Monday, September 29, 2014

Science in the Art Room: Creative Zoology

I am super excited to share this project with you all! Some of you probably do something similar in your classrooms but perhaps you want some NEW ways to help incorporate science and contemporary artists.

This is an "in-progress" post so I promise to update once the students have finished painting these masterpieces.

I started this project by introducing artist Scott Musgrove, who is now one of my FAVORITE contemporary artists!

Scott is an artist who works in a variety of different mediums and subject matter, but for this project I focused on his "Specious Beast" collection. In this series, Scott creates one of a kind, outstandingly strange animals and then pairs them with proper species names. Check out his website here

This opened up an opportunity for me to teach "Binomial Nomenclature" (or scientific naming) to my students. They had so much fun picking out genus and species names that told the origins of their one of a kind creatures. I also plan to include a short  narrative writing assignment while we wait for these beauties to dry. (Scott writes a lot of his adventures where he "discovers" his creatures)

I also paired this lesson with a local exhibit of Dr. Suess' "Unorthodox Taxidermy" and gave extra credit for students who went and viewed the installation at our local museum. 

The students are at the firing stage of their projects so I thought I'd share (fingers crossed everyone remembered their clay rules and no explosions happen) an in-progress look at these outlandish creatures!


Anteater+ antelope 

Frog+rattle snake + unicorn

Fish+ Unicorn

Tiger + Turtle + Human

I want to emphasize that I left this project extremely open ended. I re-taught basic clay procedures and helped along the way, but the students could combine whatever they wanted to create their creatures. They also could think of other materials (besides clay) to add to their projects post-fire. Although most chose to combine animals/fantasy creatures, there are quite a few (not pictured) that combined inanimate objects and animals! 

Stay tuned for final projects! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Where Have I Been? Part 2

Well it's been, as my good friend Kelsey would say, FOREVER since I've written my last blog post. The school year ended and, for the most part, so did my energy to focus on school. I'm usually a really high energy, ready-to-go kind of gal, but for some reason my heart just wasn't into the usual "getting ready for school" mode all summer. Crazy honest and I hope some of you understand.

I spent a lot of my summer working on myself as an artist. I've always created and I take great pride in continuing to make my own Art, but I always feel I lose a little of my artist self during the school year. I've set a goal to make 10 mixed media works throughout the school year to make sure this doesn't happen again. Doing student examples (as fun as they can be) just isn't cutting it for my artistic soul.

Most of my art this summer included large scale murals with a bit of a dark undertone.

 These first two were done in an empty construction space during Appleton's "Mile of Music". I was honored to be a part of a pop-up art gallery call "Feather and Bone: Fearsome Creatures of Lumberwood". Super fun time and got to collaborate with lots of talented local artists! 

These final two were done on the bare walls of the studio where my husband works. The horror series below is LARGE! Each section is about 7'x4'. Very happy with how it turned out :)

This last image is my arm newly tattooed up with beautiful art supplies. Now I'm ready for the school year!

I'm back to feeling re-energized and looking forward to starting a lot of new practices in my art room. I hope your school years a going swimmingly so far, and I look forward to sharing with you all this 2014-15 school year!