Tried & True Tips for Art Teachers is a monthly roundup of advice and wisdom
from fellow art teachers, put together by the intrepid Glenda Lubiner.
Transformed by Art
“It’s not new that architecture can profoundly affect a place, sometimes transform it. Architecture and any art can transform a person, even save someone.” — Frank Gehry
This month we have a lot to celebrate. February is Black History Month. We will also celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week, which is Feb. 9–15, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and Chinese New Year. Below we have some great tips on clay, community connections and getting ready for the spring art show.
GLAZE AWAY. Thelma Halloran, from Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in Connecticut, created a glaze chip chart that shows the “Do’s and Don’ts” of proper glazing techniques. She made chips showing one coat, another showing two coats and three coats so that students can see the difference between transparencies vs. opacity. She also created a chip with too much glaze that “pools” and a chip that shows the glaze “crawling” because the bisque ware might not have been thoroughly rinsed prior to glazing.
TIME TO MAKE DONUTS. Pop art is always fun to do, so Emily Deacon from Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines, Florida, had her students make clay donuts. After they were fired, her students dipped them in “glazes” of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, and then had them add “sprinkles.” Emily made the sprinkles by painting thin layers of glaze on foil and letting it dry. She then crinkled the foil to make the sprinkles. Donut holes were offered to our guests in the “Pop Art” room of the art show.
BE OUT THERE! There are always museums, businesses and corporations that are looking for partnerships with schools. MaryJane Long, from Dover High School in Delaware is currently partnering with the Biggs American Art Museum.
The Biggs is celebrating their 25th anniversary and schools throughout Delaware can adopt a piece of art from the museum. The museum then provides a reproduction of the art piece for display in the school. Teachers in different content areas can view the work and then create lessons based on the pieces. These units are then posted online for others to use and share.
MaryJane found out about this opportunity at a monthly Delaware Art Education meeting. The connections are there, go and find them!
PIN IT! Pinterest has been updated and now allows you to organize pins into different sections under each of your boards. For example, Tracy Fortune, from Lakes High School in Lakewood, WA has a board called Clay Artworks with Sections titled Coil, Slab, Pinch Pot, and Extruder. On her AP 3D-board she has sections including Altered Books, Lanterns and Reed Sculptures, Functional Paper Artworks and Nature Arranged. Pinterest also now allows you to specify if you want the alphabetize or use other sorting system.
MARCH MADNESS. Youth Art Month and Music in Our Schools Month arrive in March. At Franklin Academy in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Emily Deacon (elementary art), Jennifer Pulliam (middle school digital art), and I (middle school 2D and 3D art) create a huge extravaganza. Our Art and Multicultural Show is also one of our biggest fundraisers. We charge $5 admission and the tickets become our patrons’ raffle tickets. Our NJAHS Students dress up as artists and greet our guests. They work for months going around to local businesses and getting donations of raffle gifts. We usually have around 30 raffle prizes ranging from $5 coupons at the local yogurt store to $50 restaurant gift cards.
Last year, Emily had installations around the school and Jen’s students created passports that the kids got stamped at each event. As mentioned before, Emily showcased her Pop Art room, and her Tea Room (of course tea was served there too). The kids created small plates and teacups from clay. Emily looks at her curriculum for each grade level and decides months in advance how she can incorporate what they are doing into the show. The art room is converted into the “famous” black-light room.
Every year we try and tie the theme into our school theme … this year “The Greatest School on eARTh!” Our robotic class will be helping to make something moving across the room on a high wire! Lots of time and effort for a 2-hour show, but always worth it!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO Takashi Murakami (Feb. 1, 1962), Paula Modersohn-Becker (Feb. 8, 1876), Leone Battista Alberti (Feb. 18, 1404), Tom Wesselmann (Feb. 23, 1931), Frank Gehry (Feb. 28, 1929).
Thank you Thelma, Tracy, Maryjane, Emily, and Jennifer for your great tips.
Arts & Activities Contributing Editor Glenda Lubiner (NBCT) teaches art at Franklin Academy Charter School in Pembroke Pines, Fla. She is also an adjunct professor at Broward College.
If you would like to share some of your teaching tips, email them to: