Saturday, December 15, 2012

50 Artists Everyone Should Know!

Every year I expose my students to art history in a variety of ways. We look at specific artists (past and present) that are appropriate for a specific assignment. But, I also try to provide them with an understanding of art history in a larger context. Last year, it was 500 years of the Self-Portrait. The year before, it was The Flower through Art History - over 300 years.

This year, I thought I'd go bold and make a splashy list of "50 Artists Everyone Should Know!"  The list is subjective and keeping it to 50 was a challenge!  Once I got started, I couldn't stop! My list of 50 inspired another list: "190 Artists Worth Knowing!"  View my lists on my OnCourse website.

The teaching objective is simple....I want my eclectic group of art students to see just how much art there is to see - and to feel how much art there is worth making! Based on this lesson, my students will do a research blog post inspired by one of the 50, and will then use their artist of choice as the inspiration for a 3 piece ceramic tea set - (a cup, saucer and dessert plate). We will have an artists' tea party this spring. Stay tuned for updates! Click here to see student research projects from last year.

Above is the slideshow that I prepared for my students.  The moral of the lesson... for every 50 artists, there are many more worth knowing!

Art is exponential!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2nd Marking Period & MidTerm Requirements

The Following Assignments are due by January 23rd:
• Finished Lantern
• Blind Contour Embellished Drawing           
• Bowl Contributions for our Empty Bowls Dinner

• Blog Requirements (earlier due date: listed below)

3 Blog Posts Due by midnight on January 18th = One Assignment Grade
   • Lantern:            
Write about your finished lantern, the process and the product. Include a photo or a video.

   • Empty Bowls:
Please write about how working on the bowls and toward this community service project has impacted you. Write about the importance for it, the need for it, and/or the phenomenon of hunger in America. Add pictures of your bowl & platter contribution(s) and/or the process of creating them. Speak from your heart.

   • Embellished Blind Contour Self-Portrait Drawing: will start in class on Jan 2
Write about your finished sketch. Include a photo.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


• Artist Research Post: Due on January 11th

• Book Page of "Creative Research Notes" for Mid-Term Project –
Due on the midterm exam period.  Bring it with you to class.

• Mid-Term Project to be created during the midterm exam period


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Congratulations Kate & Makenna

Two of my students had their work selected to be on display at the New Jersey Center of Performing Arts Winter Exhibit. The theme is "Mixed Media", for which 30 Pieces were selected from the pool of entries.  The show will be on display through February 9th, and is sponsored by The Art Educators of New Jersey.  A reception for the artists was held on Sunday, December 16th.

Top: Kate Watson: Grade 12,  Bottom: Makenna Douglas: Grade 10
Congratulations on this well deserved recognition!!

Makenna at the reception, receiving his award! Congratulations!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Look Into the Light!

It's no surprise why I love my job. Somehow... in our little school, with our one, little art class...the kids who land in room 14 rarely disappoint. This assignment was no exception. There are still students working to finish their lanterns, but here are a few I can share. I think even if Beatrice Coron were their teacher, she would be pleased - I sure am!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flickering Light

My students are starting to see the light and their lantern designs are really coming along! Here's a little video of my sample cut pattern. Student work is featured below.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cast Your Vote ...

Today is election day. For the past three weeks, my students have been working on mixed media collages as a visual means of "casting their vote" or "taking a stand" on an issue pertinent to this election. I am so proud of ALL of my students for taking this idea and running with it. The work featured above, from the top and then left to right: Noa B: grade 10, Melony L: grade 11, Kate W: grade 12, Kelly N: grade 12, Erin C: grade 10.  Click here to see many more!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cut Paper Lanterns - Seasons in Light

We are starting a lesson where my students are being asked to design a paper lantern that is inspired by a season. I am having them approach it like a design challenge! Ya gotta love a good challenge!

In addition to their imagery (that will be cut from paper), the students must also design the lantern's structure - size, shape and style.  I want my students to consider design ideas for opacity, light flow, layers and sculptural properties.

