As we move into real spring, students are changing terms and I have finally had a chance to organize some photos, hang work in the halls, and get some new work posted here on the blog. It’s been a long year and hopefully these projects with their bright colors and happy, creative faces will help blast away the long dark of winter and let us welcome the sun with open arms.
The 3rd Term is starting at FMS and while many of us may be surprised we made it this far, what I am NOT surprised about is the amazing work being created by the students here in the building. Because of our hybrid schedule and the gaps between students being in the art room, our lessons take a little longer than usual. That is why I have been saving up for a big drop at the end of each term. (It also lets me stare at a screen for slightly fewer minutes per term). Without further ado, here is a sampling of the artwork made in the past weeks. Please ask your student artists to show you the work they have produced at home during their virtual art time.
As we have been spending as much time as possible outside these past few months students and staff have been thinking a great deal about nature and what it can teach us. Not only in terms of science and the -ologies associated with the natural world, but also about our place in nature, how we can effect and manipulate it. How it effects us physically and emotionally.
For years British artist Andy Goldworthy has been working in and with nature as an art material and form of expression. 8th graders in Mr. Adams’ art class took their inspiration from Goldworthy in these last days before break to create some ephemeral (lasting a short time) art and commune with nature and the process of making.
I was dealing with some technical difficulties on the blog which I believe I have solved and now, as the second term draws to a close, we can finally see the rest of the work from Term 1. But that is ok. Because art lives outside of time. It can be appreciated regardless of when it was completed or when it was shown. That said, I offer for your perusal some Cubist self-portraits, ceramic animal vessels, and fabulous found object sculptures that can’t help but make you smile. Enjoy.
As we all get used to wearing masks on a daily (nearly constant) basis, 7th graders explored the many uses for masks in world culture. Not just for protection, but for disguise, intimidation, celebration, arts, and religion to name a few.
Students looked carefully at the style and design motifs of masks created by indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest region. The strong, powerful, yet smooth and flowing style that shows the intimate connection to the life-giving but unforgiving ocean. The emphasis on exaggeration to portray the prominent features of each animal. They incorporated all of this into the design of their own animal masks.
Take a look at these ceramic pieces and think about what animal you might transform into if you had such a mask.
What more is there to say about the year 2020? Every element of this past year has been a challenge, and we as teachers, students, and artists, have had to face those challenges with flexibility and creativity. But this is how art grows and changes. Ease and routine can be nice, but they can lead to stagnation. It is through upheaval and instability that we are forced to see what we are made of and what we can create in the face of adversity.
We didn’t know what school would be like when we came back in September. What I have seen is students who have risen to the challenge, faced what has been thrust upon them, and attacked the new way of doing things with gusto and fierce power.
Over the next few days I will be posting galleries of the work that have been created over the past six weeks. Sure, the hybrid model means that projects take a little longer to finish, but the flip side is that we are focusing on quality over speed, creativity over production. The kids did not sit on their hands, they built, created, designed, and made.
Three units have wrapped up in the last week including Ceramic dragons in order of the Lunar new year, relief sculpture tiles of trees, and the final stage of a three part observation drawing unit culminating in the age old method of copper tooling.
Meanwhile, 7th graders were hard at work on a detailed (and messy) charcoal drawing. The second stage of a 3 part observational drawing unit, students carefully looked for light and shadow in their chosen animal photo and worked carefully to translate to the black/white/grey palette and soft tones that charcoal allows. Beautiful.
Mr. Adams’ 7th graders looked at the intricate body art and facial tattooing of the Maori people. (New Zealand’s native population).Students first studied Maori and Polynesian motifs and patterns, then pressed clay into a face mold. When the clay was leather hard they carefully carved their tattoo designs into one side of the face. After the clay was fired students mirrored the design with black glaze on the other side.Students had to consider not only the specific patterns, but also the cultural and personal meaning behind their designs.