Showing posts with label bulletin boards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bulletin boards. Show all posts

Monday, October 8, 2012

In the Artroom: Hangin' with the College Kids

Excusez-moi, but we moustache you a question...should art teachers really have this much fun? Also, do I look constipated or is it just me?
Let me introduce to you who has been hanging out with me for the past month or so: some totally awesome art ed students from Middle Tennessee State University (that's MTSU to you, monsieur). I have been so lucky to work with these ladies. They've hung up art work, created beautiful bulletin boards (that I get to keep!), taught and worked with students and kept me in stitches. I really dunno what I'm going to do without them now that their time with me is over. I mean, who's gonna teach these kids?!
The witch is Rebecca (I promise, we only gave her the witch apron because of her hair, not her witchy personality), the skeleton is Katie and the pumpkin is Erin. They jumped right into my kind of art-teacher-crazy by donning my Halloween aprons.
MTSU has an amazing art education program. I've had the great opportunity to meet and/or work with several of their students and they've always been excellent. I find that I learn just as much from them as I hope they do from me. The art ed department is headed up by Dr. Deborah Sickler-Voight and Dr. Bonnie Rushlow. Both of these women are incredible educators and the students that come out of their art education program are always well prepared. I mean, just check out these awesome bulletin boards the girls created...they tie in perfectly with my current lessons, they are interactive and just plain beautiful.
Ah, a bulletin board dedicated to my latest artist crush Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Thanks, Rebecca! She created the boarder for the bulletin boards with the kids' "messy mats": the paper mats I use under their paintings in a feeble attempt to keep the tables clean. I love the way it turned out.
I especially love the heading of the bulletin board: Artist of the Month. I attempt to highlight an artist each month and now I have a bulletin board that will hold me accountable. Gee...thanks, Rebecca.
Does this bulletin board remind you of anything? Madeline, perhaps? That's right, Katie is a huge fan, read all the books as a kid. I love that she took to this idea and ran with it. And while it's Madeline-inspired, it's all about the Eiffel Tower. How perfect. Wanna know what's double awesome? The fact that our world traveling friend Jes hidden in the bulletin board. Can you find him?
But wait, there's more...this bulletin board is also interactive. Lift up the flag and the leaves and you'll find all sorts of facts about la tour Eiffel. Funny, "Iron Lady" is also my nickname as I'm the only one who stomach my mom's cooking.
After reading this to the kids the other day, one of them asked, "So, why did they call it the Eiffel Tower?" Another student just looked at him with her best boys-are-so-dumb face and said, "Really?"
How beautiful is this bulletin board? The kids are learning about all of the most famous places and faces in Paris and this bulletin board of Notre Dame is just perfect. We've already been reading over the facts that she attached to her board. 
Erin poured over the details of the cathedral in her rendering and it shows. She used oil pastels to achieve the look of the cathedral. Several of the kids have asked who created the drawing. After I tell them, they always say, "wow, she must be an artist!" So true.
The girls told me that they were doing a fundraiser for the art ed department at MTSU and would I like to purchase a painted pumpkin. Well, of course. When asked what I wanted on my pumpkin, I said Fifi, the art room's talking poodle with attitude. Thank you for creating this for me, Katie!
Such a wonderful group of young art-teachers-to-be! I am excited to see what awesomeness lies ahead for each of them. Thank you, girls, for all of the wild and crazy times in the art room!

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

In the Art Room: The Masterpiece Gallery

Welcome to the Masterpiece Gallery where every work of art created by small hands is tres magnifique.
 If you are a teacher for more than 10 minutes, you are going to be the recipient of many a gift. My personal faves? Well, aside from the Body Fantasies Body Wash I received my first year teaching (awkward), I'd have to say the handmade gifties. Just recently one of my students gifted me a wonderful woven basket she had created over the summer. I also scored this beautiful bouquet of gingko leaves collected by a student who remembered they were my favorite during our leaf printing last year.
This window looks into my office which is an eyesore, to say the least. I painted it (almost 10 years ago!) with the same thing I painted my other windows with: Window Chalk. I love this vibrant paint.
 The gifts I most often receive are drawings. The wee artists will bring them rolled up; folded and pulled from their pocket; flattened in a "special" zip lock bag. Students present these drawings in front of the class where we recognize them with a round of applause.

