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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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 37 Back in the Artroom I was eager to include in my teaching the fresh ideas I had learned in the workshop, and I knew my students loved learning and experimenting with new techniques, so I shared Wagner's techniques with them. Afterwards, I gave each student a sheet of Manila paper and asked them to create a free-form drawing of loops, curls, edges, and lines. Scribbles wouldn't work; they needed to draw lines that were flowing, like a whim- sical, moving path on paper. Next, they placed old magazines under their paper and used craft knives to cut out the shapes they drew. Students cut out the entire free- form drawing, creating an interesting border for the cutouts. Next, they The project resulted in miniature environments into which viewers were invited to travel with their e es. each chose three different colors of construction paper. On each they again created preliminary free-form drawings. Craft knives were used to cut out the shapes and patterns from the sheets. Students also kept the neg- ative space pieces that were cut out. From 2D to 3D The next challenge was to use the cut-out paper to make a 3D form. Students had to figure out a way to combine all three of their sheets and make them stand up from a sheet of poster board that would serve as a base for their work. I encouraged them to experiment with bending, cutting, and looping the paper so that each sheet interacted. On the poster board, they bent, twisted, cut, folded, creased, curled, and combined the papers in inter- esting shapes. They glued spots that needed help staying in place. If needed, paper clips were used to hold papers together until the glue dried. From time to time, students turned the forms to view them from all angles to make sure each angle was interesting. Leftover pieces were used to fill in empty spots or connect bigger pieces. Using only three colors helped to unify the sculptures. Reflections After students got started with their papers, they needed little or no encouragement from me. The project resulted in miniature environments into which viewers were invited to travel with their eyes. Students in other classes asked more than once if the sculptures were meant to be play- grounds. In a case of serendipity, they were. Karen Sellars is an art teacher in the North Pemiscot School District in Wardell, Missouri. karen_ sellars@ sbc- global.net N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K www.crystalwagner.com

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