Saturday, January 21, 2017

In the Art Room: Happy Hearts Inspired by Chris Uphues

Hey, friends! Second grade-land has just finished off a fun project with a strong focus on LOVE. My theme this year has been kindness and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I really wanted to focus on all things love-y. Because, let's face it, the world could use a whole lot more love right now! 
And if these happy hearts don't help spread the love, I don't know what will! 

Another focus this year has been to introduce my students to more contemporary artists and also street artists. During my search, I discovered the artist Chris Uphues and completely fell in love (sorry, I had to) with his work, especially his happy hearts! 
If you aren't familiar, Chris is an artist based out of Chicago whose heart murals can be found there as well as in New York and Los Angeles. When I discovered his work, I was immediately struck by how happy it made me! I knew the colors, energy and joy in his work would really resonate with my students. Y'all should really check out his website...I love that his hearts can be purchased in the form of reasonably priced prints, patches and pins. I've got a cart full! 
I would totally cover a wall in my house in these! I mean, who wouldn't?! 
For the Happy Hearts pieces that my second graders created, we used the following:

Day 1:
* Black and white paper, 12" X 18"
* Tag board heart stampers
* Paint in yellow, magenta and turquoise

Day 2-3: 
* Painted papers, construction paper, scrap papers for hearts
* White paper for eyes
* Black paint
* Scissors and glue
Day 1:

I see my second grade kiddos for 30 minutes, twice a week. On our first day together, we chatted about Chris and his work. I introduced the kids to printing and we printed a black paper and a white paper full of hearts. To see how the heart stampers were created, watch the first 5 minutes of this video
On day 2, students learned how to cut out hearts. Many students knew how to do this already...but I had several that didn't. This was a great introduction to symmetry! I also offered them oval, circle and other shaped templates for the eyes. Once those were glued down, black paint was available for the artists to paint the faces. I had printed off several sheets of Chris' hearts to give the kids ideas for expressions. 
By the end of the second day, we had a ton of these! I love how happy and fun they are. 
Over the next couple art classes, the kids created more hearts and began adding them to the printed backgrounds. They so enjoyed creating these expressive heart faced characters. This project was a huge hit with them! 
Each kid was super engaged in creating their heart collages. When I told them that we'd be moving on to another project next week, each class shouted "WHY?!" They couldn't stop making these hearts! I just might have to give them one more day to keep on heartin'. 
As they worked, the kids had stories about each heart and how they interacted with each other. We had heart moms, dads, babies, grandparents, you name it! 
As they worked, the kids laughed at their hearts, showed them off to friends and pulled ideas from one another. 
Before gluing, we did chat about composition, overlapping, emphasis and scale. I wanted to remind the kids of these thoughts as they worked...but made sure not to weigh in too much as I really wanted to see where their ideas would take them. 
 Because, I mean...look at how fun and funny they are!
I'm so looking forward to showcasing these throughout our school along with all of our other LOVE-based projects. Just a quick scroll through this blog and you'll find half a dozen love-based projects we are currently working on in the art room. 
The best part is, I've tagged Chris Uphues on several posts showcasing the kids' hearts on my Instagram and he's been so sweet to respond! The kids have loved hearing his positive feedback. 
It's made us feel all...happy! Like this. 
 
If you are looking for a fun lesson for your students that introduces printing, symmetry, expression, collage and the amazing contemporary artist Chris Uphues, I strongly recommend this fun lesson! Love to hear from you if you give it a go!
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4 comments:

  1. So cute! Nice share!

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  2. Did this lesson with my second graders and they LOVED it! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Introduced this to my 2nd graders, too! We are having a blast!

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