ARTISTS IN ACTION, LIST OF MASTER ARTISTS
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THIRD GRADE (two artists which stay the same every year)
This famous glass artist’s presentation shows his many styles from the Persians to the Nesting Baskets and Nijima Floats as well as his influences. It includes a discussion where glass making began in Venice and hothouse techniques. Students are amazed by his use of vivid color, love to hear that Ms. Morris went to school with him, and enjoy the video clip where he addresses Lake Highland. The fun begins when students use Shrinky Dinks and parents assist with heat tools to made Chihuly-like sculptures to hang in a “chandelier installation.”
Third graders enjoy learning about the “fou rox” or redheaded madman. The presentation includes letters to Theo and shows how his early darker work progressed to the vibrant swirls of brushstrokes. It also tells the story of van Gogh’s mental crises leading to his infamous ear cutting and institutionalization.
Make it come alive by having a bandaged Vincent van Gogh barge into The Starry Night oil pastel painting project and show the students how to make those swirls!
SIXTH GRADE gets an extra artist which stays the same every year
Sixth graders will love learning about this Surrealist artist who walks an anteater and is afraid of grasshoppers. The presentation discusses the symbolism and influences in his paintings and his self-promotion, including his Hollywood collaborations, diamond encrusted eye and lip jewelry and lobster phone. Several of the paintings they will get to see when they visit the Dali Museum. Students will “melt” their own versions of the famous soft watches from his Persistence of Memory.
FOURTH-SIXTH CYCLE ONE
Students will laugh at Monet’s caricatures he drew of the townspeople before he met Boudin and began painting en plein air. This Impressionist magician of color always lived near the Seine River in France, and boats and water were common themes in his paintings. The presentation covers the constant change of light in many series he painted, from wheat stacks to cathedrals and culminating at the gardens of Giverny with water lilies, the Japanese bridge and weeping willow. With floating faux water lilies in bowls on blue tablecovers, the students will follow a step-by-step watercolor and pastel resist painting.
The presentation for the renaissance man explores da Vinci’s elaborate notebooks, war machines, portrait drawings, inventions and calculations for the perfect face. Students learn about his bronze horse that never was finished and details behind the Last Supper and Mona Lisa. Is she smiling? Leonardo’s reverse writing is interesting and there is a secret note to read to LHP students. Lastly, what Leonardo da Vinci might have looked like in youth is depicted along with some humorous da Vinci inspiration. Students sketch their own inventions on da Vinci style notebooks.
Klee’s use of color will amaze the students as they learn some of this artist’s thoughts behind his childlike paintings. His contraptions, such as the Twittering Machine, are funny and Klee seems to have a sense of humor in titling his work, as well. Famous for “taking a line for a walk” and incorporating music into his work, Klee’s portraits and natural landscapes take on a dreamlike approach. The art project is a pastel by number project where students pick warm or cool colors and follow along with guaranteed success. When finished, Klee’s version is revealed and students can compare.
The Renoir presentation covers the artist’s beginning as a porcelain painter to his rise as one of the leading Impressionists. Many photos of Paris and his surroundings are included with focus on his landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and paintings of everyday people that you “want to stroll into.” Students will find it funny that Renoir made his son have long hair so he could paint the light on it and once he became well know for Impressionism, changed his mind on his painting style. The Art Detective project divides students into groups to bring a Renoir painting to life with props and answer some questions about what is going on in the scene.
Hanson & Sculpture
Create your own presentation, visuals, and art project for this South Florida artist known for his realistic sculptures cast from actual people using fiberglass and vinyl. You may want to explore other contemporary sculptors such as Oldenburg, known for his public art installations of oversized replicas of everyday objects like the giant hamburger, icecream, and safety pin.
FOURTH-SIXTH CYCLE TWO
Pop on a tulle skirt and present Degas, the painter of dancers. From his portraits of everyday people, pastels of ballet dancers and paintings of horse racing, Degas created compositions and movement. He experimented with photography from some of the first “snapshot” cameras to use in his paintings. Students will enjoy the Victorian time period depicted in many of his works. His sculpture of a young dancer was controversial and 28 versions are in museums around the world, so students may identify with the lifelike ballerina. Play some ballet and opera music and walk students through an art project to create movement, light, and surface effects on one of Degas’ dancers with pastels and puffy paint.
Bring this Pop Art legend back to life by recreating his aluminum-foiled studio “Factory” and dressing in the hip black 64’s and 74’s attire (white wig and sunglasses add flair). Students will identify with his pop art icons such as the cow, soup cans, Coca Cola bottles, fragile signs, and oversized comic books. Everyone finds something interesting in Warhol’s many artistic phases from death & disaster, famous people, repeated images, to America the Beautiful. The 2D soup can art project allows students to take artistic risks with color to create high contrast and day-glo vibrant art from the “everyday.”
FOURTH-SIXTH CYCLE THREE
Picasso presentation explains cubism with a Rubik’s cube and expounds on his many different styles including the blue period, rose period and African period. It shows some interesting old photos of his studio, many of his most famous late works and ends with some great cartoons of Picasso and a student vote on their favorite style of Picasso's. You will see a very recognizable modern day icon that may have been inspired by this artist. Creativity abounds in making a Picasso puppet using a paper bag “cube” and learning the technique of drawing two dimensions at one time.
Travel back to the Renaissance and the battle between Rome and Florence over which city would have more of Michelangelo’s works. The presentation of this “bizarre e fantastico” famous sculptor and painter includes interesting facts such as such as why his nose is crooked, where his self portraits are hidden in the frescos, and the “before” and “after” of the restoration of his Last Judgement. It culminates with a student vote on their favorite of his many achievements and a link to experience a 364 degree view inside the Sistine Chapel complete with music. Finally, have your Michelangelos “paint” a section of the Sistine Chapel (under the tables) on their backs using goat grease candles (flashlights) in the darkened room.
The “Wild Man of Modernist Color” is a favorite because of his sometimes shocking use of color. The presentation shows his love of textiles and other motifs, like sea forms and doves that consistently appear in his paintings. The students also get to see many vintage photos of Matisse at work on his cutouts and then have an opportunity to “paint with scissors” and make their own cut-out portraits with Matisse-inspired shapes and color combinations.
The woman who painted a thousand flowers first painted black and white abstractions before discovering her notable rainbow hues. Students love the close-up bug’s eye views she paints and her fascination with the Southwest. Skulls, crosses, trees, mountains, rocks and shells become abstract forms. Students use their creativity to watercolor a flower in the style of O’Keeffe by examining the image up close from a particular angle and possibly changing the colors to ones they prefer.
Travel back to the beginnings of the Wild, Wild West with covered wagons and Geronimo in this presentation of the famous western illustrator. Students enjoy all the cowboy and American Indian paintings and love to hear that he embellished the action and made a lot of mistakes in his renditions. His horses and bronze sculptures are some of the highlights. Turn down the lights, fire up the faux campfire and have the students become Remingtons around the cowboy campfire and see how many details they can recall about the Indian seen on horseback when they get back to their “studios.” A great memory game with parent cowboy actors and scripts.