Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coming Soon! The Peirce School Annual Concert and Art Exhibit 2014

We are pleased to announce the upcoming annual concert and art exhibit, coming in just a few weeks. This year's show will be Calling All Voices: Exploring Music and Art Through the African Technique of Call and Response. Students in grades K-5 have been busy learning songs, dances, stories and interpreting African art through their own creations for the past month. Finished examples of artwork will be posted here after the show. The performance and exhibit will start in the gym and rear lobby at 9am on Thursday, April 17, 2014. We look forward to seeing you and sharing this special event with the community.

Friday, March 07, 2014

March Masterpiece of the Month: Winged Victory of Samothrace

Who Made It?
This artwork was created by an unknown Greek artist in the years during 200-190 B.C.E.

Where is the REAL One?
The real sculpture can be seen at The Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

Why Is It Important?
Winged Victory was discovered by archeologists in 1863 in the Great Temple of Samothrace, a building dedicated to the great Greek gods during ancient times. The statue is 8 feet high and was created to not only honor the goddess of victory, Nike, but also to honor a sea battle as well. Unfortunately, the statue was discovered very damaged, but is it believed that before she lost her arms, which have never been found, Nike's right arm was probably raised, cupping her hand around her mouth, shouting in victory. The statue is also missing the head. Winged Victory is an excellent example of action in sculpture, as well as flowing drapery which the ancient Greeks considered very beautiful in sculpture. It is especially noteworthy because of its convincing pose where fast, aggressive motion meets sudden stillness, for its graceful balance and because the figure's draped garments are convincingly carved as if rippling in a strong sea breeze near the oceanfront monument where it was originally displayed, thousands of years ago.

Kindergarten: Fabulous Feasts!

Many artists use food as subject matter for their work, and food is often present at celebrations of all kinds. Kindergarten students have spent the past few months focused on the many aspects of celebration: masks and costumes, party drawings and now feast collages! After identifying what a “feast” is, students discussed the selected food-related artworks before listing their own favorite foods they would enjoy.
Students were then instructed to create a feast by cutting out appropriate shapes and colors to represent various foods, imagining the colored paper background as their placemat. Small details and texture could be added using markers, and students were encouraged to include and think about other table-setting objects such as dishes, flatware and drinking glasses.

Grade Two: Mock Glass Window

For this lesson, second graders examined several examples of historical and contemporary stained glass art works. The art of stained glass originated in the form of windows. Students discussed places and buildings were they have seen or might expect to find stained glass windows. Homes, churches, temples, restaurants and public buildings are among the most common buildings to find stained glass. Students were informed that stained glass windows were originally intended to give medieval cathedrals the feeling of being a special place during the dark Middle Ages.

Students were instructed in how to make their own "mock" stained glass using plastic transparency sheets and black construction paper. Once students cut symmetrical shapes and designs into the black paper, the transparency was coated with colored tissue paper glued on the back, allowing the sunlight to illuminate the colors when help up to the light.

Grade Two: Paper Pendants

Why do people wear jewelry? Students in grade two learned that people everywhere have decorated themselves with jewelry since ancient times, often for many different reasons. Students examined and discussed several different artisan pendants, some of which incorporated necklace structure, as well. The examples ranged in time period and materials, and students were asked to look for clues to help them determine how each pendant was created. They enjoyed seeing how different cultures have varying styles, how different artists use the same materials differently and how styles have changed over time. Despite the differences, however, some jewelry-making techniques have remained similar over the centuries.
Students were instructed to design and create there own pendant from paper and aluminum foil. They were encouraged to include additional decorations with markers and pencils.

Grade Four: Unity and Transformation in Sculpture

Fourth graders were introduced to the design element of Unity, in which an artist employs something which visually holds the artwork together. Students also discussed how an artist can utilize the idea or process of transformation in a work of art. Students were then shown several examples of the artwork by Tara Donovan, an artist who uses common, disposable materials such as paper plates and styrofoam cups and transforms their appearance by arranging large amounts of the same material in unexpected ways in site-specific gallery installations. Students were then instructed to choose one particular disposable material, in any amount, and create a sculpture which transforms the material in an unexpected and interesting arrangement. Sculptures of this nature often tend to be abstract and organic in style and content and students were encouraged to explore this idea while also creating a stable, secure structure with balance and support.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Grade Five: O'Keeffe Flower Bowls

Students in grade five started this lesson by learning about the enlarged Modernist style flower paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986). Students were then instructed to choose a reproduction of one of O’Keeffe’s botanical paintings and to isolate one small section of the image using a viewfinder to allow closer inspection of the colors and textures employed by O’Keeffe in her work. Using oil pastels, students were instructed to create a drawing of the isolated portion while attempting to recreate the colors as accurately as possible, as they appeared through the viewfinder.

The second phase of the this project involved students creating a three-dimensional bowl inspired by the flower of their drawing, using ceramic clay. Students were instructed in the technique of building a slab bowl, adding necessary pieces and sculptural elements to resemble the specific flower in O’Keeffe’s painting as much as possible. Bowls were then glazed with appropriate colors and kiln-fired.

Friday, February 07, 2014

February Masterpiece of the Month: Mount Rushmore National Memorial by Gutzon Borglum

Who Made It?
An American artist named, Gutzon Borglum designed this artwork during the years 1934-1939.

Where Is the REAL One?
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial belongs to the National Parks Service and can be seen near Keystone, South Dakota.

Why Is It Important?
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore Mountain in South Dakota. It features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with coming up with the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism, but they eventually chose the Mount Rushmore location, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark and Buffalo Bill, but Borglum decided the sculpture should have a more national focus and chose four presidents he felt best represented the first 130 years of American history. The project received funding and support from the federal government and politicians. Although the initial design was for each president to be carved from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941, shortly after Borglum's death.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grade Four: Analogous Landscape Painting

After a previous discussion and exploration of the style and techniques of Impressionist painting, fourth graders looked at Meadow of Giverny by Claude Monet, which depicts the artist’s understanding of using the full spectrum of the color wheel. Students were guided to notice the use of analogous colors, which are the colors next to one another on the color wheel. When colors are planned in this way in a painting, they create a more noticeable impact upon the viewer’s eyes when looking at the painting. Students were also led to notice that all colors can be changed to make a stronger visual impact when painting.

Students were then given photographs of various colorful landscapes to use as reference for their own paintings. Students were given a full spectrum of colors, but were instructed to mix and modify their colors in order to use colors more inventively. They were also encouraged to use analogous colors to make their painting sparkle with light.

Grade Three: Using Color to Depict Emotion

Students in the third grade began this lesson by viewing four examples of painting done in the abstract expressionist style. Students were instructed to consider how color and brushstrokes can be used to represent non-concrete concepts such as emotional feelings. Students discussed the emotions they felt were best represented in each painting, or any emotions the colors in each painting evoked within them.

Students were then shown a demo for using watercolor paint in different techniques so as to effectively convey different color qualities, such as bleeding colors together or painting with minimal water to achieve crisp brushstrokes. Students were also allowed to incorporate oil pastels into their paintings for added effect. These techniques would be necessary to consider when students had to make their own color decisions when depicting a specific emotion in their own painting. Each individual student was assigned an emotion to depict, from four possibilities: joy, fear, anger and sadness. Students were encouraged to make thoughtful decisions, and to also consider shape, line and paint quality, in addition to making color choices, to best represent their assigned emotion.