SchoolArts Magazine

April 2016

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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Left to right: Ashley Grimm and Cortney Rippberger, grade twelve; Taylor Pry, grade twelve; Gianna Focht, Katelynn Kinsman, and Ashley Prell, grade eleven. 20 APRIL 2016 SchoolArts Alexa Meade Alexa Meade is a contemporary American artist who was born in 1986. She paints on the human body and surrounding objects in such a way that it looks like a painting on canvas. She then photographs her subjects. At first glance, viewers are not sure if they are looking at a painting or a photograph. Meade fools the eye in a similar way to the optical illusion art technique known as trompe l'oeil. Look more closely at Meade's work and you realize that the subject mat- ter is real. It's mind-blowing! My student-teacher's lesson went so well that I just had to incorporate it into my curriculum. I talked to stu - dents about the rule of thirds, composi- tion, and white balance when taking photos. We also discussed and reviewed the elements of art: line, color, shape, value, texture, form, and space. I shared a slideshow presentation on the lesson, along with a few videos about Alexa Meade. I also encouraged stu - dents to do research on their own. Making Choices Students were allowed to work indi- vidually or in groups of four. They could also decide if they wanted to use a monochromatic or multicolor palette for their subject matter. They also had to determine if they were going to paint an inanimate object, a human, or both. Once all of the plan- ning was out of the way, students could start to paint. Body Painting Students painted clothing and a few objects before painting on skin. It was best to do this in one class period so that the paint dried in time for the photo shoot, although some Alexa Meade paints on the human bod and surrounding objects in such a wa hat it looks like a painting on canvas.

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