Wednesday, October 6, 2010

grey scale or gray scale?......

Well, it doesn't matter how you spell it....4th and 5th graders are currently taking the "gray scale challenge"....we are learning how to use our tools ( in this instance, EBONY brand pencils) to the best of their ability...and to see just how many shades of gray we can squeak out of them to create a patterned design in the round. We are learning about the element of VALUE in art, and simultaneously having a grand time seeing who can find the most shades with their last count, grand total was 58...We will post some of our finished works of art when they are complete!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

we are READY, 2010-2011 school year.....

Here we go!....welcome to another year in the studio! Your place to practice right brain thinking, creative problem solving, imagining, visualizing and self expression!....welcome to all of my new 3rd grade artists...and welcome back to my 4th and 5th graders. I am looking forward to another year of working with you to find your creative voice. My hopes and dreams are that you will come to class with an open mind, and an open heart! See you very soon! Ms. G.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

putting silly bandz to a good use......

I was watching a piece on the national news about a week ago. It was reporting that the extremely popular 'silly bandz' kids have been wearing have been banned in a number of school districts around the country; the reason being that they are considered to be a huge distraction. For those of you who might not know what they are, they're rubber bracelets that come in various shapes:planes, stars, hearts , the alphabet, etc. that you wear around your wrist. As a teacher, I have not found this to be the case at all. In fact, a bunch of my third grade students have put them to great use! We have been learning about color for the last number of weeks, and just completed a project around warm and cool color families. A bunch of my fabulous artists came to class yesterday and showed me they had sorted theirs into warm and cool color families!, if THAT doesn't warm a teachers' heart, I don't know what would! Letting me know that they are carrying all that I bring to them out into their world is such a gift.......

Friday, April 9, 2010

the finished product!......

Here are the completed community nests! you can see, there is one for each grade level
(3,4,5)....each 'egg' has been filled with 'food' brought from home by each student...items such as beans, lentils, rice, oatmeal, Cheerios and peas are inside each...meant to represent your family and how they feed and take care of you. The eggs were sewn shut and placed in the nest. Each artist wove a reed into the felted sides to represent themselves as part of a community, and added additional strands, as diverse as a pet horses' hair, gift ribbon from a birthday, and old shoelace from favorite sneakers and hair from big sisters' trim! All in all, this was a great experience!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

artist residency...Lisa Klakulak

We are so very lucky to have a PTO that truly believes in and supports the arts!....The 4th and 5th graders are continuing their trip around the world and have landed in Mongolia, where they are learning about the art of felt making from Lisa Klakulak, an internationally known felt artist from Asheville, NC. Ms. K taught all grades the science behind making art out of wool, and taught them how to make felted eggs, that will be filled with small objects brought from home. Finished eggs will be placed in giant felted nests, embellished by the young artists, each representing the idea that we are all one small part of a larger community. I will post more about our project next week, as it nears completion. You can learn more about Lisa, and her fascinating work on her website,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mr.White's class and me......

Today I spent part of the morning with Mr. White's 4th grade class....we had a great time playing an old drawing game begun by surrealist artists in the 1920's called "the exquisite corpse" are the directions below if you want to try it at home....make sure you don't let the people you are playing with peek at your paper! ( click on the screenshot to enlarge!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vermont Arts Council.....good read...

This is from the 'pen' of Alex Aldrich, head of the Vermont Arts Council....I know it is long, but it is a timely and IMPORTANT read, especially considering the economic times...thank you for taking the time to consider his thoughts...

