Monday, August 26, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #74

Wearing Red Monday: Okay, lest you think I force my amazing student teacher to wear certain attire, it was Color Week in Kindergarten-land. Hence the Red. But don't hold me to that not-telling-her-what-to-wear bit. Because once she got her lessons planned, corresponding outfits were the next step. As it should be, right? (Although, I'm just gonna out myself and say that there might have been one or twenty occasions where the outfit came first and the lesson second. It's called priorities, peeps.) my dress: DIY here; shoes: Crocs; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing. I'll do better this upcoming week finding the source of Rebecca's attire.
Well, look, ya'll! I've got a partner-in-art-teaching-crime! Meet Rebecca Tenpenny, student art teacher extraordinaire*. I'm so thrilled to have Rebecca in my art room for the next several weeks (ya'll, she's already teaching! How awesome is that?!). The units she has planned are so exciting that I almost can't wait to see the finished result...but I have a feeling that the process is going to be so stinkin' fun that I'm trying to pace myself. And, yes, I am torturing her with outfit photos...the above being our first attempt. We were going for some sort of sorority girl pose and ended up doing the kindergarten "I-Gotta-Use-It" stance. I'd say the photos get better...but as you'll see, they, um, don't. 

One of Rebecca's lessons is based on the artist Andy Warhol. Oh, Andy. How I loved you in high school (and still do, don't get me's just that Andy was my first artist love). I had The Velvet Underground on replay, demanded a subscription to Interview magazine for Christmas and copied so many of his prints that I coulda been dubbed Andy Wanna-be. So I'm stoked about this project the kids will be doing. Art teacher buddies, what Warhol-inspired lessons have you done with your students? Lemme know cuz I totally wanna steal them.

Until we chat again, later, dudes!
Andrew Warhola (that's right, did you know there used to be an "a" at the end of that name? After it was once misspelled without an "a", Warhol decided to go with the change) was the youngest of four boys born in 1928 in Pittsburgh. His parents were immigrants from Slovakia. As a young boy, Warhol developed this illness that caused skin pigmentation blotchiness. For that reason, dude spent a lot time bedridden, surrounded by his sketch books, magazines of movie stars and the company of his mother. Later, Warhol would call this the period of his life where he developed as an artist.
Another constant during his childhood was the entertainment of the radio. I can only guess that many commercials lead to his interest in popular culture as that was the world he was surrounded in.
When the kids were looking at these works of art by Warhol today, they were asked "What do you wonder...?" To which one girl replied, "I wonder if there are sparkles in those cans! Or paint!" To which another said, "Um, I think it's soup. And he really likes it."

Mellow Yellow Tuesday: So Rebecca's got this super awesome last name: Tenpenny. It's received a lot of feedback from the kids. My fave was when Rebecca asked the kids just how much ten pennies would be. One second grader replied, "It would be one dime. And we can't call you Miss One Dime because that would be ridiculous." So true. dress: vintage Swirl dress I got for cheapish; flower: made by me; shoes: Shoe Carnival
Lou Reed and Nico? Seriously? Does it get any better when you are a wannabe beatnik/hippie high schooler? Warhol managed the band and they were the house band during The Factory era.

Geez, love this album. Uprooting it tonight.

Feeling Blue Monday: Okay, more like feeling black and blue due to the beating the kindergarten gave us. Granted, it was their first day ever in art...and I have them for 45 minutes at a time...AND I had three said 45 minute classes back-to-back (which had me and Rebecca doing that "I-Gotta-Use-It" pose by the end). But still. They. Ate. Our Lunch. Not gonna happen this week. Oh no. We have plans to divide, taser and conquer (kidding! ish.) dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange; palette pin: gift from a friend; shoes: BC Shoes, old

