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.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Grade 1 Highlights Fall 2017

In addition to creating Patriotic stamp designs, first graders have been exploring how LONG artists have been creating art and what materials early artists used to create their art. We journeyed to the Lascaux caves in France (who were discovered by some young boys and their dog Rocket!) 
Patriotic Stamps are our inspiration for these layered collages!

"Cave Animals" running created after observing the Lascaux Caves!

We then explored paper made from bark (through Amate bark paintings from Mexico).

Next we worked with earth clay from the ground to create a slab leaf, and in the next class a coil pot in the ancient style of hand building!

Coming up! African masks made from wood, feathers, raffia, shells, and more!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Celebrating the Importance of Art in Our Lives

This month we have been celebrating creativity, both in ourselves and in our environment. 
This past cycle grades 1-3 went on an in-school field trip to visit, interact with and look more closely at some of the new art installations in our building. We drew and wrote how the artist was creative, how the art made us feel, what questions we would like to ask the artist, and more...

And on September 15, Lafayette students demonstrated their creativity, kindness, and the courage to make our mark through our Dot Day celebration. 
Here are a few moments captured on the day itself:
Photo by Sophie Hanrahan

Bubble Prints!

Tie-Dye Dots!

A Dot Day Interactive Mural

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Understanding the Meaning of DOT DAY 9/15

Celebrating Creativity, Collaboration, Kindness and the Courage to Make Your Mark along with 8 million children in 168 countries around the world! We have spent this cycle understanding the power of a simple story to create a movement and embracing the message of that movement! 
Some of the books we have been reading as we get ready for Dot Day

Grades 1-3 completed their self-portraits expressing their personality with a truly creative flair and much individual choice... adding a custom designed frame to complete the look... and they are so proud!

Grade 5 expressed themselves with altered selfies... 

...and by exploring the dot paintings of Aboriginal artists

Grade 4 continues to explore visual mindfulness and their own creativity as they complete their zentangle designs... adding shading and color to their centering drawings.

And on Friday September 15, we will proudly 
wear our dots to show that 
We'll play the dot challenge game, enjoy bubble and sidewalk chalk and art activities at recess and CELEBRATE!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Creativity Abounds... Exploring the Self-ie and our Uniqueness as Artists

Excitement is palpable, moods shift... acceptance and celebration of all our differences is our modus operandi in Lafayette's art room! This is a safe space to create and express ourselves!!!
#CHOOSEKIND in the art room!

Our new school year begins with exploring the variety of ways artists express the human face and spirit. Grades 1-3 use Beauford Delaney's "Portrait of James Baldwin" as inspiration for a "selfie" drawing.
Beauford Delaney on the left, and some grade 1&3 selfie portraits in progress on the right
Grade 5 is exploring the selfie with our own creative selfies!
Here's my selfie! Fifth grader's selfies to come!
And Grade 4 is exploring the power of the pen and the mindfulness of zentangling as we warm up our creative juices for the new school year and begin to think about the message of Dot Day!
This delightful book embraces the Dot Day message of having the courage to make your mark
and how empowering and freeing that can be!

What's Dot Day you say? Just a world wide celebration by millions of teachers and students inspired by Peter Reynold's Book "The Dot". This year our Dot Day message includes "Making Your Mark" by #CHOOSEKIND!

Check out for more information about the origin of dot day and check out these photos from Lafayette Dot Day 2016 . And don't forget to WEAR YOUR DOTS on September 15 to show you have the courage to MAKE YOUR MARK!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Growing Mosaic Art in the Garden

Piece by piece our first garden installation grew this Spring. Fourth grade exotic flowers, 2nd and 3rd grade leaves of all shapes and sizes, and 2nd grade butterflies, caterpillars, bees and other imaginary insect pollinators were created for a welcome sign to our brand new Bear's Garden! 
Glazing our clay flowers

Under the tutelage of local mosaic artist Bonnie Fitzgerald after the school year was over, I finally assembled all our grown pieces into the completed artwork you see here! We added letters purchased by Lafayette parent Hope Scheller and stones and vines gathered and made. We hope this is the first of many artistic additions to our Bear's Garden.

Adding the final few pieces on site

The completed mosaic!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Students Create Public Art for Lafayette!

Several transformations will occur at Lafayette this summer as some permanent art pieces are finally installed in our building. Each artist was chosen by a panel made up of DGS, DCPS art department heads, our Lafayette architects, our Principal and yours truly! 

One of the criteria we considered important was student involvement. Working with several artists who came into the classroom to share the process and involve students in the product was super exciting!

Fourth and fifth grade students created machettes with wire and paper shapes and drew organic or geometric shapes which mobile artist Kevin Reese is using to create the final pieces for the 32 feet high mobiles going into each of our two stairwells. Fifth grade students were also involved in actually assisting with construction of the base of the mobile!
Mr. Reese also inspired our entire school with a performance about the
creative process and never giving up despite challenges and setbacks inspired by the life and work of Alexander Calder

Artist Jack Pabis is creating a serene mosaic mural upstairs across from our Peace room. He worked with 2nd graders to glaze tiles which will be broken into pieces for the final mural!

Finally, a future post will feature an exciting mosaic mural for our Bear's garden that 2nd-4th graders have been working on in art class!

Art is definitely ALIVE AND WELL at Lafayette!!!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Discovering Art Deco is All About Math!

A new challenge is always exciting! An auction theme of Great Gatsby and the roaring 20's... sounds like a lesson in ART DECO! Students in grades 4&5 dissected Art Deco and found SYMMETRY, PARALLEL LINES, RADIATING LINES, thick and thin LINES, INTERSECTING LINES, OVERLAPPING SHAPES and more!!! Check out their work and the final results below...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Following the Rainbow North... A Priceless Memory of a Precious Time in Your Child's Life!

The 2017 5th grade quilt melds our learning about the role of quilts in American history, the creation of digital quilts, and the basic (and useful) skill of learning to sew! This year, inspired by our focus on embracing diversity, we have created a rainbow quilt using the flying geese pattern. This beauty below will be signed on the back by all our Lafayette 5th graders and auctioned off to the lucky high bidder at this weekend's Lafayette fundraising auction!!!
Creating our digital quilts based on the myth of Underground Railroad coded message quilts; in mathematical translations, reflections and rotations

Hand stitching our triangles

Sewing the hand stitched pieces together on the sewing machines

Creating the sandwich and tying the knots at our quilting bee