In Lafayette’s art studio classroom we are not only learning about the elements, principles and media of the visual arts, but are using the arts to gain a greater understanding, depth and richness of language arts, math, science and social studies curricula. Using the arts to teach, creates learning that is internalized and understood by children with all learning styles and on multiple levels. By educating students through the visual arts and traditional academic content simultaneously, I help inspire and nurture the truly creative thinkers needed for this new millennium.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kachina Expressions Spur Our 3-D Creativity

Fourth graders explored the ways Native American art channels beauty as a part of everyday life. After learning how Northwest coast totems tell our clan stories through a life size paper sculpture, we then examined the Hopi culture's belief in the Kachina. 

The Kachinas are powerful supernatural beings in the spiritual life of the Native American Hopi and Zuni Pueblo peoples. Kachina wooden dolls are given to children to teach them about the Kachina forms.

We created our mixed media Kachinas to help teach our school code (Speak Mindfully, Act Mindfully, Move Mindfully) using a spirit power. Check out just a few of these delightful Kachina inspired sculptures:

Mr Catapano's class Kachinas stand ready and waiting!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pottery Wheel Passion... Gettin' our Groove on!

Open studio gets a little "muddy" as we explore working on the wheel! Fifth graders are first to experience the mesmerizing power of the pottery wheel as they learn to center, raise the walls, and shape a vessel.
 Classmate assistants are at the ready to add a little water or coach their classmates in the next step to creating a wheel thrown pot!
Focus is key to keeping your CENTER and not losing control of your pot!

Many hands make the work easier!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Open Studio in the New Art Room Humming With Creative Juices

Some of us need a little more time to express ourselves creatively! Open Art Studio at recess is a busy and happy place just about every noontime! From Healthy Schools gardens murals to classwork, to a relaxed space to do whatever strikes your fancy...Here's what some of us are up to:

 Our open floor space has been a big hit with the "banner makers"... mostly collaborative pieces of the artists' choosing!

Weaving continues to be a hit... this weaver resourcefully weaving with ribbon and fabric scraps when the yarn scraps didn't provide enough variety!

Adding to the pile of "lollipops" for the 
fall festival decorations!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

DOT DAY is About Creativity and the Courage to Make Your Mark... Celebrating with Millions of Kids Around the World Every September 15!!!

A day of happy faces, floating bubbles and  dots of all kinds to represent that we are all creative and we can make our mark in this world and won't give up!

The weather was divine and all 766 students had art hanging in our Lafayette gallery to celebrate our learning and our creativity!!!
Even the teachers and admin got in on the action and celebrated their creativity and courage!!!
And some kids found their own unique ways to show their Dot Day spirit!

I truly LOVE DOT DAY!!! Don't you?

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Our new Lafayette art room can only be described as SPECTACULAR!  
Full of space and light and truly inspirational!
And complete with new equipment to support our passions here at Lafayette!
So, naturally, as we explore what SAMM (Speaking, Acting and Moving Mindfully) looks like in the art room, we are having wonderful conversations about creating an art room climate that feels supportive and empowering... where students feel comfortable experimenting and making mistakes and sharing their stories and expressing themselves fully! 

Of course the fact that DOT DAY is around the corner (September 15!) seems so very appropriate. 

Check out what DOT DAY is all about! Started by a teacher years ago and based on the book "The Dot", Dot Day is now celebrated by millions of students around the world!!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Sum is Greater Than the Parts

I'm finding it feeds my creative spirit to get outside my comfort zone and try some things I was never interested in before... turns out the experiences have been eye opening and inspirational!

The past two summers I explored art paper sculpture and book making at the Museum of Women in the Arts. This summer I finally took my first glass mosaic class taught by the veteran and renowned mosaic artist Bonnie Fitzgerald.
Check out the link above to Bonnie's website!

Class was held in the historic Vienna Arts Center

Mid project... lots of bits and pieces!

Learning to grout...

My first finished project which I hope to hang in our new Art room at Lafayette!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ending the School Year With a "Rosie's Brain" Bang!

...Feeling super proud that we made it happen! The amazing Linda Ryden, author of the Peace of Mind Curriculum that integrates mindfulness, social and emotional learning and conflict resolution, wrote an engaging story to illustrate what happens when your brain gets upset. Lafayette 5th graders collaborated to create the illustrations as a part of art class. Our special edition was published just in time for the 5th grade graduation festivities last week!