The first couple of weeks have already flown by! In the fourth grade we learned about Mexican contemporary artist Indi Maverick and her animals wearing fancy clothes portraits:
We learned how she uses the element LINE to create detailed textures that mimic the fur of animals. Before we began our animal portraits we started practicing blind contour drawing, which is when you draw an object from observation without lifting your pencil off of the page, OR looking down at your paper. This exercise is helpful for learning how to draw and accurately depicting objects through observation. We used doilies to frame our fancy animals when they were done- simply stunning!
In the fifth grade we learned about Navajo artist Gilmore Scott and his use of PATTERN and SYMBOLS to show his heritage and reference the landscape he is surrounded by. We began work on our Name Hope and DreamCatchers by coming up with symbols that represent our own hopes/dreams and goals for the future. Every student is working on creating a dream-catcher design, using the letters of their first names to create a repeated pattern and including those symbols that represent individual goals. I am loving the creativity and unique designs I am seeing so far!
The first week of school went by in a whirlwind! After getting some "housekeeping" items out of the way like learning our ART-spectations and daily routines, we worked together to define who an artist is. After listing some recognizable famous artist names, we began to think beyond the "traditional" definition of an artist. We realized that everything in our lives from our clothes to our cars, furniture, and every form of entertainment imaginable has been created by an artist. As humans we use art to communicate a message and express our feelings. We learned that ANYONE can be an artist! We expanded our creativity using Ouisi cards (pronounced “we see”) https://shop.ouisi.co/products/connecting-photo-cards These cards are simple visual images of various things, sometimes zoomed in so close that it is difficult to tell what it is. These cards are great for making visual connections and learning to look at the world more artistically. The best part is there are no wrong answers! I am hoping the takeaway of the first week will be to understand that the art room is a safe place for mistakes and experimentation, and that sometimes the most beautiful results come from unexpected and unplanned happenings!
Although many restrictions are still in place due to Covid, and things may tighten up again in the coming months, I am choosing to stay positive and treat this year as a fresh start for all of us! My first step was finally getting the art room whipped into shape. I spent many days over the summer and in the last couple of weeks creating a welcoming environment so we can finally enjoy the art room as it was intended. I am looking forward to a great year!
Hello! My name is Erin Kulis and I am the 4th and 5th grade art teacher at Hampden Meadows in Barrington, RI. I have a BA in Fine art and a Masters of Art Education. I have been teaching art in various environments for over ten years from summer camps, to adult Paint Nite at local restaurants, and most recently a private special education school for students on the severe/profound autism spectrum. I am so happy to be at Hampden Meadows and to share my love of art with this wonderful community!