SchoolArts Magazine

May 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 33 Did you know that about 80 mil- lion Hershey Kisses are created each day, and that their aluminum wrap- pers could cover forty football fields? Manufacturing aluminum is incred- ibly energy-intensive and releases harmful perfluorocarbons (PFCs) dur- ing the smelting process. This is the kind of information that can inspire student work and be a catalyst for reaction artwork. Landfill Reliefs Following research, I asked students to come up with a concept for their work based on the facts they found and their personal opinions. I asked them to create a cross-section of a modern landfill, considering the real parts that go into keeping them work- ing and safe. Students can use found objects and common art materials to fill their landfills with their chosen trash type. Once the relief portion of the pieces are complete, I direct students to conceptualize how the contents of their landfills might affect the land, ground water, and air. I encouraged students to let their imaginations run wild, reminding them they weren't bound to realism. Their garbage types came to life in pos - itive and negative ways as they escaped from the walls of their landfills. A Vehicle for Response It was interesting to see how the pieces evolved based on students' ideas of how safe and effective landfills are and the information they found in their research. Landfills filled with the rubber from soccer balls become a landscape that includes a toxic soccer ball sun. Plastic bottles come back to create plastic trees, and metal filling the land turns into robotic birds. This project serves as a vehicle for imaginative responses to real and significant information and causes. What happens to the things we use and throw away is something our stu - dents should be aware of. Encouraging a visual reaction through art is a good way for students to take ownership and hopefully change the way they view their role in protecting the earth. Kari Giordano teaches art, design, and photography at Mount Everett High School in Lee, Massachusetts. kgiordano @ sbrsd.org 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 S artanddesigned.weebly.com recyclingfactsforkids.com plasticdisclosure.org I encouraged students to let their imaginations run wild and reminded them the eren't necessaril bound to realism.

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