2011/2012 Art Studies

June 2012

Visiting Artist: Virginia Fitzgerald

Thanks to a Wayland Public Schools Grant, we invited Virginia Fitzgerald to be
our visiting artist and learned about her artwork and ideas!
 (Full story below.)

Virginia Fitzgerald with 3rd Graders laying down the "Carbon Foot Print Dress".

"Carbon Foot Print Dress"

5th Grader stands beside "Jellyfish" sculpture, designed by
Virginia Fitzgerald. All students at Happy Hollow added
a personal strip of VHS tape to the project while in art class.

Peeling away the blue tape in the negative space,
"Carbon Footprint" Dress is complete. From a distance, it
looks like linen, but it was made by over a thousand, 
dirty, stomping shoes which pass 
through our art room in one week!

Virginia Fitzgerald's VCR tape Dress Sculpture and Catfood Can Dress.
 After this presentation, we created the VCR tape sculpture, "Jellyfish",
based on Virginia's guidance and design ideas.

Visiting Artist: Virginia Fitzgerald

All students at Happy Hollow were presented with stories and a slideshow of Virginia Fitzgerald's
creative art work. Virginia's themes for her visit were about using recycled materials in art and 
opening our eyes to creative opportunities all around us each day.  Students enjoyed the countless ways she has created, using the theme of "dresses" as a vehicle to represent her thoughts on our culture and her ideas for supporting our earth. 

In June, all students will continue a "Jellyfish" sculpture which Virginia designed and we will hang it in the courtyard outside the art room. (See completed sculpture in pictures above.) We will use VCR tape wrapped around and hanging from a chicken wire armature. The materials are identical to one of our favorite sculptures she has created: a mannequin type dress from VCR tape. We were lucky to keep it in our art room while Virginia was visiting us at Happy Hollow!

With her art studio space in Natick, MA, we didn't have to go far to find this fascinating artist who could share her creative endeavors with our students. Virginia's "Dress Project" is an example of extending a theme in many directions and making connections to academic areas beyond the arts. Some students were inspired to create drawings of a variety of dresses and duct tape dress sculptures, which they presented to the artist.

This artist's visit was generously funded through a grant by the Wayland Public Schools Foundation. Our proposal was to bring an artist into our school who uses found materials in their work and who raises awareness for our environmental impact. Thank you, Wayland Public Schools Foundation and thank you, Virginia Fitzgerald!

Visit these sites to view Virginia Fitzgerald's work,( and her future blog about the Happy Hollow School experience):

Happy Summer!

Christine Soeltz
Arts Instructor

ART From Grades One through Five

Second and Third Graders read about various artists 
and created booklets with art and facts about their artist.

One student is studying Georgia O'Keefe's work.

Fifth grade classes worked with one point perspective.

Andy Goldsworthy's art in nature was the inspiration for the drawings in the bottom images.
 We watched how Andy Goldsworthy worked with rock and dried canes. He is very 
patient and he says that nature provides him with his lessons along with the tools. He claims that nature
also takes away his work. 

Students mixed colors and learned why colors are grouped as they are on the color wheel.

 A student cuts ribbon for our Olympic Assembly. Second graders made buntings 
for the event which celebrated the virtues of Olympian training.

Arranging the strips for the bunting! Grade Two.

May 2012

Simple Machine Sculptures

5th grade students assembled wood projects that incorporate
concepts of simple machines which ties into their academic studies.

Designing the exterior after assembly.

Detail of collage work.

Basketball games, carousels, cars and "freefall"
were among the choices. Students chose their
favorite project and built it.

Designing with mosaics, collage and markers.

3rd and 4th grade students sculpted with wood and clay.

Students spinning handmade "tops"!

A car using elastic band and wheels for simple movement.

Caning with Sculpey Clay was an exciting way 
to explore clay possibilities in grades 1 through 4!
This technique lends itself well to decorative design.

2nd grade students learned how to make buntings. Buntings are
hung to celebrate events. We made a red, white and blue one
to represent the USA at our "Olympics" Assembly. (Photos to 
follow once the assembly takes place!)

April 2012

Third and Fourth Grade "House and Surroundings"
Wood, Cardboard and Fabric

Percussion Instruments 
Grade Two 
 Together, we simulated the sound of a passing rainstorm!

Fifth grade students created their masks for the spring play and began a lesson focused on building a simple machine toy from wood. We will soon have photos of the wood pieces , but here is a snapshot of some masks in progress.

Fourth graders with work in progress!

