Art Club

Tuesday, May 3

Today was our last Art Club session for the spring semester and we finished up the art/math unit by doing some review and creating some wearable art!  Victoria Rutlege and Maddie Fletcher presented a lesson on weaving and functional art.  We reviewed parallel and perpendicular lines and looked at Crochet III by Louise Bourgeois in the Jacobs Gallery.  We discussed why an artist might choose to use weaving or fiber art as an artistic process – Victoria and Maddie introduced the ideas of creating art for certain purposes (functional) or art serving as decoration.  The kids worked intensely on this project and many incorporated various principles of design that we have talked about all semester, such as balance and repetition to create an interesting pattern in their bracelet.  Not only was this a great lesson to review math terms and introduce new visual art concepts, but it is also great for the kids’ fine motor skills and problem solving!  Check out some of the pictures of their work below, and don’t forget about our reception and exhibition next Tuesday, May 10 at 4:45pm, same building where class is held.  See you then, and thanks for a great semester!


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By |May 4th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, May 3

Tuesday, April 26

This week’s lesson, taught by Whitney Bryan and Rylee Joiner, was all about circles and lines!  The students learned about a prefect circle and how you could create it using a compass.  Then, they learned about right angles, created by two lines through the use of a protractor.  The math department at GC was kind enough to loan Whitney and Rylee 20 plastic compasses and protractors for our project today!  But first, the girls took the kids up to the Jacobs Gallery to look at a painting which uses all circles and right angles in the design:  The Clash, by Russ Bellamy.  In Bellamy’s paintings, his use of circles represents life, and the “labyrinth” of lines and arrows creates a sort of puzzle that may have many different paths from one point to another.  Whitney and Rylee pointed out that some of the circles are larger than others, and in art, this is called “proportion.”  Proportion can be used to create emphasis, or a focal point in a work of art.  Back in the class room, the kids were instructed to choose two colors – with one color they would paint circles with their compass, and they would use the other color to paint lines at right angles with their protractor.  They were encouraged to use a lot variety in proportions to create an interesting design and they did a great job! We are always trying to get the kids to think and make decisions that are purposeful during the art making process.

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By |April 28th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 26

Tuesday, April 19

Today’s lesson was on tessellations, a good old art+math favorite.  Anna Clements and Karla Diaz showed the kids an awesome video of some of the artistic uses of tessellations in every day life:

Then, we reviewed some math terms that are applicable to the lesson – congruent and polygon – since tessellations are supposed to be composed of all congruent polygons.  The students were instructed to fill their whole sheet of paper with one or more polygons (semi-regular tessellation in this case) without there being any spaces between the shapes.  First, they had to make a stencil out of cardstock!  Since they have already learned about geometric and organic shapes this semester, they came up with some really creative stencil designs.  They also could color their design any way they wanted to, but no two colors or patterns were allowed to be touching.  We really had their brains working in this lesson!  Check out some of the pictures of the projects, below:



By |April 20th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 19

Tuesday, April 12

Today we learned about abstract art with Cody Elbert and Ethan Edwards.  Total abstraction results in non-representational images – meaning, there is no identifiable object in the composition.  The guys explained that this abstract art is made up of different elements such as line, shape, color, and texture.  We looked at three different abstract pieces in the gallery and discussed how different each one was from the others.  Here is a picture of Ava doing some analysis of a Judy Pfaff collage piece:



Back in the classroom, we reviewed some math terms that relate to the element of art, line, and the way line can be arranged, such as:  line segment, vertical, horizontal, parallel, and perpendicular.  Then, the students were given verbal instructions in order to create their own abstract design.  The instructions were:

  1.  Draw a vertical red line that touches the top and the bottom of the paper.
  2. Draw a black circle.
  3. Draw a horizontal blue line.
  4. Draw a straight green line inside the circle.
  5. Draw four dots: red, orange, blue, and green.
  6. Draw a wavy line.
  7. Draw a line perpendicular to the green line.
  8. Draw a line parallel to the red line.

