SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 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 19 piece). In the nine panels that make up this artwork, students read: WE. WILL. NO. LONGER. BE. SEEN. AND. NOT. HEARD. I asked them, "What do the words mean?" and "Who are they for?" The Written Word It was of interest to me to hear the responses from students who weren't necessarily familiar with the adage "children should be seen and not heard" (particularly while in a museum space that inherently solicits quiet behavior). We listened to each other's interpretations of this graphic piece, and were soon discuss - ing the inclusion of text in art. See- ing the written word in this context urges the viewer to engage with and interpret the artist's message. The gridded arrangement (nine squares arranged in a bigger square) was also of interest to students. The easily determined shape seemed to appeal to their sensibilities. The squares in this piece are well-ordered and make the text simple to piece together. Photo Planning The week before, each student had been photographed four times—face, profile, back, and hands. Back in the studio, I gave students the four pho - tos of themselves printed in black- and-white on cardstock, and trimmed to 8 ½" (22 cm) squares. I demonstrated three techniques for altering their photographs: they could add watercolor paint, colorful tape, or vinyl letters. Color washes and borders made from washi or masking tape were added first while students considered what text to add. Taking cues from Kruger's graphic approach, we thought of important descriptive words or short sentences to emblazon on their photos. Design Methods Some students added names or ini- tials of loved ones, while others wrote odes to favorite animals. One student, Oliver, said "I love dinosaurs so that's why I found all the letters for DINO- SAUR." Other students combined let- ters to make graphic shapes not found in the alphabet. The few students in the class who weren't reading and writing yet chose letters and symbols for their shapes and forms, authenti- cally implementing their own design methods into their pieces. Seen and Heard Unexpectedly, some students got really excited to add the numbers and stickers that came with their sticker packs. I saw ages, birthdays, and jersey numbers of favorite athletes added to their multifaceted portraits. As usual, these students were full Taking cues from Kruger's graphic approach, we thought of important descriptive words or short sentences to emblazon on their photos. of surprises. When early finishers exclaimed they were "DONE!" they were encouraged to add "just one more detail" to each panel. As those were completed, students arranged their four separate pieces into a sequential or visually appealing square grid, which I mounted onto 19" (48 cm) square pieces of black railroad board. The diversity in style, tone, and visual language seen in the com - pleted sets was vast. I'm confident the messages these students created (and will create in the future) will be seen and heard. Sue Liedke is an art teacher at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, Pennsylva- nia. susanliedke @ 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 S Agnes Dao, self-portrait.

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