Monday, July 13, 2009

Pop Art Park Bench Project

This was one of the projects that I had the most fun with in art with my grade 5 to 8 students. I was asked to paint some park benches near the playground. The community bought paint. I had freedom to design what I wanted. So I chose the Orange Crush can as a bright orange bench to paint. From a distance you can see the orange slice on the back of the bench. We are a nutrition positive school so I was worried about using pop as a theme but no one seemed to care. People from the community liked them and said so as we were painting them. The students did the backgrounds and I did the fine details to perfect the letters and droplets and shadows. I did Sprite and 7Up on either side of the Crush bench mainly because that was the pop sold in our machine at school. Also they were blue and green.
The next fall I painted a Coke and Pepsi bench because they were near the ball diamonds and the pepsi can had a girl on it with a baseball cap. Coke and Pepsi are rivals and these benches faces opposite ball diamonds. The Pepsi bench was much more creative than the Coke bench. Kids loved them. The idea was to avoid graffitti. But they still spray painted red on the white Coke letters and blue on the white Pepsi letters.
This past year the community asked me to paint the park bench on the top of the hill. I plan to do Mountain Dew on it. The other school had painted red and white stripes on it and green and yellow stripes.
I've written an article on murals and how to paint them at Bright Hub. The article is called Pop Art Park Bench. It talks about the materials, method and mural websites to check out. This has been one of the lasting art projects I have done at this school and one of the most rewarding.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fun in the Sun Art Project - Rice Paper

This project is easy to do with little shells and feathers you collect from the beach. I have done this project in the fall with collected leaves and flower petals. I have also tried it with glitter and flat chinese napkins with gold leaf on them. It is very easy to do. The hardest material to have on hand is wax paper. It can be made as long as you like. I made a long wall hanging with it for my bedroom. Looks nice with light shining through. This project I describe is for kids in the summer at a beach who want to do a craft. You can use it on a nice lantern or hang it in a window. See an article I wrote called: Fun in the Sun Summer Art Project.
I have made paper in art class but this project has turned out to be one of my favorites. I use it usually with grade 4's and 5's. Its messy with the white glue and kleenex but I would recommend it. Have the students collect the materials and bring them. Make sure they are flat. I tried to bring in flat fossilized leaves which were very pretty but rather expensive and not needed. Kids like adding glitter or sequins but you can't see them through the paper very well. Colored leaves, petals and flat cedar boughs work well. Anything you recommend would be welcome.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pop Can Pop Art Project

To end off the school year, I had students learn the pop art genre of art. Instead of Andy Warhol's famous tomato soup can, I had grade 8 students choose from among several pop cans to sketch and then paint in bright colors. I explained about contrasting colors, how pop art should pop out at you and how it deals with unexpected colors such as bright blue on a typically red and white coke can.
The students created great sketches and were in the middle of painting when year end activities cut short this project. At bright hub, I wrote an article on the materials, preparation, and procedure for this project. See this article write up at: Pop Art Pop Can Project - An Elementary Art Lesson.
I was able to use some current examples of pop art in this lesson and received permission from the artist, Van Taylor Monroe, to show his pop art of Obama painted onto shoes. There is also some interesting pop art now being created for designs on flash drives. Where have you noticed pop art in today's culture?