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, 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

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's a Bumpy, Scratchy, Slippery, Fuzzy World

Lafayette first graders just finished dabbling in the world of TEXTURE!!!
First we explored tactile texture that we can touch with our hands... finding it everywhere... even on our shoes! 
After exploring how artists made visual texture we can see with our eyes, we created our own visual texture rubbings.
...we noticed that Sofonisba Anguisola's
Self Portrait is
full of visual texture like scratchy lace
and smooth skin, soft hair
and a furry collar...
...we created visual texture out of tactile texture
 with rubbings

Our rubbings became delightful sea creatures inspired by Eric Carle's textured paper cutouts: 
Our visual texture sea creatures took on some
tactile texture add ons!
And finally, did anyone say habitats?

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!