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 29 Old Microlabs... • don't produce artworks. • limit cr . • tend to be boring. • limit risk-taking. • produce finshed, • esults. • give purpose and refine craft. • engage students. New Microlabs... Student work from drawing lab revamp: blind contour, Pleasant Grove High School. niques such as sgraffito and washes. At the end we looked at artist Rex Ray. His work is very graphic and uses large shapes to define space. Students put their large painted pages into a community bin and selected ones they would like to use to create their collages. The directions were simple: Be inspired by the artist, fill your space, and create a strong com - position using a range of paint inten- sities and values. Reinvention of Composition If you ask, they will come! I am talk- ing about old-fashioned transparen- cies. Teachers have them in filing c abinets, under desks, and in closets. In fact, I was shocked at how many amazing ancillary transparencies I received. For this lab I introduced the idea of compositional depth. We fre - quently teach basic composition rules s uch as filling the space, over- and underlapping and going off the edge of the paper, but rarely do we talk about how important depth and layers are to a composition. I provided old magazines, donated transparencies, and permanent mark- ers. Students were asked to create five sm all compositions by recomposing the same layers over and over. They took a photograph after adding each layer. This was a lesson on series, variety, and reinventing. This did not scare students due to its lack of permanence. They knew they could always adjust and make it better. Starting Over Again and Again We all have labs that lack excitement yet we blithely move on, and the status quo is accepted. I challenge you to use these labs to inspire you. Maybe you could adapt two new labs a year and reinvent what has become stagnant in your class. If you are not fully up to the challenge, ask students to submit ideas after the old lab is complete. How would they revamp this lab? Form share groups with other teachers and create an art teacher challenge. This is all about letting go of our comfortable ways and moving forward to labs that have purpose and inspire us! Nicole Brisco is an art teacher at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas. nbrisco @ pgisd.net N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new ideas and work. W E B L I N K www.pgisd.net/site/Default. aspx?PageID =141

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