Lower School Art

Peace, Love, and Peter Max

Fourth graders returned to the psychedelic era of the 60's. As we watched a PowerPoint presentation on the life and art of Peter Max, we discussed the use of the elements of art and symbolism in his art. Inspired by the movie "Yellow Submarine" and the music of the Beatles, the students created far out neckties in the manner of Max. We had a day of face painting, beads and hippie dress to put us in a peace, love and happiness mood. It's a fun project that emphasizes environmental and social consciousness.

A study of art installations by various artists with an emphasis on the work of Jeanne-Claude and Christo and Sandy Skoglund enriched our creation of "Pinwheels for Peace". This is St. Andrew's Lower School's third year to be a part of this international art installation. Students today are bombarded with images of violence. "Pinwheels for Peace" gives them an opportunity to make a statement concerning their feelings about war, peace, tolerance, cooperation and unity in our world. They planted their pinwheels on International Day of Peace, September 21.

Art, literature and music are layered in our creation of a three-dimensional haunted house. We will be reading scary stories on a dark stage by candlelight, listening to spooky sounds. In the classroom, as we construct our houses, "Monster Mash", "Thriller", "Danse Macabre" will fuel the muse. Creative writing about the house and its ghostly inhabitants will conclude this project.

Kadinsky, Pollock, and Abstract Expressionism

Abstract expressionists, Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky, showed third graders how to express themselves without using figurative art. We read a biography about Pollock, studied his art and then tried to express three different emotions using only color, line and shape. A PowerPoint presentation on Kandinsky took us through the different stages of his art from the influence of Fauvism to the surrealistic influence of Miro. We created a work of art that reflected the period when his paintings were abstract and used geometrical shapes. Listening to Kandinsky's favorite composer, Wagner, the students painted a watercolor background. They finished the work emphasizing shape and pattern with a black sharpie. Every student's art was different and wonderful.

A study of art installations by various artists with an emphasis on the work of Jeanne-Claude and Christo and Sandy Skoglund began our creation of "Pinwheels for Peace". This is St. Andrew's Lower School's third year to be a part of this international art installation. Students today are bombarded with images of violence. "Pinwheels for Peace" gives them an opportunity to make a statement about their feelings about war, peace, tolerance,and unity in our world. They planted their pinwheels on International Day of Peace, September 21.

We have begun a figure study that will last about four weeks. The students drew a self portrait that uses foreshortening. You would have thought I declared a national holiday when they got to take off their shoes and trace around each others' feet. They can choose any clothing or costume for their portraits. We have veterinarians, soldiers, gymnasts, witches, vampires. It's fun art.

Still Life: Now and Then

"Still Life: Now and Then" is the name of the PowerPoint presentation that I created to show students the many styles that could be used in the creation of a still life. We looked at images of the traditional still life realistically done, except the composition was an apple, two books and a coral snake. We discussed symbolism in art and decided the story of Adam and Eve definitely influenced this work. I found a still life of a rubber ducky, a Tootsie Roll Pop and a marble, a Picasso cubist still life, a Georgia O' Keeffe cow skull with rose, and a wonderful surrealistic still life with a bizarre teapot swimming in caramel with the moon stuck in the top of a champagne glass. The children loved analyzing the art and pointed out different things that they discovered in the paintings. We created a still life in oil pastels with a limited palette of white, gold, rust and black on gray paper. We used perspective and shading, blending the colors to let the students experience how to create a more realistic drawing.

A study of art installations by various artists with an emphasis on the work of Jeanne-Claude and Christo and Sandy Skoglund began our creation of "Pinwheels for Peace". This is St. Andrew's Lower School's third year to be a part of this international art installation. Students today are are bombarded with images of violence. "Pinwheels for Peace" gives them an opportunity to make a statement about their feelings about war, peace, tolerance, cooperation and unity in our world. They planted their pinwheels on International Day of Peace, September 21.

Gustav Klimt's art has inspired my second grade artists to create the most wonderful "Tree of Life" collages. I created a PowerPoint that exposed the students to Austrian life and philosophy in the late 19th and early 20th century. We viewed many paintings by Klimt and discussed the use of pattern, shapes and color in his art.

Art: Cavemen to Aliens

Texture, the roughness or smoothness of a surface, was the first element of art that first graders tackled. They learned that texture may be real or implied. The students were given a ball of clay which they wedged to remove air bubbles. They pressed the clay into a cookie size circle or oval. Using textured rollers, they patterned their clay. The finishing touch was pressing different kinds of seashells int the clay. I fired their creations a week later and the children painted them in tempera. In the interval, while the clay dried, we drew aliens that were original and out of this world.

A study of art installations by various artists with an emphasis on the work of Jeanne-Claude and Christo and Sandy Skoglund began our creation of "Pinwheels for Peace". This is St. Andrew's Lower School's third year to be a part of this international art installation. Students today are bombarded with images of violence. "Pinwheels for Peace" gives them an opportunity to make a statement about their feelings about war, peace, tolerance, cooperation and unity in our world. They planted their pinwheels on International Day of Peace. September.

Stepping through the time portal (art room door to the patio), we went back in time 30,000 years and became cavemen. We gathered sticks for our fire to ward off hostile animals and to cook our woolly mammoth entree. We rubbed our hands together as hard and fast as we could to learn about friction and how as molecules move faster they produce heat. We discussed the way that cavemen lived and created their art. I showed the children a PowerPoint presentation that I put together with detailed photographs of The Chauvet and Lascaux caves in France. They created a cave art piece of art in oil pastels using images that we had studied.

The project we are working on now is an art/science overlap. We are studying arachnids and are drawing very realistic spiders. The students all agree it is the best spider they have ever drawn and ,of course, spooky spiders will make a great Halloween art display.


South Campus • Pre-K3 to 4th grade • 4120 Old Canton Road • Jackson, MS 39216 • 601-987-9300
North Campus • Grades 5 to 12 • 370 Old Agency Road • Ridgeland, MS 39157 • 601-853-6000

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