I participate in artsonia. I love it. I think it is a great communication tool between home and school and it's a great place to advocate for your program. A fringe benefit is that it kicks back some of its profits to your school's art program. In the past I've used the profits to supplement my supply budget or bought a "wish list" item. I'm at a school now that has a very fair budget and I'm fortunate enough to have the means to purchase the things I need to teach. I know that this is not the case everywhere and I'm fortunate to teach in a community that supports the arts.
This year, I wanted to do something different with our artsonia profits, rather than supplement our budget. So this year, instead we we will be purchasing a piece of art to start our very own modern art collection for our elementary school.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to establish the practice of large group, community projects but it has. Last year I have made a vow to provide more opportunities for students to work together on community projects. I think this is positive in a number of ways; it provides a good problem solving experience for kids, it is fantastic PR for the art program, and it's great fun.
I am extremely fortunate to have a very committed, well connected, passionate community that supports the arts in a very big way. Each year they raise funds to bring in a visiting artist that works with students to make a communal artistic experience or project. Sometimes it's a poet, other years it's a visual artist. This past year, I was fortunate enough to have an incredible amount of freedom when planning the Artist in Residence with our PTA (parent teacher association).
I decided to make the most of our budget and go all in. Now, looking back on this - it was a bold decision to create such a large project, much of which rested on my shoulders knowing I would be 9 months pregnant when all this would come together. But, I wouldn't change a thing, The artists that we worked with were incredible and the experiences and outcomes that the students experienced were nothing short of spectacular. Below is the description of one of the three artist in residence experiences that I built for our elementary students.
We are on week 2 of our artist in residence. Last week 3-5th grade worked with a professional photographer on a project inspired by Minimiam and this week K-2nd grade is working with an animator to create a stop motion animation inspired by Calder's Circus. Below you can see a quick trailer that I put together to showcase our work in progress. It's been a ton of fun and I can't wait to see the end product with all the acts and sounds added.
My fifth grade students have been working hard on their Tree of Life interpretations and family tree digital projects. They are coming alone great and the kids are proud. They are so proud that they want an opportunity to show them off. They initiated a conversation about having a "fancy art evening" just for the fifth grade.
Great Blogs that inspire me
There are an incredible amount of inspiring blogs out in cyber space. I can spend HOURS "surfing" the web; gazing at beautiful images, being taken in by a wonderfully written tutorial, or being cought up in to researching how to make all these wonderful ideas transpire in my own home or classroom. I regulary take inspiration from the blogs in the list to the right. Below are a few that I've really spent a lot of time on this past year. I encourage you to take a look on this freezing cold day!
What about you? What blogs do you relaly look forward to being updated?
les petites tetes de l'art: http://lespetitestetesdelart.b...
- Although in French, the images are so inspiring it drives me to copy and paste the text in to google translate. Centered mostly on early childhood learning it's obvious that creativity and growth through exploration take center stage.
Deep Space Sparkle: http://www.deepspacesparkle.co...
- Patty Palmer always is there to provide a beautifully illustrated tutorial on a wide range of media and topics. I regulary look to her website to freshen up my curriculum.
Mini eco: http://www.minieco.co.uk
-Although, not a traditional art education website, the crafts on Kate's blog are so relevant to many art standards and techniques that I find myself regulary being influenced by her tutorials and style. A must for paper arts.
- I check daily on Colossal to get a quick look at what's relevant and exciting in the modern art world. It's a great way to keep up to date on current artists and I regulary bring back images and stories to my elementary classroom to further inspire students.
Arte a scuola: http://arteascuola.com
- Such a visually appealing website, filled with project ideas and tutorials. I have taken many ideas of this middle school art teacher back to my elementary classroom with great success. Her blog is easy to navigate and beautiful to gaze at.