This year, I put a special emphasis on Black History Month and did my best to teach a black artist for each grade level. With 3rd grade, we looked at an artist named Lina Iris Viktor.
Lina is the youngest artist any of my students have learned about and they thought it was SOOOO cool that she is just a few years older than I am. Lina's work is characterized by many circles and straight lines that break her paintings up into many geometric shapes. She also restricts her color palette to a particular hue of blue, 24 karat gold, black, and sometimes white. The students noticed that some of her work reminded them of Egyptian Hieroglyphs based on the symbols and her use of gold. Lina's work was recently plagiarized for a Kendrick Lamar video. This was a great opportunity for the students and I to have a discussion because they have learned about copyright and plagiarism in the past in other classes.
The first day of class, students created two sketches using some of the elements they saw in Lina's work (lines, circle, geometric shapes). After their two sketches, they chose the one they believed was their strongest design and had it ok'd by me. To finish class, they transferred their sketch to a large sheet of colored paper (color of their choice). They were expected to use rulers and different circle tracers I had put out to ensure that they had nice, clean, crisp lines.
On the 2nd day of the project, students used gold paint to fill in about a third of their artwork. You would've thought they were using actual gold! They went nuts for it! We talked about different ways to fill in spaces of their artwork (outlining, painting in a shape, painting the space around a shape, etc). I also emphasized outlining things first and then filling in the space. This helps to make smooth outlines.
The final day was spent using black on about a third of their project. They were expected to have every pencil line either outlined or filled in.
This has probably turned into one of my favorite projects! I love how strong many of their designs!
3rd grade has been learning about the French street artist, Invader. Invader is an anonymous artist who uses small bathroom tiles to create mosaics of 8-bit video game characters. He is named after the old arcade game Space Invaders and is most well-known for portraying these in his street art. However, he has moved on to incorporate other video game characters such as Mario and Pac-Man. He likes to display his "invasions" in busy areas of cities due to their high traffic. He believes that everyone should be able to enjoy art, not just people who can afford to go to museums and galleries.
I love teaching about street artists because students are always particularly drawn to them.
The first day was spent looking at characters from the Space Invaders. We talked about how all the characters are symmetrical and made up of pixels (or small squares). We used gridded paper to re-create Space Invader characters. I wanted them to have a good understanding of how the Space Invaders were symmetrical before moving on to making their own.
After a couple practice drawings of old space invaders, students finally had the opportunity to create several of their own. My requirements were that it had to have an eye, be symmetrical, and it had to be 8 pixels high and 8 pixels wide. These requirements were to help the students with keeping their invader symmetrical.
After students got the knack for creating their own Invaders, I created an 8x8 grid using Google Sheets. I uploaded it into Schoology. From there, each student could access it and create their own Invaders by filling in the spreadsheets. When they finished a new character, they screenshot it and then started a new one. This was the first time we had ever used the iPads in art class and they turned out great!
The last half of class on the final day, they created an Invader character in an app called 'Bloxels.' In their classrooms, they had been creating their own worlds in Bloxels. They could then use their own Invader characters to play in the Bloxel worlds they had created!
Maya Hayuk is always one of my favorite artists to teach each year! I just love her use of bright colors! Here is the write up on this project from previous years. Enjoy the pictures from this year's students!
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.