A place to see what is happening in Fine Arts at Rocky Mountain School for the Gifted and Creative

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Off to NAGC

Here is the poster I will be presenting in a session titled “Whose Art is it, Anyway?” at the National Association for Gifted Children Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina next week. I tried to highlight the benefits of a student driven art curriculum, in a 4’X4’ space.
I will also be presenting a session for “Creativity Night” (sponsored by NAGC’s Creativity Division, and an annual favorite event of mine). My offering is called “Altered Headlines”. I will invite participants into a mini-art studio to artistically respond to the day’s news by “altering” newspapers , using paint, marker, stamps, ink, scissors, stickers, templates, graphite sticks and who knows what. I have packed a complete art studio into my carry-on bag. Are squiggle scissors allowed through security?

Artistic Behaviors: Some Artists Work in Series

One benefit of the Choice-based art program is that student artists can latch on to an idea and pursue it over several class periods. This behavior is typical of many adult artists, who tenaciously chase inspiration. Five year old "BFM" is creating a picture for each season of the year, and "ML", age nine, has assembled his series of computer-aided drawings into a bound edition. There are students who are amassing collections of line drawings and others who are working to make sets of functional pottery. "LE", age 11, has been working for months on a collection of artfully rendered light sabers, and "TJL", age 7, is exploring the possibilities of paper sculpture. This sort of dedication to an idea, style or medium allows students to work out artistic problem that they, themselves, have posed.

A Work in Progress, "The Four Seasons"

Five year old "BFM" is working on a series of mixed media paintings about the four seasons. These are titled: "Fall", "Winter" and "Spring". He combines marker drawing, stamping and painting techniques for these intricate compositions. We await "Summer" with much anticipation.


Leather Scrap, CD's, Faom Shapes...and a Cheese Box? "A" , age 10, has crafted a bear from found objects.

("MS" and BK" age 6, admire their day's work)

The mask center in our art studio is fairly simple. Basic mask materials are there and a single question: “Why do people wear masks?” I have a box of masks handy. Students enjoy trying on different ones. There are feathered mardegras masks, plaster masks made by past students, Victorian half masks, paper dust or germ filtering masks, wooden carved masks from Africa (well, from T.J.Max), and Halloween masks. Younger students often use paper plates as a mask starter. Older students usually favor plaster or papier mache' . It is important to have a mirror at the ready, and a camera!


6 year old "CS" studies himself in the mirror as a Scarecrow

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Inner Workings of a Star Ship

The plan is; after the insides of this star ship are complete, an outer shell will be added, with a flap you can lift, to see the inside. Two artists are collaborating on this highly detailed piece.

Leaf Collection Collage Artist

“The Ocean”
By "MS", Age 5

“She was a Rainbow-Bird Fish last time and all her rainbow feathers came off, except one white feather. Now she’s a Catfish. She just got some kids and she named them ‘School-fish.’ At the top of the ocean some people dropped a flower on her and she gave it to her kids to eat, because they love flowers to eat. And they dropped a card for her to be named ‘Angler Fish’ and tomorrow they will put a light on her so her kids can see.”

"May I Take Your Order?"

“SS” worked on this “Chef” puppet for three class periods. Once the chef character was completed, he constructed a cardboard stove that doubles as a counter, for the chef to stand behind and ‘take orders.”

Blue Dragon, Day One

"NS" has the sort of expertise that drawns the attention of his classmate. He has agreed to mentor two other artists. We now have both a second and third “generation” of Tube and Tape builders, since the apprentices can now teach new apprentices.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Planning for Art

10 year old "EA" is using his sketchbook to design a game, including intricately drawn playing pieces. Equiped with a special box of extra sharp crayons (which he brings with him to class), he is able to get the look he prefers.


10 year old "NS" has honed the skilled he needs to build objects of interest, using cardboard tubes and colored masking tape. He is a fine craftsman, taking care to make his spaceships, airplanes and dragons strong and elegant. He favors tagboard for fine detail (teeth, for instance) and is willing to take on apprentices who are eager to learn from "the master."

"Rock a la Rock" Art History put to the test

6 year old "CS" worked hard on this action packed scene. He ground all his own pigments, and made his own brush.
Caveman Paint set - includes rock "palettes", Pigment stones for grinding paint, Twigs and "bashing rocks" for making brushes, Charcoal, Leather pieces and "water from the river".

Two Legged, Four Legged and More Legged;Rms Artwork is "on the town"

RMS Student artwork may be viewed through October 29th at the FastFrame gallery on 28th street (in the plaza with Barnes and Noble and Whole Foods) Eleven artists, ranging in age from 6 to 12 have work included in this show. Stop by and leave a comment for the artists in the guest book!

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