"We are receiving reports from various arts supporters that legislators and newspapers have received letters that target the Vermont Arts Council and a few other small agencies for elimination.
I have read a few of these letters and their basic argument is that, as with household budgets when there is less money available, Government should cut programs (like the Arts Council) until it is operating within its means.
To me this sounds like a contestant on The Biggest Loser being told to eliminate the tablespoon of peanut-butter from his diet instead of addressing his 10-chili-cheese-dog-a-day habit because the peanut butter has, pound for pound, more calories.
Eliminating the peanut butter will, like cutting the Arts Council budget, result in two sure things: the problem won't go away, and worse, without it we will suffer from the lack of some crucial nutrients which our bodies and our society can ill-afford to be without.
The Government is not the same as a Household The basic flaw with the letters I have read is the assumption that Government functions like a household. Government is supposed to protect its interests and the citizenry (sometimes even from the citizenry itself!), negotiate with foreign countries on behalf of the people, and provide programs and services that are in the people's interest but for which there is no market incentive for investment (like schools and health-care, and teacher's and veteran's retirement programs, all of which are topics that are too big to discuss here!).
A head of household, however, tends to preserve and protect what is dear to him/her, even if it is at the expense of a neighbor or the community-at-large. Nowhere is this behavior more pronounced, its effects more devastatingly felt, than when people charged with acting in the public trust behave instead like individuals bent on preserving and protecting "what's theirs." This is essentially what happened in Washington and on Wall Street during the past five or six years during which regulations were either gutted or ignored. Speculators created high risk/high reward instruments that created fortunes for themselves overnight, and when everything went sour, turned to the Federal Government for a bail-out. So-called public servants protected their own assets at the expense of everyone else.
So here we sit in a recession/depression with private capital more or less dried up, unemployment at a 25-year high, and private enterprise at best, in a state of paralysis. It is very tempting to cut Government spending until we have once again reached the point where our revenue equals or exceeds our expenses; where our annual deficit disappears; where are accumulated national debt starts to decrease.
The problem is that if the Government does this, then unemployment will get much worse and inflation will skyrocket because there are fewer goods and services being produced. Depression in every possible meaning of the world will be the status quo on a scale not seen before... It seems counter-intuitive to individuals dealing with their own household budgets to say that the best possible way to improve things is for the Government to spend more, but Government is the only player right now who has access to capital.
Government must invest borrowed capital in order to invest in private enterprise to create jobs and restore consumer and market confidence. It is these jobs, these industries that receive this investment that will, eventually, and not without great anxiety, allow us to move towards a recovery.
Arts=Jobs; Arts = Community State Arts Agencies not only recognize and support vital cultural institutions and artist projects, we partner with a variety of private and public partners to showcase various attractions and festivals that cause huge numbers of visitors and entrepreneurs to come to our state. These visitors spend enormous sums in our shops, restaurants, and hotels. The entrepreneurs start businesses, employ people and contractors, and make positive demands on and contributions to our community's social fabric.
Arts agencies also serve as a catalyst that allows significant amounts of supplemental educational experiences to engage students in our schools, most of which is directly related to the schools' curriculum goals and all of which is directed towards specific performance goals for every student, not the least of which is developing skills for the 21st-century workforce that are highly prized--like collaborative decision-making, public speaking, and creative thinking.
The two most frequently cited reasons why a business chooses to locate in one community over another--all other factors like tax incentives and regulations being equal—are the quality of the schools and the quality of community life, both of which are highly dependent on a thriving arts sector.
Cutting Government’s small investment in the arts, far from improving our economic situation, will actually make if far worse. Not only will the cut place at risk 2000 jobs throughout the state, but the closing of perhaps dozens of our cultural institutions, and the drying up of arts education programs in our schools will make Vermont a significantly less attractive place for people to visit, to invest in new businesses, and to raise families.
So, please, don’t be fooled. Eat the peanut butter. It's good for you. The real threat is those chili-cheese-dogs."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

color mixing and radial symmetry.....

3rd grade artists are continuing to explore the elements and principles of art in their foundational exploration year...we are creating spinning tops out of used CD's that will demonstrate our understandings of radial symmetry. Artists are required to include the three primary colors in somewhere in their design to illustrate how they will combine to create the secondary set.....stay tuned!