Sunday, September 30, 2012

Days full of art and more

Time is flying past!

We're already half way through the first grading period. Lately, as I work on creating lessons involving collage, assemblage, mosaics I notice mosaics everywhere I go!

In the garden of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Works in progress in Smither Park on Munger Street near the Orange Show

In Austin on the bridge near the intersection of Wilson and El Paso.

I thought I would share with you some of what is going on in the DZ Art Room.

Currently the Pre-K and Kinder students have been going over shapes in anticipation of creating portraits and self-portraits.

With the Pre-K through second grade we've learned about Frida Kahlo, the most famous female Mexican artist, and her husband, the great muralist, Diego Rivera. We've even taken a virtual tour of Casa Azul, her home in Coyoacan, which is now the Frida Kahlo Museum.

The third grade are learning about Monarch butterflies and their incredible migration from Canada down to the Oyamel fir forests in Central Mexico. We'll be taking part in the Journey North Symbolic Monarch Migration over the next two weeks.

The fourth and fifth grade have been learning about Los Dias de los Muertos. We've compared and contrasted this celebration and Halloween. Over the next two weeks we're working on repujado arte for our installation at Lawndale Art Center.

I've created a test to help me understand what my students know and what they need to learn. Students' artwork will be kept together in portfolios for the school year. They'll be bringing their work home at the end of school in June.

This next week on Wednesday will be the first meeting of the Vanguard Art and Craft Club.

Week before last I was in Austin, Texas for three days taking part in the Texas Education Agency's Fine Arts Texas Essential Knowledge Skills review committee. It was an honor to be a part of this committee. It was also a learning experience. I now understand more than ever before about the structure of the visual arts in Texas education. I believe that the input of myself and my fellow art teachers will serve to keep the arts up to date until the next review.

This weekend I went all over town looking for materials to use in the DZ Art Room. There was a giant garage sale at the Orange Show warehouse, the monthly teacher sale at The Center for Recycled Art, and the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Houston COTE (Committee on the Environment) material give away. It was wonderful! My car is loaded so full that I can barely see out. I can't wait for the students to have the opportunity to use all these new and challenging supplies. I got plastic bottle tops to use in a collage/mosaic. There are a variety of materials to use for future mosaics including Mardi Gras beads and ceramic tile.

A kiln is an oven for cooking clay. Our kiln is completely installed and only awaits a test firing so that we can get started on working in clay. Keep your eyes and ears open for news of our newest creations.

If you see me racing around after school it's because I'm heading for a meeting, either the SDMC or the Effective Teacher Initiative, or the Texas Art Education Association, or to teach or take a class at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Glassell School or Lawndale Art Center, or perhaps to an opening, exhibit, or lecture at one of our local art venues.

If you are looking for fun, free activities on the weekend, check out the Hands on Houston sessions at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft on the first Saturday of each month from 11:00 to 3:00. On October 6 there will be silk painting. November 3 will be the Hands-On Family Festival, also from 11:00 to 3:00. This will overlap the Day of the Dead Family Fiesta across the street at Lawndale Art Center where you can watch Ballet Folkorico, cut papel picado, and make a sugar skull while you look at art work by students from De Zavala and other schools. I hope I see you all at one of these fun events.

I started taking a conversational Spanish class on Tuesday afternoons. I look forward to being able to better communicate with my Spanish speaking students and their families. I hope to see all of you soon. I can be found in the front lobby of the school from 7:30 to 7:45 AM. Please stop and say hello to me in Spanish if you get the chance. I need all the practice I can get. I hope to see you there!

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