SchoolArts Magazine

SUM 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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Annemarie Baldauf 30 SUMMER 2016 SchoolArts M I D D L E S C H O O L G raffiti—those creative words or images drawn on buildings with colors, out - lines, shadows, and high- lights—can mean almost anything. I like to focus on graffiti writing and its ability to make a powerful state - ment, so every year at the beginning of the semester, I give students a sheet with different styles of graffiti writing that they can examine and explore on their own. One of the first assignments that I give students is to have them design their names in graffiti style. I start by photocopying their names in black and white so students can color them in with markers, colored pencils, or paint. Sports Word Mosaics Three years ago, I came across a great opportunity to take my graffiti unit "to the streets," so to speak. After receiving a generous grant from the Open Circle Foundation, we were able to create six graffiti mosaics at our school. The themes for the mosaics were all connected: sports, soccer, teams, scoreboards, track, and weights. Each brick-wall mosaic was designed by a group of students around one graffiti sports word. There is an abundance of graffiti in the neighborhood of the school, so the murals would blend in well. The process of creating the six mosaics started with collective ideas and drawings from students, which I translated into six watercolor designs that I shared with the school board to obtain approval. Clay Sports Symbols During the summer school session, students decided to start with a mosaic that would spell out "soccer." They began by creating and form - ing clay figures, soccer balls, and bricks decorated with handprints, footprints, and patterns. Once these objects were bisque-fired, glazed, and refired, we started our work outside on the soon-to-be mosaic. Students were eager to bring their ideas to life outside. Graffiti Teams

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