Apr 222015
 

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This year’s recycled art project involved smashing soda cans, reusing cardboard boxes and transforming the combined pieces into a unique work of art. Students explored the contemporary work of French artist Didier Triglia, before coming up with their own original designs based on his style and techniques.

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Lots of sketchbook work and planning helped students to envision how they might transform the irregular 3-dimensional form of a crushed soda can into something new. Next came their favorite part of smashing the cans! After my first period made a noisy racket, I got smart and required that students do the smashing part outside.

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Some students chose to reveal parts of the original can label within their design, while others covered up all the aluminum with acrylic paint. Do you see where the can is in each composition?

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The background of each artwork includes heavy pattern, outlines and borders. Many students also incorporated extra can tabs, bottle caps and other recycled material.

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An article titled 11 Artists Doing Amazing Things With Recycled Materials by Jill Harness complemented this lesson by exposing students to other styles, materials, and ideas.

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Finally, we looked at portraiture from one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century- Pablo Picasso. Students readily identified stylistic comparisons between Didier Triglia’s “can heads” and Picasso’s stylized and abstract faces.

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 Posted by at 9:33 pm
Oct 012014
 

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The addition of a new 7th period literacy-focused class to my schedule inspired this folded book project. Luckily I had freedom to interpret the meaning of “Literacy” for myself and design my own Art-based curriculum. For our first project, each student folded a 3 to 4 letter word, and then wrote a blog post to explain the artistic process and choices.

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Drawing inspiration from artist Isaac Salazar, students brainstormed a list of inspiring words. Many also selected a word that related specifically to reading, books, or learning. We discussed how certain books (specifically encyclopedias) are now being replaced with tablets and online technology. What better way to recycle old obsolete books than to transform them into a new sculptural art form?

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Our school librarian donated a two sets of old encyclopedias for our project that worked perfectly! It helps to have a sturdy hard cover and lots of pages for folding, and I’m happy that these discards won’t be added to Kauai’s growing landfill.

 Posted by at 7:53 pm
Feb 202014
 

“Collaborating for a Cause” was at the heart of this project that involved collecting plastic and waste from local beaches and making a statement about the environment.  After several beach clean-ups and discussions about our message, students got creative inventing ways to make socio-political recycled works of Art.

FLUX CAPACITY

The title of this artwork references the power and source of the famous “Delorean” from the movie Back to the Future. This iconic car travels through time completely powered by feeding trash into its flux capacitor. Flux is the action of flowing in or flowing out, and capacity is the maximum amount that something can contain.

The artwork titled “Flux Capacity” displays an incredibly powerful, beautiful, and dynamic force of nature that is infected with non-biodegradable plastics that are currently plaguing our oceans, beaches, and marine life. This is a call to all surfers, swimmers, and beach-lovers to join in an effort to clean our waves and water!

ONE EARTH, ONE CHANCE

This artwork seduces you with its beautiful colors and painterly design.  Once it draws you in closer, it may come as a surprise that parts of it are made from colorful plastics collected from our local beaches.

Sometimes it takes a different viewpoint or creative eye to find something that we normally think of as ugly trash, and turn it into beautiful artwork.  As you allow this work to sink in, you may begin to uncover the layers of meaning that are captured here.

OUR BEACH

As you read the message in this artwork, who do you see?  Plastics and trash were adhered onto a mirror surface so as you read the words “Our Beach,” you also see yourself.  The reflection might evoke feelings of personal responsibility because we all play a part in overconsumption.  We can also all be part of the solution!

When students came up with the message they wanted to communicate through this artwork, they initially said “Your Beach.  My Beach. Our Beach…  Make a Difference.”  The final artwork was streamlined to impact viewers with a simple and meaningful idea that connects us all.

PLASTIC EARTH

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This group of artists formed their composition on a large plastic buoy that was found littering one of our local beaches.  The mosaic of colorful found-plastics looks beautiful, yet also implicates the threat our Earth faces.

Look closer and you may also notice some familiar island forms whose symbolic colors stand out against the blue-green seas.  The same threats that face us globally, also ensure imminent local impact.  Let’s make a positive difference!

 Posted by at 7:39 pm
Oct 262013
 


Look closely at these skeleton bones and you’ll notice they spell a name! This crafty project has my Advisory students busy making a seasonal decoration for the classroom. The best part is they used odds-and-ends left over from my Art classes including cardboard boxes, scraps of white drawing paper, buttons, lace, ribbons and shreds of fabric.

This lesson is a great opportunity to teach students how to write in cursive (many kids don’t even know how to write their own name!). Check out Beautiful Bones for another artsy skeleton project!

 Posted by at 3:35 pm
Nov 242012
 

Our most recent crafty Art project was to make a bowl out of folded magazine pages secured with white glue. This project introduced students to creative ways to re-use and recycle old magazines and create something 3-dimensional, functional and beautiful!

While the original objective was to create a bowl, several students stretched their imaginations and invented creative forms and unique containers!

As an introduction to the layering and 3-D construction process, I shared the contemporary artwork of Japanese artist Haroshi. Haroshi’s skateboard sculptures are similar to the magazine bowl project because they are made from recycled materials (skateboard decks), display colorful layers, and often have a functional purpose.

” I can make what I want, I can skate where I want- that’s being free. But at the same time there are risks. That’s what I think art and skate are.” -Haroshi

 Posted by at 4:00 pm
Nov 202011
 

This is the time of year when Chris and I launch into a frenzy of homemade crafty projects in preparation for the holidays. In an attempt to avoid the commercialism that can often feel overwhelmingly expensive and sometimes wasteful, I decided to use recycled materials as inspiration instead.

Handmade jewelry made from beach treasure might be a nice gift for some of the ladies I know, but now what can we do for the guys?

 Posted by at 1:40 pm
Nov 022011
 

One day in class I decided to share a short film called One Beach, that features artist/environmentalists who collect plastic garbage from their local beaches and turn it into art. Although created from trash, the variety of artwork that is illustrated in this film is both beautiful and meaningful. As a beach-lover myself, I found this film to be relevant and inspiring. Some of my students did too!

Currently my Art classes are collecting bits of colorful plastic and trash from the beach. I encourage them to do a quick beach clean-up every time they go fishing, surfing, or “cruzing” with family or friends. Once we have a good amount, we will collaborate to make one artwork per class. Some students can’t wait for the group project and have already gotten innovative on their own (sample student artwork above)!

 Posted by at 10:20 am