8th graders worked hard to create these incredible imaginative teapots. They had to meld technical function (spout, lid, handle) with artistic form in order to show their own creative spirit in their version of this classic household object. Every single one held water and poured from the spouts, so while these might not be Granny’s Sunday afternoon go-to teapot, they all do work. A complex and challenging lesson and these sculptors rose to the occasion.
Grades 6 has just finished up a vey colorful project despite our rainy, gray spring.
Sixth graders were inspired by the Nigerian celebration of spring known as Ebune. They painted large paper banners and then carved traditional symbols of power and rebirth from rubber stamp material and printed them on the painted banners.
Seventh graders in Mr. Adams’ art class explored a new take on the “self-portrait”. In the style of 80’s street artist-turned-international-art-sensation, Jean-Michel Basquiat, students had to work quickly and with intensity as the considered not their outer appearance, but their inner vision. Using text, symbols, and multiple art media students explored who they are psychologically and emotionally, pouring that into their paintings. Mistakes were welcomed and changed encouraged as these young people dug deep into who they are and maybe even who they want to be. Layers of paint, colored pencil and oil pastel are giving us a clearer view of these folks, even as their work gets more and more abstract. See what you notice in these works, then take a second look.
7th grade students explored basic metallurgy with the process of répusse, the pressing, embossing, and manipulating of thin metal to create three dimensionality. They designed many patterns and textures with their meditative Zentangle take on this medieval technique.
And 8th graders looked to art history as the inspiration for their final independent project: The Artist’s Pet. Each student created their own path, first by choosing a famous piece of art to recreate, an animal to work into the original work, and then deciding what would be the best material to make their art piece. Look for some humor and whimsey in these drawings and paintings, including a cow jumping over Starry Night, a fish playing poker, and a literal elephant in the room.
Students in all three grades have finished up some beautiful and creative work in their latest units. Eighth graders outdid themselves with this series of imaginative teapots, melding function (all teapots needed a spout, handle, and lid AND had to pour and not leak) and spectacular creative form. From a sushi roll to a rubber duck, From Mrs. Potts to a cheeseburger, these teapots shine with fun and whimsey.
Seventh graders learned about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) who was famous for his innovative distortion and abstracted “stretching” of his portrait subjects. Students looked at their own faces and then created self portraits in Modigliani’s style, focusing on brush strokes, blended colors, shading, and texture.
And sixth grade students completed a multistep cityscape unit, starting with a carefully drawn image using rulers and templates, we then explored use of paint and color theory in our final works on canvas. Students had to show overlapping and patterns, as well and control with the material. Ultimately all color choices had to be explainable using traditional color theory vocabulary.
Let these imaginative and colorful works open the door to spring. Check back for more art soon.
The studio has been lucky enough to have a visiting student teacher from MECA (Maine College of Art) with us for the last 6 weeks and Mrs M. has brought some great energy and fresh artistic insight to the art room. She has lead several units including the two featured in this post. One for 6th graders that focused on the basics of watercolor painting techniques using winter birch trees as the subject. The other lesson for seventh graders centered around the phenomenally expressive work of Jean Michel Basquiat who’s artistic flame burned brightly but quickly in the 1980’s. These self portraits were focused more on who the students are on the inside than what they look like on the outside.
Whenever the end of a term happens every class finishes up a project at the same time. It takes a little time to photograph everything, crop and enhance images, and post it all, but the knowledge that people can see it from the comfort of home (for the record: all of this amazing work is also on display in the FMS hallways) and students can show people near and far their hard work is worth it. Please enjoy these 6th grade cityscapes, two projects from 7th graders: split portraits and ceramic masks, and some beautiful block prints by the 8th grade.
Eighth grade students worked hard on these graphite observation drawings. A classic lesson that builds the foundation for all artists, drawing from life is a challenge, but with persistence and care the results can be gorgeous. Students focused first on observing the size and position of the objects in front of them, starting with a light under-drawing of basic shapes. As they added detail and shading to the piece they used multiple drawing techniques such as stippling, hatching, and smudging to create a range of values from darkest shadows to brightest reflected highlights.