SchoolArts Magazine

December 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 29 places like darts in fabric construc- tion. Because the chicken wire was about 2½' (.8 m) wide, I used small pieces of wire to attach the form where the wire overlapped. Wearing gloves, I was able to bend and shape the wire. As I neared the top, I used a ladder and pulled the wire together tighter, crimping until the armature was finished. Creating Flowers Creating the flowers began with clear two-liter plastic bottles. Students rinsed the bottles, removed the labels, and cut the plastic rings from the necks of the bottles. They painted the bottles with acrylic and hung them on a clothesline to dry. Once the bottles were dry, students cut off the bottoms and then cut them into various flower-like shapes in a variety of forms and spirals. They layered the painted plastic pieces together using hot-glue guns and adorned the centers with small bits of colored wire and beads. Students hot-glued finished flowers to wooden dowels and wrapped them with green florist tape for completion. A Collective Effort After students completed their flow- ers, we set out to create the chan- delier. As I discussed the idea of an installation to students, I emphasized that we were all working together to create a large sculpture that would hang permanently in the artroom. We also discussed the concept of the "bigger picture." We began inserting the flowers into the armature, beginning at the bottom with cool colors, gradually changing to warmer colors, and finishing with white at the top. The necks of the bottles fit snugly into the open spaces in the chicken wire, so attaching them was not a problem. Because the armature was large, many bottles were needed. As the armature was filled out with the bottles, it gained volume and began to take on a life of its own. A friend in construction assisted with the hanging of the chandelier, which was inverted so that the large end of the base was attached to a wooden disk. Using a pulley system, he attached it to the ceiling so that it tapered downward. A Profound Impact The end result was more than gratify- ing. Everyone who sees the chandelier is dazzled by its color, beauty, and stature; the visual impact is profound. It is not unusual to have students bring visitors into the artroom to show them the chandelier. They are so very proud of the art they created together. As for the seeds planted by the "bigger picture," they will cer- tainly grow within students for years to come. Shaw J. Lane is the art specialist at Jack- sonville Country Day School in Jackson- ville, Florida. slane 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 Such a dramatic, collective project would expand students' learning to include concepts such as ecological responsibilit , team building, and acting locall o make an impact globall .

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