Friday, January 29, 2010

Art Class Celebrates the Chinese New Year!

As an art teacher, I have the freedom to create curriculum for the class as we go along- as long as I meet my NVA standards of course! This allows me to gather inspiration from just about anywhere for my lessons which is great. This past New Year's Eve I spent here in Tennessee and my boyfriend was still visiting his family back in Boston. When we realized we weren't going to spend the New Year's together his immediate response was, "Well we will celebrate the Chinese New Year instead this year." Aside from the suggestion being incredible sweet I thought it would also be a culturally rich and fun topic for a unit plan in my art room. So far so good!

First we read the book "Sam and the Lucky Money" and the students learned about the traditional red envelops that children receive from their elders with lucky leisee inside. We then created our own and decorated them with tiger images as 2010 is the year of the tiger. I am currently in the process of making "Mona Bucks" which the students will have to earn to put in their leisee envelops in order to earn their way to the Frist Center in March.

Then the students created beautiful paper fans! We used color diffusing sheets so when they were painted the images bleed thru to both sides of the paper. The following day when our paintings were dry we learned the according fold. These turned out wonderfully and really brighten up the classroom!

Now we are decorating the hallway with dragon masks that the students' made. We used a coloring sheet for the face, I made a tracer for the students to use to cut out the construction paper beards to go around the face, and the students got to use that accordion fold that they learned this week to make wild and crazy hairs! All fun stuff!

Finally next week we will begin to make paper lanterns. I can't wait!

Check out all these projects on the The King's Daughters' Artsonia account! While you're there vote for Kourtney (thru Saturday 1/30/10)!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vote for Kourtney!

My student Kourtney has been selected as a finalist for "Artist of the Week" on!!!! Please go vote for her Haiti House on the main page of the site!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CD Cover Design Contest

The students of KDS have entered a CD cover design contest that is being offered by a singer song writer in the Nashville area. Tammy Vice is a Christian singer/ song writer who has a daughter with Autism so she has restricted the cover contest to those with students with Special Needs. This gave my students and I the opportunity to understand the process in which professional graphic designers and other artists explore when they are given an assignment by a client. We listened to the song that Tammy recorded and talked about what types of images came into their heads while the students listend to it, what type of feeling it gave them, and we spoke about symbolism in the words of the song. Many classes thought that a door was a great image to work with that Tammy sang about because they felt it was very symbolic.

Tammy has since called to inform me that she will be using a collage of the artwork done by the students here at KDS for the cover! We are all very excited. Below are some of the images that my students created.

Go to to see the contest details and some of the entries submitted. Click on photos to see some of the students artworks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Houses for Haiti

To continue with our "Art with a Purpose" new years resolution, the students at KDS have constructed our very own little Houses for Haiti. The houses are made from recycled cardboard, tempra paint, buttons, glitter glue, foam hearts, and sequins- topped off with Mod Podge. The lesson tied art with current events and the students continuing learning about what it means to do good things for others. Below are some examples of my students' work.

Our little houses are for sale in the art room at KDS for $5 a piece. All money will be donated to the American Red Cross.

The lesson can be found at:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Years Resolution: Art with a Purpose!!!!

Debi West is an absolutely incredible art teacher and inspiration to me! We met this past summer at the Tennessee Arts Academy where she was a workshop instructor. After learning about the Memory Project, I asked Debi if she would be interested in having her students create portraits of my students. She enthusiastically accepted my proposal and the results were amazing!

Just a few of the portraits by Debi West's students!

In the spirit of "paying it forward" and continuing the notion of "Art with a Purpose" my students' made some really beautiful cards for soldiers that are fighting down in Iraq. A good friend of mine is currently serving in Iraq until July, when I asked her if I could send her anything she asked for mascara, a pumas stone, and cards from my students. All easy enough. I know that those cards will certainly be able to make the days of many soldiers who are far away from home. KDS students' did a wonderful job on this assignment and really enjoyed doing it!