At first, I pinned their drawings to a bulletin board. Over time, this overcrowded spot became an eyesore in the classroom. And I didn't want their hard work to be showcased that way.
So I decided to create this little gallery to spotlight their independent work. Several years ago, a local frame shop went out of business and I was the recipient of many a frame. Over the years, I've picked up more at Goodwill and garage sales. Each frame is backed with a layer of cardboard and a jersey fabric in the primary colors. This surface is perfect for pinning and repinning little masterpieces.
Interested in creating your own Masterpiece Gallery? Well, it's very simple. Here's what you'll need:
  • Cheapo picture frames. I like mine metallic, so I usually spray paint them gold or silver.
  • Cardboard or foamcore. You'll notice I recycle my cardboard. Nothin' fancy here.
  • Thin sheets of cork. This is optional. When I first created these, I sandwiched a layer of cork between the jersey and the fabric. Turns out the cardboard works just as well for pinning and repinning.
  • Fabric. I used a jersey because it's what I had on hand. 
  • Glue gun.
  • Picture frame hangers. This will depend on the type of frame you pick up at your local thrift. It may already have a hanging device on the back.
Let's start with the frames. Remove the glass, artwork and backing if you purchased a frame that was not empty. I keep the glass, tape the edges and use them for palettes at home. Depending on the artwork that came in the frame, I'll either keep it or toss it. In the case of the above artwork on the right, I was able to use that as the backing for the frame. Cut cardboard or foamcore and cork (if you are using it) to the same size as the frame backing. Cover the front in fabric and hot glue to the back.

Place inside the frame. To secure, look at your frame. It might already have a way for you to secure the backing. If you look at the above frame on the left, I simply had to push the metal staples down. For the frame on the right, I just screwed the original backing into place. For the one in the middle, I hammered nails at an angle to secure the backing. 

The same goes for the hanging device. You can see the frame on the left has a mount already attached. For the one in the middle, I purchased hanging wire and stapled it into place with my electric stapler (best invention every, btw). Do you see the bits of foam I tacked to the corners? That's to hold the double sided tape. This prevents the frames from getting bumped and becoming an uneven mess on the wall.
I have found these little hangers to be the best for my concrete walls. Picked them up at the local hardware. Ask for concrete/brick picture hangers.

The ever-changing, always-inspiring Masterpiece Gallery.

You might recognize this area as where we play The Smartest Artist from this post.
Our little gallery is located in this odd corner I have in my room where the kids line up to exit. It's the perfect spot for them to see their classmates work and become inspired to create something of their own. And isn't that what a gallery is all about?

What ways have you found to display artwork?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In the Art Room: Actually, Outside the Art Room

Outside of le Cafe Artiste!
 With mere hours before the wee artists return to school, I managed to finish the outside of my art room. Giant sigh of relief. And collapse on the couch. I'm a little concerned about the inside of my art room as I have yet to put supplies out and rules up (gasp!). However, I've always been told it's what's on the outside that counts. Or did they just tell me that because of my crummy personality?
My van Gogh-spiration. The Yellow House (Vincent's house in Arles), 1888
 I am not one of those artsy types that can just have an idea pop into my head and then knock it out with a paint brush and paper. Oh no. I've gotta have something to look at and steal from. Which is where van Gogh stepped in. I sketched his street scene onto brown bulletin board paper with a charcoal stick and then painted over it...with my paint brushes! That's right, I found 'em! They were...sadly...right where I now remember putting them. In the kiln room. Don't ask.
Dunno about you, but when I hang things on the concrete blocks at my school, they don't like to stick. I've tried it all: blue sticky tack, gum, a plethora of tapes, you name it. The best sticky stuff for the job? 3M Double Sided Tape. It's pricey but this should stay up all year.
 From there, blue paper was hung across the top, the street scene was added and I set to work on the entrance. I knew I wanted it to look as though the kids were walking into a cafe so up went the awning and the door decor.
That's supposed to be Paul Cezanne in the open window there. Or George Costanza. Your pick.
This door actually leads to my office. I'm thinking I may have to put some sort of "Closed" sign on the door otherwise I'll have lots of friends stumbling into my messy lair.
When the kids enter my room, here's what they first see. So at least this part of the inside of my room is finished. I'm not showing you the rest...yet.
 So I'm pretty excited, I think it's finally coming together. Now, I just need to revise my rules.
If you recall, they were:

Rule #1: Find Mrs. Stephens paint brushes.
Rule #2: What? Have you found my brushes yet? Then you need to revisit Rule #1, kid.
So everything was done. Finished. Complete. And then I did it. I added a poodle.
 Here's what I'm thinking:

Rule #1: Help Mrs. Stephens off the couch.
(note to self: move couch to school.)

Rule #2: Wait, why am I up? Help Mrs. Stephens back to the couch. She was confused.
Can you tell I'm still borrowing heavily from the Gladys Presley Poodle?
...And that I'm totally on a poodle kick? Thank you, art teacher buddy, for picking up this sweet poochie for me.
In other French-related news, guess who made it to Paris!? I just got this photo, along with many others, from the sweetest young lady who agreed to take on Jes. He's traveled all over Paris. I'll share more of his adventures with you soon. In the mean time, he's packing his bags to England. The kids are going to Flip. Out.

 Thanks for dropping by, friends! Wish me and my students luck for a great day tomorrow (you might wanna throw in an extra penny at the wishing well for the kids...with me as their guide, they're gonna need it!). 

And for all of you teachers out there, my thoughts are with you. Enjoy your days with those sweet kids!

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

In the Art Room: Let's Go to Paris!

Having haphazardly cleaned my art room at the end of the school year, I managed to hide all of the paintbrushes from myself. Seriously, I've no clue where they are. So this here window mural was painted in sponges, paint rollers, fingers, window paint markers and a sumi brush. 
Each year, students, their parents and faculty friends ask me the same question: "So, where are we going this year?!" I began this tradition of decorating my room around our theme of study many years ago. I'd say I do it (in my best Sally Struther's voice) for the children, but the truth of the matter is, I just love doing it. The bonus is they love it as well.

I'm so excited for them to see this year's theme: Traveling Europe. As you might have guessed, we are starting off our journey in Paris! Which is just a pinch different from where we traveled to last year...
This time last year, we were heading back in time to Ancient Egypt. I painted the windows, sponge stamped those dollar straw mats and created the batiks in the window and behind my chair. All of that's now packed away. Somewhere. Possibly with some paint brushes. 
I did learn something having lost my brushes: painting goes a whole lot quicker if you use a paint roller to block in the background. Another lesson learned: beware of paint-roller-splatter. Especially when wearing vintage, argh!
I began with a really rough sketch of how I was hoping the windows would turn out. The left bank of windows proved to be the easier side as I had a clear idea of where I was going: Eiffel Tower, some hot air balloons, a background of buildings and some flowers in the foreground. Not quite three hours later, done.
Remember I told you I was on a poodle kick?
This side proved to be a pinch more difficult. I knew I wanted a street, a bike and a poodle. I created an extremely rough sketch on my window with a washable marker and just went for it. Thankfully, I had plenty of photos from our trip to Epot and their version of Paris to help me out.
I love Epcot. There is nothing to do there but shop and eat. Which go together like hot fudge and ice cream, says moi.
Knowing that I'd be creating my room around this European theme, hubs and I went to Epcot on our trip to Disney at the very beginning of the summer. Can you spot my inspiration in these photos? Hello there, street lamp.
Another thing I love about Epcot is that they hire folks from the actual counties to work in that portion of the park. Or they manage to find people with really great accents. Either way, it's very cool.
Table for two? Oui, s'il vous plaƮt.
In between and above my windows are concrete blocks. Not exactly the Euro-vibe I was going for. In my search for paint brushes, I found that I had a mountain of French painting reproductions. So, I set about mounting them and creating some faux advertisement posters. I was inspired by the post of adverts I saw at Epcot...
From Epcot's Paris.
FeeFee and her suitcase, ready to travel the world.
Because my art room used to be a library, I have an enormous book shelf beside my windows. Normally I fill the shelves with treasures from the countries we are studying, but my stash of European souvenirs is pretty slim. So I scooped up this old plastic Samsonite suitcase at the thrift store and covered it with some royalty -free travel images I printed off the interweb.

