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, 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!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Celebrating ARTS NIGHT with 700+ students... and their families!

A parent told me at ARTS NIGHT 1 last week, "this is my child's favorite night of the year!" Wow!
  • Maybe they love it because every child gets to perform.
  • Maybe they love it because every child has a personally chosen and personally titled piece of art on display.
  • Maybe they love it because it's like a giant book release party and they can buy the most beloved and most read publication at Lafayette- IMAGES, our art and literary anthology!
  • Maybe they love it because it feels like a true celebration of the arts and a party to boot with pizza and cookies and balloons!
Whatever the reason... it's a labor of love for our amazing Lafayette students and hearing wonderful comments like that makes the many, many hours of work all worth it!!! 
5th graders "sell" our Images after learning about Propaganda posters from WWll

A sampling of grade 1 Art... in a trailer? No problem!

A sampling of grade 2 Art at the East end of Trailer F

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The EARTH Without ART is Just EH...:)

OK, so how do you celebrate Earth Day? With ART of course... art with a message... what a great way to empower young artists to know they can make a difference in whatever cause is near and dear to their heart! Tomorrow is EARTH day and Lafayette's 3rd graders created art that communicates their love and desire to care for this Earth... their Earth! Thanks to some committed parents their art became part of our Earth Day celebration on Earth Day eve!

In conjunction with our Earth Day festivities, a temporary garden in our temporary space gets a celebratory banner thanks to some skilled 3rd-5th grade artists! 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Exploring Architecture Through a Transformed Photo

Grade 3 completed these masterpieces weeks ago! They were so proud of their efforts that I am finally and belatedly sharing them with you here!

Each 3rd grader brought in a photo they had taken or researched as a part of a class project. We used acetate and a sharpie to outline each architectural feature we saw. Finding the details honed our powers of observation and knowledge about the architecture. Color came next as we learned to mix tints, shades, neutrals and low intensity colors by adding a bit of the color's complement.
Then the entire project is flipped and voila! All those observed details reveal themselves underneath our custom colors!


Saturday, March 5, 2016

An Annual 5th Grade Tradition Continues with Gusto!

Once again each and every 5th grader had their hand in sewing this year's flying geese quilt for their 2016 Lafayette class creation! We hand and machine stitched our way through hundreds of tiny triangles and squares to create a contemporary version of an Underground Railroad coded message quilt we titled "Flying North".
Just some of the enthusiastic crew that spent their lunch recesses working on our 2016 masterpiece!
 Even though Ozella McDaniels Williams' story of coded message quilts being used on the Underground Railroad has not been corroborated, we still found the possibility intriguing and visually inspirational!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Celebrate Curiousity and Creativity at the Renwick!

What to do when it's snowy or rainy, cold or dreary? Enter the magical world that is the current installation at one of Washington's oldest museums... the Renwick Gallery. Wander through branchy "fairy houses" and stare down the center of a ginormous tree. Marvel at the color of light and how it transforms everyday objects into something mysterious and exciting. This is a show for young and old alike and not to be missed by our curious and creative Lafayette community!!!