As part of their research for design inspiration and possibilities, I am directing them to check out these artists who work with cut paper.

Prepare to be amazed.
Beatrice Coron
Peter Callesen
Bovey Lee - Work featured above
Kara Walker

Click here to see a bunch of artists who work with cut paper.

Beatrice Coron on TED talks.

I can't wait to see what my students create!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blog Deadline Extended

Due to Hurricane Sandy and the three school days we missed, the marking period has been extended. The blog posts are now due on Monday by Midnight. Please refer to this past post for the topics.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Surface and Meaning

Mixed media surface development is one of my favorite things...not just to teach, but also to do.

My students are currently working on a mixed media collage inspired by "The Next President". They can approach it by using one of the candidate's as their inspiration or they may also take a stand on one of the issues pertinent to this coming election.

The beginning surface of the piece to the left belongs to 12th grader, Rebecca T. She's got a little bit of everything going on in there as she works to express the idea of money/corruption in politics - and I can't wait to see what comes next! Go Rebecca, Go!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

1st Marking Period Requirements

• Assignments due at end of class on November 7th.
   1. Shoe Drawing
   2. Next President Collage (complete or in progress) 
• Blog Obligations due by midnight NOVEMBER 2nd.
You must have your welcome post written first. If you still have not “greeted” your audience, please do so before writing your other three posts.

3 POSTS AND THE TOPICS = One Assignment Grade
• Shoe Drawing
            Discuss the process, your progress and the experience you had working on your drawing. Include photos!
• Next President Collage (in progress or completed):
            Discuss the next president collage you are working on. Include Photos!  You may also discuss this election in general if you feel inclined to do so. This is not a requirement, but you can if you would like.
• Reflection on the Marking Period:
            Think about where you started (in your head and in your skills) and reflect on how you feel you have grown. Think about why you feel the way you feel and what your role in all of it is.

Steppin' into a Groove!

The first 24 days of school have allowed us to step into a nice groove. We have created decorative papers for our full year journal assignment and have completed our pencil drawings of shoes! Each student brought in a pair of shoes to plop on the table. The students created a composition using a view finder and their camera to crop an interesting section.

Most of the students opted to draw on white 9 x 12 paper, but a few students chose to draw on a sheet from their collection of decorative papers. Click here to see some of the finished drawings. Featured here is the drawing of 10th grader, Amelia M.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blogging with Students

Last year, I created a blog requirement for my classes. I had no idea if it would be something that I would continue doing as a requirement or if I would let it go and try something different this year.  Well, I'm hooked and am excited to be planning for year #2 of blogging with my students. This year I want to involve video and podcasting! There's so much for this old dog to learn!

Entering year #23 of my career, there is an increased need to change with the times. It is my goal to use the technology available to us to share what we are doing in class and what my students are learning. The blog project satisfies that goal while also providing the students with a contemporary method of showcasing their work and ideas in a digital format.  I like looking at what my students have to say about what they are creating! I'm proud of them!

My repeat students will maintain their blogs as a continuation from year to year, so that at the end of their high school art experiences, they will have a document that shows their growth and evolution as a student artist, all in one place!

Here are a few links to some of my students' blogs from 2011-2012!

Kathleen D
Nikki D
Tara M
Caitlynne C
Helena V
Sammi S
Noa B

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our Dinner Party Brunch!

Today was the last day of final exams. For the past three days, I got to have brunch with all of my students! What a delight. We ate off of our handmade place settings and each student brought in food to share. It was a pot-luck style meal that made me feel very lucky indeed!

Tomorrow, the class of 2012 will graduate, I know great things await them!!

Thank you and congratulations! I have enjoyed our time together.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A final exam you can sink your teeth into!

The Creative Arts Classes will share a meal during their scheduled exam period.

Each student is required to bring a food item to share with the group.
I will provide bagels, cream cheese and beverages.
The plates and cups are already there!