Which was inspired by this display at Epcot.
My new favorite spot in the room. Now where is that waiter with my cappuccino? I hope he's not buried under paint brushes some where -- I'll never get my coffee!
So one area of my room complete! Notice I'm not sharing with you photos of the rest of the my mad hunt for paintbrushes, I opened every cabinet and pulled out every drawer. It looks like a poltergeist swept through my room.

Au revoir, Jes! Do you remember our school mascot? He's traveled to Germany and the Netherlands and this week he was shipped out to France! I cannot wait to share photos of his travels with the kids.
It's such a relief to have one portion of my room complete. Now I'm just down to moving tables, prepping first week supplies and hanging up my class rules. I've already started to rewrite my rules:

Rule #1: Find Mrs. Stephens paint brushes.

Rule #2: What? Have you found my brushes yet? Then you need to revisit Rule #1, kid.

(Thanks for dropping by!...Cassie)

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

In the Artroom: The Art History Wall

A Rockin' Trip Thru Art History with...Mona Lisa's Masterpieces.
This week in the art room, I thought I'd share with you the backdrop seen in many of my What-I-Wore-This-Week posts. Every school year, I create a theme of study. The year I created the Art History Wall, our theme was Rockin' Thru Art History. I wore this wacky apron and the kids created guitars and rocked their way through the history of art.  I loved the wall too much at the end of the year to take it down. With the exception of a random piece of art falling off the wall, it's held up well through the years and, more importantly, it's proved to be a valuable educational tool in the art room.
Every art room should have a mascot.
I am fortunate in that I have a very large art room. Once upon a time, my art room was the school library. So it is very long with plenty of former book shelves turned cabinets and storage.
The Wall in total. Narrowing down the history of art to fit my wall was the hardest part.
That being said, I have this very large wall space which seemed to be the perfect canvas for a giant display. I began by jotting down the major movements in art history. From there, I rooted through my mountains of visuals: old calendars, postcards, posters -- even cutting up the art history books I'd hoarded since college, to find just the right images.
In the Beginning...we had rock art, no paper, no scissors.
With my art movements and visuals sorted, I began the writing of the Art History Wall. This proved to be difficult as I had to keep it simple and kid friendly. To add a little  three dimensional pop to the wall, I clued a piece of foam to the back of the purple papers as well as some of the visuals.
If you are interested in creating your own wall, feel free to borrow from mine as much as you like. The following are the movements and their simple descriptions:
Rock Painting: The beginning of art...
Ancient Egypt: tombs, pyramids, mummies, OH MY!
Ancient Greece: athletic people that believed in many gods...
Ancient Rome: expanded Greek art ideas (after conquering them)
Middle Ages: Bible stories were told through art
Early Renaissance: Artists learned to paint realistically
High Renaissance: Michelangleo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and sculpted David; Leonardo da Vinci sketched inventions and painted the Mona Lisa

Dutch painting: Dutch artists painted portraits, still lives and genre paintings
Romantics and Realists: wanted to show emotion in their art
Impressionists: group of artists that wanted to show color and light
Famous impressionists were Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt
Post Impressionist: artists that created after the Impressionists and expanded their ideas: van Gogh, Seurat, Cezanne
Modern Art: In modern art, artists realized that the possibilities are endless!
The bulletin board beside the art history wall.

What's the point in having a mascot when you don't get to wear a silly costume? I got this idea from one of the most amazing and inspirational art teachers I know, Debi West. You can read more about her and her students here.
And there you have it! We put the wall in action when we are learning about an artist or a certain movement in art. I'll ask the kids to follow me to the Art History wall so they can visually grasp important periods in art. Thanks for reading!
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