Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Studio Habits Of Mind

Sometimes we think of arts as "extra," but in addition to aesthetic appreciation, the arts teaches other modes of thinking that are valuable across every discipline. Students who learn lessons in the arts are prepared to see patterns, learn from mistakes, and envision solutions. (How 21st century!) These 8 habits provide a framework and language that supports such a disposition: 

Develop Craft: Learn to use tools, materials, and artistic conventions. Learn to care for tools, materials, and space.
Engage & Persist: Learn to embrace problems of relevance within the art world and/or of personal importance, to develop focus conducive to working and persevering at tasks.
Envision: Learn to picture mentally what cannot be directly observed, and imagine possible next steps in making a piece.
Express: Learn to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning.
Observe: Learn to attend to visual contexts more closely than ordinary “looking” requires, and thereby to see things that otherwise might not be seen.
Reflect: Learn to think and talk with others about an aspect of one’s work or working process, and learn to evaluate one’s own work and process and the work of others.
Stretch & Explore: Learn to reach beyond one’s capacities, to explore playfully without a preconceived plan, and to embrace the opportunity to learn from mistakes.
Understand (Arts) Community: Learn to interact with other student artists and within the broader society. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Gold Rush Community Rocks!

Students have been having a blast painting rocks to inspire others, beautify our school, and build community. You might even say we're sneaking in a little learning under all that color. In addition to practicing basic studio skills, students were asked to go through the creative process with a purpose in mind and make a plan. Students are writing artist statements that explain their thinking and intent to the viewer. I can't wait to see how it all comes together when we place our rocks outside!  This is a good time to mention that if you not yet signed the Artsonia permission that was emailed, I invite you to do so as it would be great to be able to upload a photo of your child's work for your viewing, sharing, and/or commenting.

Staff members have been invited to paint a rock also. Part of our school's philosophy is that of growth mindset. Art is such a wonderful avenue to practice this as well as express creativity, think critically, problem solve, and build resilience. The cool thing about acrylic paint is that if it just doesn't work out after you've tried to turn that oops into beautiful, you can wait until the next day and paint over it. Phew. Did I mention cultivating risk taking? Support for this is just one of the great things about our school community!

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Welcome back to a new school year! I'm excited to dig in and get started in art with each and every one of your kiddos! Through art students will be participating in fun and meaningful artistic experiences that support GRE’s values as reflected in this statement:

“We foster growth by challenging critical thinkers to take risks, honor differences and care for others.”

This year we are going to be utilizing an online digital portfolio called Artsonia. This program allows students to share work with you. You also have the opportunity to order keepsakes and items featuring your child’s artwork, if you choose. This program will replace the Original Works program we have used in the past for ordering and will have other features such as allowing students to receive positive feedback on their creations. More information to follow.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me.