Last week, we had the honor of hosting prolific artist and illustrator, Vanessa Brantley-Newton. She is an award-winning artist, author and vocalist who dazzled our fourth grade art students and teaching staff. After sharing a history about how she was inspired to be an artist by Ezra Jack Keats and her family, she allowed the students to look at several beautiful illustrations she has created. The students were impressed with her work and excited by the fact that they had read several of the books she has illustrated. They also learned about the process of creating a book from start to finish and that she has illustrated over 60 children's book. Vanessa's grand finale included singing to and with the students. Her voice is phenomenal. Many students rushed to hug and greet her at the end of the presentation. Helping students to make real world connections through art is one of the most important things that we do. The impact Vanessa had on our students was amazing.
One of my favorite things about Spring is the blooming of beautiful flowers. One of my favorite art class management techniques is having bell work or "I'm done with my project, what should I do now?" activities. We have two free activities that you can use with young artists in grades K-12. Our Artist Comparison sheets have two paintings with similar subjects by two different artists. One activity compares a sculpture by Edmonia Lewis and Meta V.W. Fuller while the other sheet compares a painting by Jacob Lawrence and Allan Crite. These sheets can be used as bell work activities or as a great way to develop critical thinking skills/ discussion skills. They can also be used as an activity that students can complete when they finish an art project early. Download them for free and then let us know how they work in your art class.
1. Write two sentences about how the paintings are similar.
2. Write two sentences about how the paintings are different.
3. Which painting do you like the most? Why?
Alicia L. McDaniel
Alicia L. McDaniel is the author and creator of Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul. She is also an educator, professional artist, and lover of the arts.
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