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Time for more great projects.

Happy spring! It is almost the end of the school year and we are starting to wind down, but there is always time for more great projects. This month is as good as any to make some 3-D art--and at least you won't have to store it for too long!

tip #1

CARDBOARD CONSTRUCTIONS Looking for creative ways to recycle all of your cardboard boxes that supplies come in? Here's an idea from Debi West at North Gwinnett High School in Gwinnett County, Ga. Have your students study the art of Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007), and then have them create their own "cardboard constructions" in her style. This lesson is simple, yet a great way to recycle and teach shapes, variety and color theory.

Students will cut large, medium and small geometric and amorphous shapes out of cardboard. Once these are cut, they will arrange them on a large sheet of poster board or cardboard. When the "right" composition is created, they will glue them down.

Now the painting and color theory lesson comes into play. Teaching your students to add tints and shades to colors, and to think about specific theories, can turn this lesson into a wonderful study. From cool and warm, to primary and secondary, to monochromatic or neutral, these will take on a life of their own and become beautiful artworks that are all successful. This is a fun 3-D lesson, plus a great end-of-the-year lesson to use up old paints and recycle boxes arriving with new supplies.

tip #2

DON'T BE A BORE! FOCUS ON HENRY MOORE! Susan Anderson Michalak from J.R Taravella High School in Coral Springs, Fla., uses British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) as an inspiration for her students. Drawing on his studies of Classical, pre-Columbian and African art, Moore created original and truly modern sculptural forms that appeared to be coming from nature (biomorphic). Abstractions of organic shapes were his primary motif.

Susan first has her students draw a 4.5" x 6" organic (biomorphic) shape, which must have a hole in it, onto a piece of tag board. They then cut the shape out to use as a template. Using the template, the students cut 50 shapes in three to four colors.

They then glue each shape together, one on top of the other, working from the inside out, keeping the shapes aligned while gluing. The smoothed, glued shapes should end up in a solid form about 1-2 inches thick.

To keep the shape fiat while drying, the students wrap it in waxed paper and place it under books for three or four days. While this is drying, they prepare a square or rectangle wooden base that is sanded and painted with a neutral color.

When the glued shape is dry, they carve edges to show the layers of paper.

The shape is then sanded and mounted on the base using a nail driven from the bottom pointing up. The final product is covered using polymer gloss medium.

tip #3

THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF IT Donna Casanas from Coral Park Elementary in Coral Springs, Fla., pre-pours plaster of Paris into paper cups. She fills them about three quarters of the way full, and places about five half-sized pipe cleaners in each cup. When the plaster has hardened, the paper cup is ripped off. The plaster is then painted with watercolor paint, and colored beads are added onto the pipe cleaners.

Donna uses this project for counting skills, to teach pattern and, of course, to teach 3-D art. When all the beads have been added, the students fold over and/ or twist the pipe cleaners so the beads won't fall off. Other alternatives are to add wire, nuts, bolts and nails.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Salvador Dali, Alexander Archipenko and Yaacov Agam. All three artists--born within a span of 41 years--created three-dimensional works. Great projects can be based on the art of any of the three to celebrate their day. Try pop-up books in the style of Agam, or Surrealist sculptures. Another great project is to use cardboard to create a Cubist sculpture in the style of Archipenko.

May is also Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month, and contains celebrations for Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day and Memorial Day. All these celebrations should spark some great 3-D art ideas.

Thanks so much for the great art tips from Debi, Susan and Donna. We'd love to hear from more of you, as we know you have some great tips, too! Keep sending your tried and true tips to triedandtrue@artsandactivities.com.

Glenda Lubiner teaches K-5 art and is an adjunct professor at Broward College in Broward County, Fla. She also coaches an after-school musical theater/ drama club and art club.
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Title Annotation:tried & true tips for art teachers
Author:Lubiner, Glenda
Publication:Arts & Activities
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2011
Words:791
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