Place Settings featured above:
TL: Erin Costello, TR: Emily Himles, BL: Karen Graeber, BR: Courtney Quinn 

Period 7/8 Creative Arts Class will have their brunch on June 12th at 10am
Period 5/6 Creative Arts Class will have their brunch on June 13th at 10am
Period   1  Creative Arts Class will have their brunch on June 14th at 10am

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

4th Marking Period Blog Requirements!

The marking period blog requirement is to create a slideshow of the work you've created this year!  This slideshow must be embedded in your blog by midnight on June 1st.  You can do this by following the instructions provided in class using

An alternative to uploading a powerpoint onto slideshare is to use or to create your slide show.  No resizing of photos is required using these methods and the site provides its own instructions!!

If you choose to create a powerpoint and then upload it using, simply refer to the presentation below for help.

If you have your own strategy and method for embedding a slideshow into your blog, by all it!!  I can't wait to see your digital portfolio.

Happy slideshow making!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our Dinner Party

Several weeks back, my students learned about Judy Chicago's, The Dinner Party. I showed photographs of the installation that I took myself when I saw it this past March.

I have always admired Judy Chicago's vision for this work. How long it took to create and how long she waited (with the 39 place setting and tapestries packed up in storage) until a museum agreed to house the monumental work permanently. Since 2007, The Brooklyn Museum has hosted The Dinner Party in its permanent collection. It's breath taking.

Each of my students is working hard on creating a three piece place setting (cup, bowl and a plate) that is a symbolic and metaphorical tribute to a significant person in their life. (living or dead, real or fictitious.)

We will be sharing a meal together, eating off of our functional creations, on the day of our final exam.  It should be fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3rd Marking Period Requirements

1. Blog Obligations due by midnight on Friday, March 30.
Two Posts on the topics below: one assignment grade

• Finished Metal Work
Discuss the physical work and the finished metal piece you created.

•Ceramics In-Progress
Discuss the process and your ideas so far.

2. "A Personal Favorite" OR "Expressions" Sketch (pick one)
due at the end of class on APRIL 2.

One quality sketch completed on the paper appropriate for your book: one assignment grade

3. Class Assignments: All due on APRIL 2.
- Miniature Metal Panel
- Ceramic Place Setting - In-Progess

Sunday, February 26, 2012

March is Youth Art Month!

There is a whole month dedicated toward celebrating art in our schools. Hooray for that!

Although it's officially celebrated on the calendar in March - we live it and love it every month out of the year! Haddon Township has some good news! Emily Himles, grade 12, had her piece (shown above) selected to be one of the six that will represent Camden County at the State Youth Art Month Exhibit at the State House in Trenton! A special celebration will be held on March 30th! Congratulations Emily!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kids on Fire

Our metals unit is finished! The assignment was to create a miniature metal panel using copper, brass and nickel silver. Each piece had to be smaller than 4 inches, but most are actually smaller than 3 inches.

The students do their own sawing, filing and soldering and use an acetylene torch to get the job done! To see the students' work, visit

Monday, February 13, 2012

Artist Research Project

We completed a new mid-term assessment project this year. My students were required to select one artist to research from those we discussed in the 500 years of the portrait lesson. The students then created a biographical research blog post and also an interpretive piece inspired by the artist they researched. Above are some of the students’ interpretive pieces. Click here to see more.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Our collages are finished! Click on the sildeshow below to see some of the students' work. Plus, there's more at

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2nd Marking Period Requirements

1. Blog Obligations due by midnight on Friday, JANUARY 20.
Three Posts on the topics below: one assignment grade

• Self-Portrait
Discuss the portrait you created. You may include things about the large version, the small study or both.

• i.d.entity Collage
Discuss the collage you created. Include your lune if you like.

• Miniature Metal Panel (in progress):
Discuss your metal panel and the experiences you've had while creating it so far.

2. "Of the Natural World" Sketch due at the end of class on JANUARY 23.
Quality sketch completed on the paper appropriate for your book: one assignment grade

3. Class Assignments: All due on JANUARY 23.
Completed Self-Portrait, Collage and Lune, Sketch
Metals work in progress

To see what is due for the Mid-Term, click here.