1. High School Art Class
High School Art Class
Currently Teaching at University Prep High School
From the culture statement:
“The study of art is not limited to the people who want to become artists. Art is a lens through which you can critically explore aspects of your daily reality. Creativity is trait that can be applied in all fields of study and industry. Art invites you to be curious about the natural world and designed objects, to learn about design contexts and precedents, to draw upon your deeper intuition, feelings and self awareness to then have the ability to communicate visually, spatially and verbally. Be prepared to challenge your assumptions daily, stretch yourself mentally and be comfortable with the unknown. Your first idea will rarely be your best.”
Making art and design an accessible experience at a K-12 level is my current educational goal. With art’s programming being defunded in many of our public schools, it feels necessary to ensure students are presented with a comprehensive arts curriculum, even if they only have art class one semester during their entire time in high school. The content I have been in the process of developing for this class is fluid and responds to my daily experience of learning about the students and their interests.
One of the first projects I facilitated was a tshirt design week. Each day the students could pick a template and design a shirt based on the daily theme. The themes ranged from activist cause to favorite brand.
Having a background in the study of social media, I wanted to develop a project that catalyzed the student to reflect on their relationship with social media. This generation of students has a far more seamless relationship with the digital and the analog. It was difficult for them to asess the minute differences between the two when attempting to translate their digital life into a real world material. Many of the students were not familliar with the concept of a final critique. To make them more comfortable with commenting on their peers work we held a silent critique were I asked the students to pretend they were leaving comments on their peers instagram posts.
Weaving with Waste:
After running my summer camp AFBC I wanted to bring the experince of sustainability into the arts classroom. I created five large looms for the students to work in groups on weaving with fabric waste and plastic bags. Having the students work with their hands with an engaging and repetitive process of weaving was an interesting experiment with cultivating attention in the classroom.
After conducting portrait drawing exercises for two weeks, the students had become increasingly frustrated by their lack of ability to draw a portrait accurately. To diverge off of this frustration I introduced them to the work of Pablo Picasso. Understanding that not all art is about real life accuracy and the creative interpretation of facial features is something that is appreciated by the art world helped them move on from their frustrations. Students started by using tracing paper over a photograph of their face to distort their features. From there they selected their favorite sketched which I sized up to be a large poster. They are currently working on coloring in their portraits with oil pastels and will eventually paint the background of their posters.
Teaching Reflections: Pivoting my experience with teaching from an arts university to a high school has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. It is very easy to remain in the bubble of academic art, ignoring that the majority of the worlds population lives their lives with very little access to the experience of creativity and making art. Having to convince students of the value of the arts in this high school setting has allowed me to reflect on my own relationship with art and the value it has brought to my life. A tenant of my classroom has been trying to instill an understanding that creation is a natural human behavior, there does not need to be an emphasis on the perfection of a product or item.
Class Culture Statement