Sunday, November 03, 2019

Off To a Good Start

This 2019-2020 school year is my 11th year here at Graham High School, and "change" seems to be this year's theme. Three out of four of our administration team are new to Graham, and we've switched from semester block scheduling to A/B schedule. I finally feel like I'm starting to settle in to these new changes and I'm ready to post some student work.

In Intermediate, Proficient and Advanced art, I break the big chunks of our class time up by alternating a media project with 2 days of art history. We have mini assignments (sketch prompts, photography assignments, "my choice," etc) sprinkled in between, but I really like how I've finally settled into a routine with project/art history/project/art history.

After their charcoal project, Intermediate art used their first art history day to research the Renaissance movement and they wrote a critique of a work from the Renaissance on their second day. Their second project was "pen and ink," and they just finished their Baroque period research and critique.

Charcoal works by Intermediate students:

Pen and Ink Projects by Intermediate students:

Proficient Art students began with a drawing on toned paper followed by Impressionism research/critique, a colored pencil project and Post-Impressionism research/critique. 

Toned Paper Drawings by Proficient art students:

Colored Pencil projects by Proficient art students:

Advanced art students have studied Dadaism and Surrealism, and they've created a watercolor painting and a mixed media collage. Here are samples of their work:

And last, but not least, my fabulous Beginning students. In these first 23 days, they've learned about the elements of art and principles of design, how to critique an artwork by describing, analyzing, interpreting and evaluating, and they've been doing a LOT of drawing. They've practiced blind-contour drawing, contour drawing, representing ellipses from different points of view, using thumbnail sketches to plan/design their composition and they've completed a variety of shading exercises. On the second day of class, they drew a self-portrait from a mirror. We spent about 6 classes working on the proportions of the face and how to draw facial features. After that, they completed another self-portrait from a mirror, and we were able to view the "before and after" drawings side by side. Here are examples of those:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

GHS does the Memory Project

The Memory Project is a non-profit organization that matches high school art students with children who have faced “substantial challenges.”

20 Graham High School students, from a variety of art levels, were given photographs of children from an orphanage in Pakistan. They each made a portrait of a child using their choice of media.

The Process

First, we connected with After some communication, our students were paired with kids from Pakistan and we received digital images, as well as printed copies, of each child. The students were given several weeks to complete their portrait before we mailed them back to the Memory Project organization for them to send to Pakistan.

On the back of each portrait, we attached a photograph of the student artist, and they wrote messages to "their child" in Urdu, their native language. My students really enjoyed this project, and we're looking forward to getting a video of the children receiving their portraits!