2010/2011 Art Studies

May / June 2011

Weaving and Book Making

Students in grades 3,4 and 5 began weaving on cardboard looms with yarn. We were "brought to Ghana" in a short video clip which featured African men working the wooden looms with their feet and hands. In addition, women and men provided musical rhythms by utilizing handmade instruments and chanting.  In June, several of our third graders will present at the school assembly. These boys had an opportunity to weave on a large wooden loom in the art room. Excited to share their experience with the school, they rehearsed their words and are looking forward to their upcoming presentation.

Our youngest students in the first grade created animal contoured books and our second graders read and wrote stories about famous artists of the past. Many of these books are on display in our main corridor!

May and June projects have also included: origami books,  drawing basics for endangered species posters and flip animation books.

APRIL 2011

Color Theory

Grades one through five continued to explore primary, secondary, warm and cool color relationships on graph paper with oil pastels. Students in grades three and four collaborated on group projects which have been photographed and filed in the side bar to the right, under the heading: "Group Projects to Share". Please check that page to see a photograph of your child's work as a group project cannot go home with each student. Thanks to this technology, we can offer you the opportunity to see your child's group work and to print it as a keepsake.

The art work made by grades one, two and five are individual pieces which will go home with your student.

We hope you will find some time to enjoy our colorful art exhibit in the main corridor!

March 2011

The Use of Technology in Art Class

By viewing short video clips on working artists in our world, we have learned techniques artists use, concepts they explore and purposes of art. For example, we watched installation artists create their installations in galleries. By listening to their stories, we learned about the concepts they were exploring and that they are from other countries.

From our computer and through art lessons, we also learned ways to cut and re-use plastic in art projects, including crocheting, weaving and braiding. We learned about West African women who make purses from strips of plastic bags and sell them in order to buy food for their families. We viewed the process of their art making as they participated in a woman's circle with their young children. The women worked with their hands and their young children stood by, waiting patiently for their moms' attention. The clothing of the Gambian women was colorful and, we suspected, perhaps handmade. The mood of the working group was peaceful and focused.

The use of these short clips has been very meaningful and enriching to our art program while taking up  small amounts of time in our 45 minute classes.


Following our recycling unit, a number of children pursued projects at home utilizing plastic bags, paper and throwaway socks.  It's been a thrill to see and hear about those out of school creations! Keep them coming! One example was a purse made by a student. It was constructed from soda cans and braided plastic bags... and fully functional! 

In school, children in grades one and two spent several art classes learning paper weaving and then embellished their woven paper pieces. Fifth grade students made good use of National Geographic magazine photos to create weavings with images from cultures worldwide. 

Exploring Color Theory

(For pictures, go to side bar: "Group Projects to Share")

All grades are exploring concepts in color theory this month. They are: warm and cool colors, primary and secondary colors. Our youngest students in grades one and two are creating smaller pieces with simple shape design, while students in grades three and four are drawing very large images of insects, flowers and birds. All projects will become oil crayon, mosaic-type pieces. Fifth graders are exploring the same concepts of color theory, only using self appointed themes. Both the weaving projects from above and the "Mosaic Oil Crayon Drawings" will be on display in our school this spring! They will continue light to up our corridors!

If you have not yet seen our "CIRCUS" display, please stop by soon and enjoy the multimedia work of our students!

 Above our circus display, you will see weavings by our second graders. 

February 2011



Grade One Art portrays the human body in motion.


SCULPTURES by Grades 3, 4, 5

CIRCUS TENTS by Grades 1,2

DRAWINGS by Grade 5

(Thank you to Elizabeth Curtin for helping with this display!)

As we completed sculptures and prepared for our art show this month, students in all grades were introduced to recycling concepts utilizing discarded plastic bags, magazines, paper and even torn socks! We explored ways to cut plastic bags into string. We watched Gambian women from West Africa crochet purses from plastic bags in order to raise money for their families' food. In the form of short movie clips a few minutes long, the internet brings fascinating artists right into our art room! 

December 2010 / January 2011

Art work is on display in the main corridor of Happy Hollow School!

