SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2017

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 19 I think people look at art and tend to see the serious side of it, but humor is also important. It's important for one's own morale to see past the mun- dane. Art doesn't always have to be so serious. There is fun in creating humorous, lighthearted pieces. Giving Students Choice Providing students with the power of choice really engages them in their learning. It gives them a sense of own - ership and pride in their work, which I believe is the essence of art. For this lesson I gave students these choices: 1. Choose an everyday, frequently used household object. 2. Turn the inanimate object into some kind of an animated, whimsi- cal creature. This could be a realis- tic or fictional character. 3. Create a setting in which this char- acter lives and photograph it in such a way that the object appears to be "alive" in the piece. Media Exploration I challenged my fifth-grade students to experiment with different media to see what would best suit their needs. It was a matter of problem- solving; some found that certain inspiration for this three-dimensional assignment for my students. I not only wanted them to create a 3D form, but I also wanted them to incor- porate photography into the mix. As a class, we examined sev- eral of Legrand's character designs. We discussed how things could be used and reused. Instead of simply throwing something out, we could recycle it and reinvent the life of the object. Students seemed energized by Legrand's style and the way that he created his carefree characters. Why Is Humor in Art Important? Humor is a characteristic that artists have been including in their pieces for hundreds of years. Look back at Giuseppe Arcimboldo with his por- traits of kings and queens made from fruits and vegetables. Consider the many parodies of da Vinci's Mona Lisa, or Marcel Duchamp's work. I think people look at art and tend to see the serious side of it, but humor is also important. glues weren't appropriate with cer- tain materials, while others found that particular paints didn't work well on certain surfaces. Create a Place After completing the final 3D forms from their household objects, students created settings in which the objects would "live." Students brought in their own props, such as boxes, to make a setting, and then photographed the object in its "habitat." This assignment provided stu- dents the opportunity to gain much knowledge and experience. There was excitement every day in the artroom and laughter at their humorous cre- ations. It was great to watch them soar and have fun while doing so. Leigh Drake is a visual arts teacher at Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Vir- ginia. Leigh.Drake @VBSchools.com 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 drakesvisualartsclassroom.weebly.com Left: Sophia Kerr, Frankenstein. Middle: Emerson Lewis, This Old House. Right: Sofia Valverde, Home Sweet Home.

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