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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didn't have any other supplies," and "It was their culture." After that, we looked at a number of prints of assemblages by Louise Nevelson, then decided that we could craft an art- work in her style. Collecting Objects All of my K–5 classes participated. We brainstormed objects and materi - als to recycle for our assemblage. Sug- gestions included unused or broken toys, empty watercolor trays, milk cartons, old crayons, and pencils. I was impressed by the variety of ideas presented. As items started to arrive, energy and buzz about the project grew. A mangled Barbie doll, a mini soccer ball, a broken lamp, and a nutcracker ornament elicited oohs and aahs. Soon, bags of items started coming in—even teachers wanted to partici- pate. Some of the items were too big, too heavy, or just wouldn't work for different reasons. We saved those pieces in a separate storage box for future projects. Assemblage The items were hot-glued in place with suggestions from students about arrangement. As one box was com- pleted, we started another. Students filled the six boxes to capacity in about two weeks. When everything was glued in place, we looked at Nevelson's assem- blages again. We discussed the colors she used (white, gold, and black), and how they matched the titles. Why is Dawn's Wedding Chapel painted white? And why is Royal Tide painted gold? Did the title or the color come first? Students agreed that our assem- blage should be silver. I spray-painted a layer of gesso first on the front and sides, followed by two light coats of silver spray-paint. The six sections of the finished proj- ect were quite heavy, so I glued the entire piece to a sturdy piece of mat board for stability. Our finished assemblages received oodles of attention and compliments. While the piece was on display, stu- dents loved showing each other what they had brought in. Our assemblage was a success! Donna Staten is an art teacher in Round Rock Independent School District in Round Rock, Texas. donna_ staten@ 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 SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 35 We brainstormed objects to rec cle for our assemblage. Suggestions included unused or broken to s, empt ater- color tra s, milk cartons, old cra ons, and pencils.

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