Sunday, December 13, 2009

Time flies!

My apologies to everyone for the amount of time that has passed since my last post! Here we are with a week to go until the Winter Break and I haven't updated this blog in months.

So much has happened in the time in between entries, it's hard to know where to start. I suppose I should just take it all in order and catch you up to date.

October was an incredibly busy month with the Magnolia Centennial. There was the De Zavala Centennial Celebration and rededication of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Historical Marker. Local politicians, HISD school board members, and more addressed a full house crowd. Students performed. The Historical Marker was unveiled. The grand finale was the firing of a cannon on the field in De Zavala Park. Our principal, Ms Rios, did a wonderful job of coordinating this event. Sadly, Dr. Covarrubia of Cage Elementary and Mr. Villarreal of Edison Middle School were unable to attend. Many of you know they were our previous principals and, over the last few years, led us from Acceptable to Exemplary.

Texians on the field

The rededication ceremony was followed a little over a week later by the Magnolia Centennial Parade.

De Zavala's float at the Magnolia Centennial Parade

During October De Zavala art students were busy making papel picado and repousse' aluminum for the Day of the Dead exhibition at Lawndale Art Center. All of the fourth and fifth grade art students had a part in the exhibit. Mr. Reif's second grade Vanguard class made a video that was the centerpiece of our ofrenda. Our students have taken part in this exhibit for the past four years and we always make a good showing.

De Zavala's ofrenda at the Day of the Dead exhibit at Lawndale Art Center

In addition to the student work in the show, I exhibited a retablo entitled "The Five Remembrances".

I gave a papel picado workshop at Lawndale Art Center. It's always a joy to share the things I've learned whether it's with my students at school or with adults. I've been very fortunate to have excellent teachers, Auror Villalobos, the folk arts instructor for St. Joseph MECA back when I was working there, and Carmen Lomas Garza, an extraordinary artist and author originally from Texas.

Papel picado is great for decorating for any occasion. For more information about it check out Carmen Lomas Garza's books Magic Windows and Making Magic Windows.

November was spent learning about origami, symmetry and geometry. We tried out a variety of forms and styles of folding. A favorite of the younger students was Vincent Floderer's crumpling. They created hats using his technique and a single sheet of tissue paper. We wore our hats around the school for the remainder of the day.

Vincent Floderer inspired hat out of tissue paper

The older students learned to fold a pinwheel base and modify it to create a wide range of forms. The centerpieces for the De Zavala Thanksgiving luncheon were folded by De Zavala students using this method.

I was in Dallas during the second week of November for the Texas Art Education Association annual conference. I attended a wide range of workshops and came back with lots of great new ideas for the De Zavala Art Room. I serve as an elected representative for TAEA Region VI. I gave three presentations at the conference, Practical Origami, Math and More, Cut Paper Around the World and iPods in the Art Room. If you are interested in any of them, please let me know and I will be more than happy to share information and ideas with you.

The final weekend before Thanksgiving was the Via Colori Street Painting Festival. This is an annual event that benefits the Center for Hearing and Speech. I've been one of the artists for three years now. My square was dedicated to an artist friend of mine who recently passed away.

My Via Colori square

Several of our students made cut paper designs for the District's Winter Holiday Cards. One of our fifth grade students was a finalist! She received 24 holiday cards with her design printed on them to send to friends and family, a large reproduction of her work and four tickets to the Texans' game on December 31st.

Our Finalist!

We're closing out the year making snowflakes and finishing our Rodeo Art.

I'm looking forward to the Winter Break and time with my family. I'll be working in my studio on some new and exciting art activities for the students of De Zavala.

Snow on the palm

Across from the school

Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays to All!

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