Here are some of the initial results.  Notice how different each art work is from the next, despite the fact that the kids were given the same instructions.

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We had fun comparing and contrasting the 23 very different abstract pieces.












Next, Cody and Ethan talked about two principals of design that we learned about in the gallery: emphasis and variety.  We learned that we can create emphasis by making objects different sizes and colors so they stand out and draw the viewers’ eyes.  We also learned that some of our lines could be thick, and some could be thin, which would result in more variety and more visual interest in the composition.  Then, we went through the 8 steps again and tried to incorporate these design ideas into our work:

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This was a really cool project with some difficult art and math concepts, and the kids did a great job!  Three more art/math lessons to go this semester prior to our exhibit – stay tuned!

By |April 12th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 12

Tuesday, April 5

Today Mikayla Gray and Randy Bloomfield taught a wonderful lesson on Piet Mondrian and the art movement, De Stijl.  The movement, in case you are unfamiliar with it, originated in the Netharlands in the first quarter of the 20th century and was characterized by total abstraction, simplifying objects down to the basic elements of line and color.  Artists used the primary colors along with black and white, and simple shapes with horizontal and vertical lines.  Here is a neat video that shows the progression of Piet Mondrian’s artistic journey:

And here is one of the paintings we studied as a class:


The kids learned about simple math terms such as horizontal and vertical lines, as well as the principle of design, balance.  Specifically, we talked about asymmetrical balance and how to create it in a work of art; i.e. through the use of repetition of shape and color as in a Mondrian painting.  We also looked at Sonia DeLaunay’s work Venice in the Jacobs Gallery on campus and discussed how it was both similar and different from Mondrian’s work.  Finally, the kids got to created their own “Mondrian animal” using their new knowledge of asymmetrical balance.  Check out some of the results below.

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By |April 6th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 5

Tuesday, March 22

It was a long two weeks without art club and we were happy to be back today, learning about geometric/organic shapes and the artist Paul Klee.  This lesson was taught by Amanda Brown and Ciara Rogers.  First, students reviewed both art elements line and shape.  Then we looked at different ways that shapes can be used in art work to represent certain objects.  We looked at Paul Klee’s Castle and Sun and talked about how the structure was represented through the use of simple geometric shapes.  Then we walked up to the Jacobs Gallery and saw a collage piece by Tom Wesselmann that used more organic shapes.  The kids did a great job comparing and contrasting the two art works and the different ways shape can be used in a representational or non-representational way.



Next, Amanda and Ciara introduced the project:  a crayon-resist watercolor painting in the style of Paul Klee.  Ask your kids if they remember why the crayon shows through the paint in this technique!  They did a great job drawing out their structures using simple shapes, mostly geometric, and then making sure to apply color so that it was evening balanced throughout the painting.  Check out some of their awesome work!

Finally, don’t forget that we will be off again next Tuesday, March 29, for Scott Co. spring break.  This is our last off day!  Starting April 5 we will have five straight weeks of art club followed by our closing reception.  Can’t wait!




By |March 23rd, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, March 22

Tuesday, March 1

Today’s lesson was taught by Megan Gribbins and Kursten Hubbell.  In keeping with our theme “Math and Art,” the girls planned a lesson using coordinate graphing to illustrate the way pointillism can work in a painting.  The kids learned some advanced math concepts such as locating the x and y axes and plotting coordinates such as (3, 7).  All of the points we graphed as a class formed a recognizable shape – therefore, the class understood how our minds can use points to form images.  Pointillism works in a similar way as all the marks in a pointillism art work are simply dots, yet they form trees, water, and other objects. Megan and Kursten took it a step further and showed the class how we can create an illusion of color mixing using pointillism as well; little dots of yellow and red side by side tend to look orange to the viewers. Finally, we reviewed “landscapes” and their characteristics before getting ready to paint.  The students were instructed to create a landscape painting in the style of pointillism using a q-tip to make dots of paint, and they were challenged to cover all the white spaces of the paper.  They did a great job – check out some of the finished paintings below!  Also, just a reminder, we will not have art club again until March 22 – see you all then!

