Portfolio of Practice is a great resource for elementary art teachers (and older as my classmate informed me) to incorporate contemporary art and methods into your studio classroom. No longer will I teach “how to paint a symmetrical butterfly using warm and cool colors in five steps.” Contemporary art and methods using ten artists from the Corcoran Gallery of Art Collection lifted my work as an artist, teacher and researcher. Each art exploration is at the end of each chapter for you!
Hello artsaysthat subscribers,
These are the 10 contemporary artists from the Corcoran Gallery of Art collection that I chose to practice in my elementary classroom studio below. The awareness of these artists and the new art experiences were influenced by Olivia Gude’s Principles of Possibility and the use of thinking strategy: See, Think, Wonder. Each art experience was practiced with my K-5 students in the spring of 2013.
Contemporary art awareness was cultivated by two questions: Where do the ideas for these artworks come from? What materials would best represent the idea? Be the end of the school year, my students responded to contemporary art with understanding, excitement and creativity. In myself, a transformation in my methods and ability to facilitate conversation and not feel the need to fill up with my knowledge as I did in the past was starting to emerge and feel fantastic. This experience of literally dropping everything to just try something new with every grade level through these artists has allowed me to never look back to my old ways and guide my students through their innate abilities. Click on an artist below to see the PDF art exploration. I’ll continue to use these contemporary art explorations as a foundation and always to spark something new.
Our school is renovating and adding on starting this summer. We have been excited, worried, packing, teaching, sweating and laughing, but there can be moments of YIKES! I never look at my husbands school calendar because his last day is earlier than mine and I have a hard time looking at our calendar because its practically July 4th.
I realized my issue with this must be Transition. Witnessing at times students struggle with transition, I understand. They are engaged, focused, exploring, playing and having to stop is well…annoying! So if I know it’s coming, maybe I could make part of it enjoyable. So I looked.
There are 15 days left in the studio and I have been in that room for 15 years! Ahhhhh……a system within the transition! Now, I can be excited to close the amazing experience and shed my old habits. Each day, for this mini documentation, 15 great things about studio will be selected and taken to the trailer to celebrate the 15 years. Hope the trailer has good lighting for its first art show!
DAY 1 June 3rd: LOCATION
Day 2 June 4th: SKETCHBOOKS
Sketchbooks for each grade level has been fantastic for practice and discovery. This was the first year I used sketchbooks with Kindergarten. I learned they really love paper in any shape and form, love to take their drawings home and struggled with managing the pages to last til June. So we will make our own and make mini-masterpieces from small paper basket. Sketchbooks will carry over for 1-5!
Day 3 June 5th: ARTIST LIBRARY
This artist library has been so useful for visual imagery, reading to them while working, learning about an artist and option to use when work is complete. I hope to update this library by labeling shelves and grouping the books in the new studio.
Day 4 June 6th: SPACE
The studio is 726 square feet and I finally simplified furniture and storage so that projects could be set up as needed & the school play back drop could be painted inside. The trailer will be 600 square feet, so I will hope to become even more skilled at editing, but not too much~we do some great work!
Day 5 June 7th: MOVEABLE
Day 6 June 10th MATERIALS
Day 7 June 11th STAYING CURRENT
Showing students Contemporary art this past six weeks has been fantastic. Our new studio will honestly have better technology, but I have managed to find a way to deep our students current! This beautiful painting by Kerry James Marshall updated our visual memory of history painting. I’ll share the 2nd grade responses and ability to interpret imagery in upcoming post!
Day 8 June 12th STORAGE
Day 9 June 13th MEMORIES!
Day 10 June 14th OPENING MESSAGE
Today we looked at the wooden art piece by Martin Puryear “Blue Blood”. Students were excited to see a simple shape so huge! They examined everyday objects gathered from our campus, described its purpose and shared how they would put it to use. Each student selected an object to trace once, twice or more to create a design with the circle. I was interested to see the recognizable planet Earth, circles in rows, overlapping amd random patterns! More contemporary art on the way to view and inspire our minds to create new!
Today we will celebrate Earth Day and the events this week. Kindergarten is on the way, tables are set and I will put together a large sculpture connecting all of their color filled bottles. Excited for the outcome to surface later today!