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Mr. Patterson (Visual Art)

Welcome to the Visual Arts webpage for Merrill Middle School. I run an active, theory and technique-based art studio through which I teach students not only the tools needed to create art, but also the elements needed to improve in any area in life. We LEARN and PRACTICE the ELEMENTS OF ART: Line, Shape, Form, Value, Texture, Color, and Space. With these elements as the base of our learning we are always experiment with the synthesis of any element of art practice. 
Students are required to plan and design original work that best demonstrates the key components discussed in class. Students are required to reflect in writing the processes and practices required for each art project. It is a long held position of mine that given the tools and techniques anyone can become a practicing artist in control of the composition.
Respect, courage, and effort remain the most important pieces of a functioning and productive art studio.
For all students, the idea that we brainstorm, we plan, we develop, create, we critique, we revise, AND we do it all again and again.
Above all else, practice means everything to me as an artist and an educator. Without effort, technique-practice and perseverance there are only lucky masterpieces, rather than truly artist-controlled, technique-based expressions. I'm not interested in lucky masterpieces, in the world of art or anywhere else for that matter. I am interested in helping students work  and practice in order to better develop their own sense of independent learning, love of learning, problem solving skills, coping skills, EXPRESSION, strategies, POVs, senses of style and elements of personal taste.

6th Grade: Our 6th Grade Artists are introduced to the Elements of Art, as well as the varying forms and genres in basic form. We learn about different artists and pieces, materials, techniques and language of the artist. 

7th Grade: Our 7th Grade Artists cover and review the Elements of Art, genres, forms, pieces, artists and art movements/periods. Students will also be taking the ideas presented in 6th Grade further with synthesis, manipulations, emotions in expressions, and statements through visuals. Focus periods: Realism, Impressionism, Abstract.

8th Grade: Our 8th Grade Artists cover and review Elements of Art, genres, pieces, artists, art movements/periods and message/protest art. Students will also be taking ideas presented in 6th and 7th Grade further with synthesis, manipulations, mixed media, and statements through art, both creation of and critique of artistic statements. Focus Periods: Cubism, Abstract, Expressionism, Opt Art, Dada

Enrichment Class: Art Exploration: 7th and 8th Grade Mix. Exploring art movements through history, culture as expressed through art, resistance through art, art therapy, while covering elements of all Grade Level explorations. Expression-focused.

Art Show: Student Art that demonstrated Elements of Art, Effort, Practice, Revisions, Planning, etc. will be recorded and collected as potential Art Show Entries. The District Art Show is in April, and six pieces of art work from Merrill is selected and submitted from each school.

Homework: The value of ART homework is for practice, practice and more practice. Students should draw during down time- riding in the car or on the bus, watching TV, waiting for appointments, etc. Students are expected to practice Art Techniques/Skills during time off campus. I want the students to not prioritize art homework as crucial. It is necessary, but so is time working on living life, playing outside, being with friends and family, reading, building, running, hobbies/interests, and keeping up with Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science.
Basic breakdown for standard "3" Grade is as follows for expectations:
1. 6th Grade Weekly Homework: 6 Sketches OR 1 detailed drawings/illustrations 
2. 7th Grade Weekly Homework: 7 Sketches OR 2 detailed drawings/illustrations
3. 8th Grade Weekly Homework: 8 Sketches OR 2 detailed drawings/illustrations
Students are encouraged to exceed these numbers to receive "4" on Homework 

Cell Phones.
Cell phone Use will be encouraged in Art Class with the following Understandings:
1. Only on Studio days and only with VERBAL invitation from the TEACHER in the room.
2. Cell Phones will be used for REFERENCE only. That means saved pictures will be used to study and draw.
3. All pictures are searched for, taken, and loaded off-campus.
4. No internet searches on campus- Phone privilege will be taken from individual students who do not follow expectations
5. No texting. (even to parents)
6. No social networks, saved sites, games, or email. Again- privilege will be taken from students who do not follow expectations
Students who do not own phones can bring in IPADs, printed pictures, picture books or magazines for reference. Two classroom computers are also available for reference- reserved only for students without access to classroom technology.