February 9, 2014

MMFS Student Art

9th - 12th grade Drawing and Painting classes began the year with some drawing diagnostics; observation, shading, perspective, followed by an autobiographical comic assignment.

Printmaking - over the year coursework covered solar plate etching, speedy carve block, stencil, potato, monotypes, cyanotype

Students designed an alphabet poster for a school fundraiser (also printed and sold as a postcard).
Painting - 
First students made studies in tones of neutral gray with acrylic paint on paper. They were only allowed to use the primary colors and white to mix four tones of gray. Next, students created paintings from observation of fruits and vegetables. They used their knowledge of color mixing to depict variation in light and shadow.
In addition, classes looked at a few paintings by Caspar David Friedrich and stretched canvases for paintings based on their own photographs. Some worked directly from observation, other students used Durer's drawing grid as tool for sketching out general areas of information first on their canvas, and a few made 6B pencil transfers onto the canvas from outline tracings of their photographs. Some students benefited from modifications and just worked on tracing paper.

Following this, students created mixed media studies, combining collage with drawing. We looked at mixed media works by Joan Miro and Hannah Hoch. They were randomly assigned a magazine cutout to incorporate into a drawing. They used the drawings as drafts for surrealist paintings on canvas again. In preparation some created "re-mixed" charcoal drawings; cutting and pasting together large free drawings on butcher paper.  Students also looked at work by Dali and Magritte beforehand. Since students were familiar with Art Spiegelman, from reading Maus, we looked at his Garbage Pail Kids cards. 

During this assignment a more advanced student additionally worked with silkscreen stencil printing on canvas, while another was supported by using collage throughout.

Animation - 
some we watched...

Lillian Schwartz http://lillian.com/films/

Our animation

Students registered their drawings using animation bond paper, peg bars, and light tables (made of Xmas lights and reclaimed windows). They maintained an organized portfolio of their work before scanning and were introduced to Aftereffects, a video editing program, to create this video. Before beginning this project, classes studied the Surrealist movement and learned how the Surrealists were interested in Freud and collaborated by playing the game, "exquisite corpse." Using this idea of exquisite corpse, students were tasked with transitioning their own animated sequence into another students', thus creating a longer sequence with surreal sensibilities. 

(one students alternate idea)

In conjunction with English classes reading 1984 by George Orwell, students looked at ways visual artists have responded to various ideas about "evil". Students looked at work by Nam June Paik and Sue Coe, among others. They were asked to consider what is something they consider evil and they were assigned to select a material they felt most comfortable using or helped to best express their idea/reaction. Images of guns were not censored by the school in the context of a response to this query.

Some students were also assigned to research and write a short biography about an artist or a review of an exhibition, and then create an artwork in homage/critique using materials of their choice.

Photography club - an outside class elective where students were shown and discussed work by professional photographers. They were also given Holga and Lomo cameras on class trips and shared their own photos on a school blog and bulletin board.

Arts Night - Temporary walling and tables were installed in the gym for displaying artwork from each division at the end of the year. A scavenger hunt pamphlet encouraged parents and students to roam around and learn about the exhibit.