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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Page 37 of 54

SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 33 and combine images to replicate their original inspiration—virtually recast- ing themselves as the new version. Trompe-l'oeil Mash-ups Our next project was one of our quick-fire challenges where stu - dents had two class periods to create trompe-l'oeil mash-ups of themselves as part of a book cover. Students had to work collaboratively, which is always a useful teaching opportu - nity for this age group. Using their cellphones and physical or digital versions of their chosen book covers, they found it surprisingly difficult to properly align all the pieces of the puzzle to create the illusion. But, when it worked, it was magical. Truisms The GIF Truism project that fol- lowed was another two-day quick- fire challenge. We explored in advance with several apps to accom - modate students' mobile devices (the majority used the app ImgPlay). Choosing from a list of commonly known truisms, students had to cre - ate a visual story illustrating the tru- ism in less than ten seconds for their classmates to guess. The humorous and competitive angle for this proj - ect was highly motivating to our middle-schoolers. Light Painting The inspiration for our next project came from the work of many differ- ent light-painting artists, especially Stephen Orlando, whose visually stunning work centers on capturing light and motion. Mr. Orlando sent us tips on simple light photography tech- niques that we practiced beforehand. Students used digital cameras and the class was divided into four teams to represent the elements of air, water, fire, and earth. Students loved this project and they developed the technical expertise to explore exposure times, light sources and colors, and post-production edit - ing, far surpassing our expectations. Their finished pieces are remarkably sophisticated, aesthetically beautiful, and conceptually masterful. Personal Choice For their final project, students could choose any artistic and photographic method, technique, or subject to express their personal point of view and aesthetic. We shared inspirations we discovered during the research and planning phase of the class, based on their own interests. To help refine the process, we created some guiding parameters that included a required number of photos, a clearly articulated theme or concept, and a plan for produc - tion and post-production. Students also had to write a detailed artist statement for the viewer. These personalized projects demonstrated that students understood, practiced, Collaborating and finding s nergies between art and technolog as a jo ful experience for us as teachers. Louis, final unit project. CONTINUED ON PAGE 42.

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