Speaking of The Factory, Warhol's famous studio that brought together all walks of life, what would you pay to be a fly on the wall at one of those bashes? I'd like to think that only the coolest and most intelligent and funny walks of life hung out here...which I'd also like to think wouldn't mean the likes of some twerkin' Miley Cyrus. {shudders}.
I gotta tell you, while I'm fascinated with Warhol, the ideas behind his work and that whole era of awesomeness, I don't think I like Warhol as a person. From what I've read, he would love you (figuratively, in the case of Edie Sedgwick) then leave you. Once you boosted his ego and celebrity status, he was done with you. That doesn't sound like the kinda person I'd wanna call a friend. 
Green Day Thursday: I have another "Tenpenny"ism. After introducing herself, one of the kids asked, "Doesn't she have more than ten pennies?" which Rebecca replied, "No, I'm a teacher." So true. dress: vintage, thrifted
But there are a lot of artist jerks in the world (and just jerks, period)...and that doesn't lessen the impact a dude like Warhol had. I mean, the guy practically invented Pop Art (with a lil help from Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg and Oldenburg), there's no denying his genius.
Okay, I was disappointed that several classes didn't know who this was. I mean, c'mon, we live in Tennessee! It's Johnny Cash, ya'll (...just kidding! I know it's Bob Seger.)
Orange You Glad It's FRIDAY?!: Ya'll, I love teaching. But, honestly, these last three weeks have been the longest known to man, not gonna lie. dress: The Limited; belt: gift from a friend; necklace: Target; crinoline: thrifted
Can I just tell you that after a great little discussion about Warhol that totally impressed me, I called on a hand-raiser only to be asked, "Is he about to pick his nose?!" Yeah. That's it. Way to dash my hopes and dreams, ya'll. Although, you gotta admit, it does kinda look like it...
* I'll have you know that Rebecca's not my first incredible student teacher. I had the Amazing Carly B. several years ago and the Talented Lauren Reese just last year. You can see what Lauren and I wore here.


  1. Tenpenny, that is a cool name indeed. Isn't it fun to have a partner in the classroom? I love having student teachers too. It seems like we are always flying solo as art teachers.
    I'm sure you've seen it, but just in case you haven't, the Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest Artists series video of Warhol is absolutely hysterical.

  2. Anonymous8/26/2013

    Someone you know wrote a children's book and video about Figment (er, Andy). Gee, I wonder who that author could be? Anyway, to the best of my limited memory, there are quite a few activity ideas in the guide that accompany the video. Aside from that, one of my favorite activities was to pester young children with an aesthetics lesson. Have them define art: Art can be art if and only if... After the class decides on a definition, then show a poster of the soup cans. Have them apply the definition. Next -- and this is the fun part -- show them a real soup can and have them apply the definition. Bawahahaha

  3. First of all - tell your Moss Tenpenny that besides her really cool name and adorable outfits, she's got to-die-for hair!

    Now -Andy Warhol lessons - there are 2 kids' books written by his nephew James Warhola: Uncle Andy's and Uncle Andy's Cats. We (me and my students) read Uncle Andy's, and looked at a set of art prints I had of endangered species by Warhol. They noticed the bright unreal colors, flat areas of color (no values), and the black outlines, and my students drew and painted cat's with those characteristics - flat areas of vivid colors, black outlines, I was very happy with the results - I blogged about it here:

  4. Miss, not Moss! Sorry!

  5. I totally share the first artist love of Andy - so much so that when my son was born on Aug 6th 2003 - which would have been Warhol's 75th birthday - I had to name him Andy! Seriously it is the perfect name - my son has Aspergers and shares Andy's unique view of the world.

  6. By the way many speculate that Andy Warhol had Aspergers - which makes a lot of sense. If you think of him that way - maybe you still wouldnt like him, but you can understand him a little better. And without those characteristics he surely wouldnt have been the artistic mind he was.

    1. Wow, that does make a lot of sense! That does change my opinion of him a bit...thank you for the insight. And I agree, that amazing mind of his came from a precious place. Thank you for sharing :)


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