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By |March 2nd, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, March 1

Tuesday, Feb. 23

IMG_4961Due to some winter weather delays the past couple weeks, today was our first day of art club for the spring 2016 semester!  This semester we are doing a unit that incorporates some math concepts into our art lessons.  Dorothy Shelton kicked us off with a lesson on reflective symmetry and African masks; the kids got to visit the Jacobs Gallery in the library and see some African masks in person.  We looked at ways that they had symmetrical or asymmetrical balance through the repetition of line and shape and learned a brief history of some of the uses for the masks in African culture.


Once we were back in the classroom Dorothy showed everyone how to create a modern day African mask using a variety of 2d and 3d media.  Students worked really hard to give their masks reflective symmetry by folding them in half and/or working on each half simultaneously.  I think they did a great job and made some very creative disguises!  Here is a picture of the whole group – bet you can’t guess who’s who!


By |February 24th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, Feb. 23

Last Art Club – Tuesday, Nov. 24

Today was our LAST Art Club session of 2015!  Please keep an eye on this site for information on signing up for the spring 2016 semester – registration will be posted in mid January.


Today Barbara Mason and I had the pleasure of teaching the last lesson on printmaking!  The kids learned about the art process of printmaking – making an impression from one surface onto another surface – and talked about how they have done printmaking before if they’ve ever made a hand print or used stamps.  An important quality of this artistic process is the ability to make several original works of art that look the same – or copies, that have the same qualities as the original.  Next, we talked about the type of printmaking process in which the raised surface forms the dark or colored areas of an image – a relief print.  One example of a relief print is a wood cut and the kids got to pass around a real wood block that had been carved in this manner.  We also got to see an original work of art by one of our GC professors, Daniel Graham, who is a print maker!  We toured the printmaking classroom on the second floor of the art building and the kids got to see printing presses, tools and ink.  Finally, we got to make our own relief prints by cutting fun foam and gluing it to cardboard to make the blocks, or stamps.  Check out some of the work below.  Anyone wanting words in their prints had the arduous task of figuring out how to put their letters on backwards – they did a great job!

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By |November 25th, 2015|Art Club|Comments Off on Last Art Club – Tuesday, Nov. 24

Tuesday, Nov. 17

This week we had our last student-taught art lesson in Art Club (college student, that is!)  Ms. Molly Dixon taught a wonderful lesson on figurative sculpture-in-the-round, written by Ashley Garland.  In keeping with our Kentucky history theme, the students looked at a statue of a well-known Kentucky-born president, Abraham Lincoln, and talked about how it is “3D” because it has height, width and depth and can be classified as figurative because it depicts a person.   We also looked at an image of the Thomas Jefferson statue in front of Louisville Metro Hall.  Then, Molly showed the class some sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and we learned that he created many elongated, abstract figurative sculptures during his career.  We used Giacometti’s work as inspiration for our own aluminum foil figurative sculptures!  First the students created the basic structure of their figures using pipe cleaners, then they built up the volume using strips of foil which mimic the texture and form of Giacometti’s work.  Students had to do a lot of problem solving during this lesson as they had to create a figure that would balance on a piece of cardboard.  Finally, they used the spot lights and black construction paper to trace the shadow of their figure.  I think this is one of my personal favorite Art Club projects!  Check out some images of the finished pieces below.  Also, REMINDER – Next Tuesday, Nov. 24, is the LAST DAY of Art Club for the Fall 2015 semester!  Keep an eye on this website for information regarding the Spring 2016 semester. IMG_3533 IMG_3535  IMG_3546 IMG_3545IMG_3547IMG_3556

By |November 18th, 2015|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, Nov. 17