Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul
Happy New Year! We are excited about 2016 and the commemoration of Dr. King's birthday coming up in a few days. Last year we were privileged to visit the powerful memorial of Dr. King in our nations capitol which inspired this post. While there are many fantastic paintings of Dr. King, we have listed three of our favorite paintings of Dr. King that can be used as a source of inspiration for lessons in the art room. (The three paintings below are protected by copyright law and are only displayed for educational purposes. Click on each portrait to learn more about the artist who painted each portrait.)
You can download a free coloring sheet of Dr. Martin Luther King here. Share your ideas for art lessons inspired by Dr. King by commenting below.
I have had the privilege of teaching art to a wide variety of students in a variety of communities ranging from suburban to rural areas. Moreover, my first professional teaching job was at an elementary school in an urban community. The art room serviced over 800 students from lower middle-class to low-class families in terms of their socioeconomic backgrounds. That first year was definitely challenging but, I grew tremendously as a teacher and really loved the students. Below I have listed the 3 C's for striving as an art educator in an urban setting. While these tips should be used in all classrooms, they are essential if you want to experience success in an urban classroom.
I know, compassion in teaching is a no brainer. Yet there are some teachers who are only teaching for the benefits (in some districts) and the vacation time. Compassion is a necessity in the urban classroom because many of the students are coming from unstable or dysfunctional environments. They are very intuitive and know whether are not you love them and what you do. If you do not love them, they will not respect or obey you.
The saying "Never let them see you sweat", definitely bears true in an urban classroom. You must be confident in your authority, knowledge of the content, and ability to present it. If you present a weak image, the students will use that as a method to try to intimidate you. Confidently convey the message to the students that it's your classroom and you are in control.
Okay, every art teacher should have this trait. In an urban classroom, creativity extends beyond the actual lessons. You have to find creative ways to diffuse conflict between students and make art relevant to them.
Feel free to share your ideas or comments below.
We are excited about the month of March being a month that highlights the contributions that women have made to the United States. Each of the women displayed above have added to the rich cultural heritage of visual arts in the United States. Edmonia "Wildfire" Lewis was a prolific sculptor who was influenced by classical Greek sculpture. Meanwhile, Georgia O'Keeffe is renowned for her beautiful floral inspired paintings. Lastly Clementine Hunter was a self-taught artist who created whimsical paintings about farm life.
Can you match the facts listed below with the correct artist shown above?
1.This artist has a museum named after her in New Mexico.
2.She lived on a Native-American reservation when she was a child.
3.Her career as an artist began with the art supplies left behind by another artist.
Visit our art resources page to find art lessons featuring them and other phenomenal women.
As we come to the end of February, we are reminded of all of the amazing contributions made by African-Americans to the United States. Here at www.artforthecreativesoul.com we are fortunate to celebrate the contributions made by African-American artists all year long. Beauford Delaney is one of the artists that we celebrate. By clicking on the picture on the left, you can learn more about an art history crossword activity that was created to introduce secondary students to him and his work. Take a look at the picture below. The picture on the left is by Beauford Delaney and is entitled The Exchange. The picture on the right has 6 differences. Can you spot all of the changes?
In high school, many students take art as an elective and do not realize the significance and necessity of art in the "real world". In the past I have been asked by art students, "How can I use what I learn in art to make money or get a job?" We did this video two years ago to briefly explain how one can use the skill of drawing to establish a successful art career in the real world.
Today, we want to share some simple ideas for maintaining and presenting a professional art education teaching portfolio. Most college students who major in art education are required to create a professional experience portfolio before they graduate from college. The school that I graduated from many years ago, encouraged us to create a binder to keep and present our teaching experience information in. Over the years after graduation, I continued to add pictures, lesson examples, fliers, workshops, etc. to the portfolio. It's important to do this because, you may need to interview for a new teaching position. Meanwhile I ended up with a huge stack of teaching experience that was to large to fit into a regular 2" binder. I finally decided that I wanted to create a more concise way to present my teaching portfolio. Thus, I created two new versions of my portfolio.
First, I created a digital version of my portfolio using Power Point. It included, pictures of my certifications, resumes, student work ,awards, personal artwork, lessons, etc. What's great about a digital portfolio is that you can send it to a potential employer to preview before an interview. You can also create a free website of your portfolio using websites like www.weebly.com.The second version, which works really well in an interview, is a picture book using websites like www.shutterfly.com . This version is small, sleek, easy to carry/present and is very impressive to administrators who are interviewing you. I also created a smaller booklet displaying student artwork from classes that I taught over the years. Do you have any creative ideas on how to present and maintain a professional portfolio? Share them by commenting below.
We had a great time at our virtual book launch party this past Monday. This "scrapbook" page displays some of the high lights. We appreciate everyone who stopped by, signed the guestbook and left beautiful comments. Here's what some people said:
"I was having a rough day and got the call to visit the virtual party. I had a great time playing the game and learning about the resource. I even won a prize."
"You are filling a void, particularly for classroom teachers (instruction) with information and lesson plans, etc."
"Congratulations on a great book! We can't wait to use these lessons at Jordan High School in Durham, NC. Thanks for your contribution to art education!"
Special thanks to everyone who visited the party. We are planning more events in the future. Make sure to visit the website regularly and share it with others. Have a great weekend!
Another great idea for developing an outstanding extra-curricular program, is to provide a workshop for art students from another school to visit and work with the art students on a project at your school.We created an animation workshop to give some of the middle school art students in our district an opportunity to preview the animation class that our school provided. It also allowed the middle school art students to interact with high school art students in a positive environment.
First, we contacted the middle school art teacher to see if she would be interested in bringing her students to this kind of workshop. After she eagerly said "Yes!", we set up a date and time for her to bring over 2-3 of her art classes.
Each group rotated through three different spaces that were set up with animation related activities. In one classroom the middle students were introduced to Macromedia Director by the high school students. Each middle school student partnered with a high school student. The second activity was in the school art gallery. In the gallery, we set up a display of character illustrations, storyboards and videos of flipbooks created by high school art students. The middle school students created an original character and simple storyboard in the art gallery. In the last classroom space, the visiting students created a simple flipbook. Each activity lasted one hour and the students had a great time. All of the students got along well and the middle school art teacher enjoyed the "field trip" experience that we provided for her students.
In our second installment of great extra-curricular programs, I want to focus on a program that we created to connect art students with professional artists. One year, I thought it would be fun to have professional artists come in and speak to our students about what it's like to live and work as an artist in the "real world". I started by looking for artists on the internet and thinking about professional artists that I personally knew.
After composing a list of potential speakers, I e-mailed and called many of them. I was surprised at the number of artists who were willing to speak to our students for free. We then created a three day seminar in which artists came in and spoke to our students for 30 minutes followed by a Q & A session. The artists ranged from a fiber artist to an automotive illustrator to a graphic artist. Some artists bought in actual examples of their work while others used slideshows. One of the artist, who is an abstract painter, invited students to come and paint random strokes and colors on a canvas; the final painting is shown below.
The students really enjoyed meeting and learning about the artists as well as taking a break from the normal class routine. We also provided lunch for the artists and took time to learn about their creative backgrounds. At the end of the series, the students wrote a short essay about what they learned and which artist inspired them the most. This idea is perfect for the art educator who has a limited budget but wants to expose their students to the art community in their local area. Moreover, it's a program that can be tailored to fit any grade level and schedule. Let us know if you are doing something like this in your local school.
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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