SchoolArts Magazine

November 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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PAGE SPONSORED BY: Ted Edinger The SPORE Project F O C U S I N 14 NOVEMBER 2016 SchoolArts ined teachers using the project. He said, "I would like to see educators using the project to teach students to look at things in another perspective. Yes, it's just a simple lunch bag, but look what you can do with it. It is a wonderful tool to unite a school in creativity." Classwide Collaborative This year, I felt the project fit best with my youngest students. It pro- vided a great opportunity to discuss collaboration and temporary art. Col- laborative art can be challenging for young students as they become very attached to their individual creations, but after I explained that their work would be part of an installation, stu- dents were excited about the process. I wanted to mimic the colors from a Kandinsky-inspired sculpture cre- ated earlier in the year by our school community. I envisioned the mush- rooms surrounding the sculp ture so that it appeared as if the colors were melting from it, or as if they were little aliens returning to the mother ship. Students created their mush- rooms from brown paper lunch bags (directions are on the SPORE Project website); drew designs and patterns with permanent markers on the caps; and painted them. Volunteers hot- glued wooden skewers to the bags to make the stems and "planted" them. Once the mushrooms were in place, I sprayed them with a clear acrylic seal and sprinkled glitter on the caps while the acrylic was damp. I recently discovered the SPORE Project, an awareness program developed in 2005 by Doug Rhode- hamel to support creativity and art education by constructing and plant- ing mushrooms made from brown paper lunch bags. Through the SPORE Project, tens of thousands of mush- rooms have been made and installed by students, businesses, and organiza- tions all over the world. Beginning with a Lunch Bag According to Rhodehamel, "The idea behind the paper bag mushroom grew innocently out of lunch in high school. While sitting around waiting for the meal break to end, I squished my lunch bag into a mushroom and gave it to my friend. This became a daily routine. I then began placing them on my friends' lawns while they were at work. Other people loved them and asked me to cover their yards with mushrooms as well. I began getting calls from teachers asking if I could come show their students the art of making paper bag mushrooms. This is where the SPORE Project began." Heart and Soul As I explored the SPORE Project's website, I loved the heart and soul behind the idea. I could see the mush- rooms creating conversations and raising questions in students, such as "Wow, those are great! But why are they there?" What a wonderful way to advocate for your art program and the importance of art education! I asked Rhodehamel how he imag- CONTINUED ON PAGE 42. I would like to see educators using the project to teach students to look at things in another perspective.

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