, or themes, to a learner-directed classroom where stu- dents are given voice and choice over what they create. Students are respon- sible for developing their own ideas, subject matter, materials, and tech- niques; setting up their workspace; and working to completion. There is a strong emphasis on personal reflec- tion, and artist statements and critique are important elements of the studio community. Supporting Independent Work Supporting this pedagogy requires a redesign of the physical space to sup- port independent work. In a choice studio: • space supports the use multiple media at one time. • visual resources are available throughout the space. • you do not need enough of anything for the entire class to use at once. • traffic patterns are important, as students move from one center to another. • students choose where to work and whether to stand or sit. • centers begin with "entry level" materials needing little direction. More complex tools, materials, and techniques are introduced as stu- dents are ready. Rearranging Your Space So, how can you prepare your artroom for student choice? First, rethink the general arrangement of your space. The room will be set up into centers organized by media. Consider which centers you will have and what are the needs of that center. A painting and printmaking center should be near a water source, a fiber center may need to be near outlets for a sewing machine, and a 3-D center should have ample storage for works in progress. Inventory your furniture. You may need less table space and fewer seats since students work standing, on the floor, or in close proximity on a col- laborative project. Getting rid of extra furniture will open up your room for student movement and more supplies. Many choice studios forgo a teacher's desk to create more space and instead establish a rug or meeting area for mini-lessons and critique. Consider the wall space near each center; you will be displaying resources, menus of technique, and exemplars from students and art history to inspire and support student independence. Once the general layout is designed, inventory your supplies. Lib- erate those materials in your closets and cabinets. Remember, this is the students' studio and they should have access to supplies and tools. Because they are choosing where they work, you only need a few of each item— the rest can stay in storage. Find containers and systems to orga- nize supplies and label everything. Create and teach organization that supports autonomy and independence during set-up and clean-up so you can focus on working with students rather than answering questions about where the glue sticks are! Don't underestimate the impor- tance of storage. Students may work on their art over time, so you need to create secure spaces and systems to Julie Toole and Katherine Douglas There is a shift from teacher- chosen projects, media, or themes, to a learner-directed classroom where students are given voice and choice over what they create. • Use layering techniques and collage skills to create detail in a colla- graphic plate. • Ink a finished plate and pull a series of inked prints from it. • C ombine prints to create one large mural with building imagery. • A ssess their work and the work of others. Materials • 9 x 1 2" (23 x 30 cm) oak tag or bristol board (1 sheet per student) • w ater-soluble printing ink in a vari- ety of colors • 2 0 x 13' (6 x 4 m) of primed canvas • a crylic paint • 4" (10 cm) soft rubber brayers • p aintbrushes • f ound objects for stamping • s cissors • Styrofoam trays or other surfaces for mixing and rolling inks • ne wspaper and newsprint • plastic tablecloths • pen cils • 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm) sketch paper • hole punches • w hite glue • sm ocks or old t-shirts • gel medium • c lipboards • b aby wipes • p rinting paper Agnieszka Chalas is an art educator at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K collagraph Continued from page 37. 26 March 2015 SchoolArts 27 process: a clean paper table where the printing will take place, and an inking table with the ink trays and one brayer per ink color. Procedures Students began by creating a back- ground for the mural. They divided a canvas along a horizon line and used a combination of splatter painting and stamping techniques to render the earth and sky. I next introduced stu- dents to artists who use buildings as the subject of their artwork and took them on a neighborhood walk to look at and sketch buildings from direct observation. Back in the classroom, we viewed and discussed collagraphs in the work of artists such as Henry Moore, Karl Kasten, Pablo Picasso, Elementary Studio Lesson Steve Lavigne under my direction, our collaborative neighborhood mural features collagraph prints by students enrolled in our March Break program. Preparation Two tables were set up for the printing A collagraph is a print of a surface made from built-up layers of paper, similar to a collage. Collagraphy is often new to students and yields impressive results. Facilitated by artist-educator the Neighborhood Agnieszka Chalas PRINTING Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Romare Bearden, and Nick Cave. Making Collagraphic Plates Following a hands-on demonstra- tion of the process, students worked directly from their sketches to create individual collagraphic plates, first drawing their main building shapes on oak tag and then adding other architectural features and details. After cutting out all their shapes, stu- dents experimented with arranging them, from largest to smallest, before gluing them together, making sure that all edges were glued flat. I encour- aged them to evaluate their work as they went along and to build up the layers of oak tag and take away from them with hole-punchers until they were satisfied their plates were com- plete. When the building plate was finished, each student made another plate of either a plant or animal to contribute to the neighborhood mural. The Printing Process When students were ready to create their prints, they started the process at the "wet" table and moved on to the "dry" table. Wet Table • Place the plate face up on a piece of newspaper on the table. • Lay out lines of ink at the top of a Styrofoam tray. • Pick up some of the ink with a brayer and roll it back and forth in the center of the tray until it is evenly spread and makes a sticky sound. • Roll the brayer evenly over the plate to ink it. Dry Table • Place the plate, inked side down, over the face-up printing paper, reg- istering it as you lay it down. • Cover it with newsprint to keep the back of the plate clean. • Rub the entire covered plate with hands and fingers or roll a clean brayer over it. • Pick up a corner of the paper and peel it back slowly while checking for even ink coverage. • Place the pulled print on a drying rack. Students made multiple editions, practicing getting the ink just right and experimenting with different ink/ paper color combinations. Once the prints were dry, students cut out their prints, picking the best in their edi- tions. As a group, they decided on the placement of each print on the canvas mural before gluing them in place. We held a critique upon comple- tion of the project, allowing students the opportunity to share and discuss their work and reflect back on the art- making process. Students examined each other's prints and the mural as a whole, and were encouraged to use vocabulary related to the printmak- ing process to respond to their work and the work of their peers. Finally, students' achievements were cel- ebrated with an exhibition to which family and community members were invited. Objectives Students will: • Draw from direct observation and discuss what they notice about their community. • Work from sketches and photo- graphs to plan a composition from Collagraphy is often new to students and yields impressive results. Continued on page 57.

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