Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Adventure: TN Arts Academy

Warm Color Lady Bugs Buggin' Out by Emily Moseley of Memphis
One of my favorite annual summertime adventures (second only to this summertime fun) is Tennessee Arts Academy. I've already went on about it here, so I'll save you the displeasure of hearing me repeat myself (I'll save that for dear ole hubs). However, I did want to share with you some art lessons and techniques from the instructors and my fellow art buddies.

For the week of the academy, the art teachers are separated into two groups: elementary and secondary. Each group attends a two day workshop with one instructor and then another two day'er with a different instructor. For the elementary art teachers, we had the pleasure spending our first couple of days with the awesome art teacher Elizabeth Willett.
One of my favorite things is seeing the different takes on a single project idea. I love how this elementary art teacher incorporated nature into her sculpture.
Elizabeth has taught elementary, been a rep for Crayola and is now back in the classroom. She's also in charge of putting together the NAEA Conference which is in her hometown of Fort Worth. I've never been to Texas before, so I'm really stoked about the conference.
I was also thrilled with the lessons she shared with us. We worked with Crayola's Model Magic to create the insect sculptures that you see. All of the lessons Elizabeth shared incorporated math, science and language arts. We were given a fantastic bibliography and a ton of Crayola's Dream Maker's lesson plans. This lesson focused on science with the theme being insects and their surroundings.
Okay, I'm just gonna say it: whenever I attend these art teacher inservices I feel soo intimidated. And is it any wonder why? These art teachers are artists. What lucky kids their students are!
Another wonderful lesson was mask making. The mask base was one made from paper that I believe was picked up from Dick Blick. From there, themes about cultures and/or identity could be covered. Again, it was a thrill to see the assortment of ideas. The above was created with Model Magic which will adhere to the paper mask without glue.
My friend Ann Wolfe created this mask. She told me that she added the Model Magic and once that was stuck, she painted the entire mask with watercolor paint. The black accents were created with a sharpie and the texture on the paper part of the mask were created with the back of her brush.
I am working on creating a Venetian Mask lesson for my fourth graders this year and this lesson has given me so many new ideas.
Yes, those are paperclips protruding from van Gogh's hat. Just in case you wanna lend him an ear. Sadly I didn't catch the artist who created this piece.
This lesson was one that integrated language arts. The premise was that the children create a tin foil armature and attach that to the lid of a jar with masking tape. Flattened pieces of Model Magic are shaped over the armature to create the face. Paper clips are added to the head to hold words that are being learned. Once the vocabulary is mastered, the paper strips of words are placed in the jar.

Model Magic is a different world that clay. I found it to be like sculpting with a marshmallow (which apparently I suck at). This art teacher had the right idea by adding the 'Magic on in bits.
Just adorable.
This one was created by Nashville elementary art teacher Tina Atkinson. If you know her, you know this looks just like her! Minus the purple/pink/blue hair of course. You can see the vocabulary words on her paperclips here.
My friend Ann's adorable gyotaku.
For this lesson, Elizabeth focused on geography and took us on a trip to Japan. We sampled some food (sea weed, anyone?) and created these gyotakues on muslin. The Japanese tradition is to make a print of a fish that was caught to remember the size and the beauty of the fish.
Beautifully bound and decorated book by an elementary art teacher.
The following two days were spent with Bookbinding Pros David and Julie Williams. We created several books and learned many different bookmaking techniques. I learned that as much as I love embroidery, sewing these books up was more than my pea-sized brain could handle. Thankfully, I made some buddies that bound my books for me when I was busy thumping my head against the wall.
Stunning, right? I will never understand those that can watercolor.
Now, on to the secondary art teacher folks. Since I wasn't in their class, I am not sure what they were instructed on but their work was too beautiful not to share. For this class titled Mixed-Media Blitz, the had the super sweet and amazing Linda Peterson.
Pretty Poppy by Jo Ellen Thatcher.
Hilarious! Not sure of the artist but love this just the same.
Darling Dachshunds by Michelle Malencha
Linda Peterson, the instructor, is an incredible calligrapher. She showed me some calligraphy tips and she made it look so easy (and, honestly, it was!). For this lesson, a simple animal was drawn, calligraphy was added and shading was the final touch.
Created in two days. Wow.
The other instructor for the secondary art teachers was Sheri Treadwell. Sheri's class was amazing, I so wish I could have attended hers as well. She demonstrated creating a bust and adding a head. None of the artists were allowed to create a sketch prior to beginning their sculpture. This really helped the artists step out of their comfort zone and create something that even surprised them.
Love the snotty snout and the spiral repeated in the bun, the earrings and the necklace.
Sigh. Can you see why I just love the Tennessee Arts Academy? I was in my art room today with a bah-jillion ideas bouncing around my head. I'd say I can't wait until school starts...but that'd just be crazy talk.

TAA friends, if I have shown your artwork here but failed to recognize you, please leave a comment below with your name and I'll be certain to give you credit. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I loved the Tennessee Arts Academy. I was a participant and facilitator for a couple of years when we lived in Tennessee. Even better as a facilitator.

    Now, that I've looked it up it is fairly reasonably priced for out of state. That's a thought for next year. At the time, the high school component was a different week, so I don't even know what they did. Nice that you can learn from them as well.


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