SchoolArts Magazine

February 2018

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 35 advocate for topics that might expose them to new ideas or perspectives. Assignment Specs In the assignment details, I ask stu- dents to reference and utilize the ele- ments of art and principles of design to c reate a spread across two pages (8 ½ x 11" folded in half). Using nondigital means, they must draw, watercolor, and collage a spread that includes: the title of their topic, the approximate dates of the period, the place or places of origin, three major characteristics that make this topic interesting and unique, and images with captions for at least three artworks or artifacts that are associated with the topic. I also have students submit their sources on an additional page using APA format. I typically give students a couple of weeks to complete the assignment. Sharing and Collaborating On the day that students submit their work, we gather around a large table where each student walks us through their zine spread. I ask questions related to their aesthetic choices and the research topic. Because each student has a different topic, I've observed that they tend to speak about their work very confi - dently and have ownership of their k nowledge about the subject. As each student shares, we lay out their zine spreads and try to place the entire group's pages in a general chron- ological order, which is how the col- lective zine is ultimately assembled. O nce the spreads are sequenced, I ask students to make general observations about their collective work as one zine. At this point, I make it a point to ask how many female artists are repre - sented. This usually turns into a short b ut awesome discussion about the lack of females represented in art history, as well as artists of color. The Collective Zine Once we've finalized the order of the zine, I take it home with me to assem- ble. I scan in all the pages, lay them out i n Adobe InDesign or Publisher, and then print, fold, assemble, and staple a zine for each student. I design the cover Utilizing zines enables teachers to create spaces for their students to produce original artwork in a format that allows them to collaborate. Student Feedback "I really enjoyed doing the zine. It was awesome to research and develop my own zine page, and I also got a lot out of listening to and seeing all of my class- mates' projects." "I learned a lot about all of the different art history periods in the short time we shared." "It was very enlightening to see how art had progressed over thousands of years." "The finished product with all of our designs was great too, an awesome keepsake." myself and print it on cardstock. From extremely basic materials, students have created a collaborative, physical publication that not only serves as a reference to them as future educators, but is also a work of art. This exercise is one of many we complete in the course and serves as an introduction to zines, art history, and research. Art and art history can be inte- grated with math, science, history, and English studies, and is especially effective for working with kinesthetic and visual learners. Utilizing zines is so effective because it enables teachers to create spaces for their students to produce original artwork in a format that allows them to collaborate and suggests an alternative way of present- ing information. Zachary Gresham is education programs director at Art League Houston and a lecturer at the University of Houston. zegresham@ gmail.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 www.artleaguehouston.org/umcqrq- ilg1meuwp39wdblkytej8rwj In creating their lo-fi zines, students were asked to utilize the elements of art and principles of design.

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