Grades One and Two:  As a follow-up activity to our installation art focus, children made miniature sample galleries from hand crafted boxes. Imagining they were in the gallery space, children attached varieties of string to all sides of the "room" to create a feeling of walking through installation art. This was based on their exposure to installation artists, Adriana Salazar and Tomas Saraceno. (See "November 2010" below, for info on these artists.)

Continuing with the concepts of the physical world and movement, students used "Silly Sally" by Audrey Wood as a focus on our bodies in motion. As we studied the pictures of Sally walking to town upside down, we were led to think about how the body moves at the hips,neck, and other major joints. By "breaking" the human form down into these parts, we are in the process of constructing figures from wood and clay which are a bit more exciting than stick figures! An exhibit will soon follow!

Grades Three, Four and Five:  We launched into creating sculptures using wood and physical/ architectural circus themes. Clips from the Big Apple Circus web pages for educators would provide us with information on movement, gravity and balance.  In November, students enjoyed first-hand experiences with these concepts utilizing various materials. In December, planning and articulating their intentions to the teacher for glueing purposes, were a large part of the art process. In January, students will complete their projects by adding clay figures to their pieces. Sculpey clay techniques and human proportion will become our focus. Exploring the life and pursuits of an additional artist of their choice will be a simultaneous assignment in January. More information upcoming on our future sculpture exhibit!

November 2010

Fall Exhibit : Art work is on display in the main corridor of Happy Hollow School!

Over a couple hundred pieces represent grades 3, 4 and 5 !!!

(A special thank you to Elizabeth Curtin for her time commitment in helping to display students' work!)

Installation art has been the focus of our art classes this month. Observing contemporary artists' installations, we discovered that this form of art can take many shapes and have countless meanings, much like story or song writing!

Students in all grades worked in groups to explore the numerous possibilities of manipulating simple machine materials such as pulleys, ropes, clasps, jumbo rubber bands and dowels. Group communication, sharing ideas and exploration were our focus. Children imagined the art table tops to be miniature galleries and their materials were the exploratory subject of their installations. 

Two artists who are inspiring our activities remotely, are Adriana Salazar from Colombia, and Tomas Saraceno, from Italy.  Ms. Salazar works with machines  and we watched her installation of a pair of shoes move around on a system of pulleys in a gallery room. 

Tomas Saraceno is an artist whose ideas correlate with scientific concepts of "biospheres", a type of human made ecosystem. We listened to an interview he gave about his work and watched his assistants install his complicated "spheres" by using his meticulously recorded notes and models.

Our own hands-on direction will be in the forms of sculptures and assemblages using  paper, wood, clay and other materials. Specific materials and themes will be assigned to each grade level.

Please consider returning to read about our exciting results in a December or January post!  An exhibit will surely follow!

September /October 2010

Fall Exhibit : Art work is on display in the main corridor of Happy Hollow School!

(A special thank you to Elizabeth Curtin for her time commitment in helping to display students' work!)

Over a couple hundred pieces represent Grades 3, 4 and 5 !!!

During September and October, Happy Hollow students have been engaged in an extensive printmaking, painting and drawing unit of study. Some classes continued to use the printing press and all classes practiced hand rubbing their impressions. We watched printmakers design their t-shirt images by carving into wood and printing from this "woodcut" onto the t-shirt.  Using styrofoam as our printing plates, we engraved lines in these ways:

Grades One and Two learned about the photography of Kjell Sandved, author and artist of the Butterfly Alphabet Book.  Using the richly textured, yet simple photographs as a starting point, children designed their own names and/or initials into the styrofoam, which became printing plates. From there we inked the plates, pulled prints, painted some and finally mounted all of our work.  This site will take you to a lovely story about the artist and how he was led to this adventure by his wife: http://www.butterflyalphabet.com/story.html

Grades Three and Four worked in the same materials with an emphasis on animals close up and clearly designed, utilizing specific principles of design.

Grade Five worked with landscape concepts in some classes, and other classes designed picture frames with their printed images. 

Please stop by and take a look at the skills represented in this exhibit! Repetition of design and yet a variety of outcomes is typical of the printmaking process.  Because of this, students recognize the work of their peers almost as readily as their own pieces.