First and Second Grade Students explored a
 technique called, "Caning" with Sculpey Clay. 
Baked pieces can be strung, worn or used in mobiles.

March 2012

Paint and Fabric Mixed Media Landscapes-Grade 1

3D Houses in Progress with Grades 3 and 4

Mask Making for Spring Musical, Grade 5

"Building in Landscape" collage by  First Grade Student

February 2012

Grades 3 and 4 explored "unity" in their books.

Drawings show themes and tell stories in our handmade books.

Bookmaking was our focus this month. Students of all ages used their extra paintings from the Chinese Dragon project to create accordion style books. Between these painted covers, the blank pages were the springboard for countless possibilities. Our students are writing facts about artists, teaching English to Spanish lessons using art vocabulary,making visual journals with specific themes,relaying personal experiences and often, just telling wild stories! 
Our librarian, Elizabeth Bryant, arranged a very special presentation by a children's author and illustrator. Brian Lies shared his life experiences 
in ways which illustrated his journey with book writing and illustrating. He was at once a teacher, an accomplished author, a gifted artist, a comedian, a Dad and a coach. He gave us great tips and of course, expert advice! What a treat to be able to go back to our art classes and continue to work on our books!

January 2012

anuary brought us into the New Year with a focus on the "Year
of the Dragon" and its Chinese tradition.  Our entire student body painted the scales of a dragon, which is pictured here in detail. The head of the dragon will accompany the 16 foot body in a parade at our school assembly!

All students will receive report card grades for art this month. Evaluations are based on each student's portfolio of work, behavior and involvement. Most artwork has been returned to the students, though there is more to be taken down from our hallway displays. 

Wayland art teachers visited the studio of artist David Lang who spent several hours engaging us in the narrative behind his work and sharing his thoughts on art education.  A sculptor and a painter, Mr. Lang's stories behind his mediums are bound to catch and hold one's attention. If you are curious about his work, be sure to visit his site! http://www.davidlangstudios.com/

December 2011
Students brainstormed many creative ways of using our donated recycled materials in art class. The Naugahyde and fabric scraps were utilized in open ended explorations. We also worked according to a plan to produce wacky mazes, functional pouches, simple mobiles, small mosaics and even smaller bookmarks.

"Mazes" , Using Naugahyde, by Second Grade Students

Detail of a Painting on Display in December 

Naugahyde "Pouches" made by Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade Students
Fabric Pouches made by First and Second Grade Students

"Naugahyde" Bookmarks by First and Second Grade Students

"Naugahyde" Mosaics by First and Second Grade Students

November 2011

Here are some of the projects we have created!

"Mandalas" by 5th Grade Students

Abstract Imagined Portraits by Grade Five Students

"Naugahyde" Weaving by Grades Three and Four

"Naugahyde" Mobiles by 
Grades One and Two
Thanks to a generous donation of Naugahyde scraps, we have been gluing, sculpting, weaving and cutting this versatile "fake" leather.

Painted Book Bins
 (Constructed by Fifth Grade Students
 with Classroom Teachers, painted in Art classes.)

More book bins...

...and a few more!

October 2011

Typically each year in our art classes, first grade students explore the basic mark makings of letter formation by freely drawing variations of dots and lines. Regardless of language, country of origin or expertise in art making skills, all who make "marks" use a variation of dots and line formations. Our pipe cleaner bookmarks and sculptures on pencils were exercises which explored these basic letter formation concepts. Please see the next paragraph for information on the doodling exercises which first graders also created.*

Grades 2-4:  Using perfect symmetry was optional in our radial designs. Students wove pipe cleaners into plastic mesh to create a circular design from nature or from their imaginations. This topic lead us to discuss other designs which are arranged around centers, such as mandalas and...zendalas. The word "mandala" in Sanskrit, is a sacred geometric symbol of "universe" or wholeness of being. "Zendala" is a hybrid of the words mandala and zentangle, a trademarked name which represents a system of doodling. New language meets old language in this exercise which turned out to offer a system of doodling which students loved. 
Using the circular format, fine line markers, our mark making chart, and repetition, we were carried through this  lesson with ostinato drumming in the background! Doodling in this way fostered a sense of accomplishment amongst all. Students were relaxed and focused and even some of our teaching assistants left art class feeling they had "toolboxes" filled with new ideas for their personal doodling times! *

Grade 5: Upon completion of our "Abstract Faces", students' experiences had included explorations into the works of Picasso, Matisse and Paul Klee. Weaving wire and string into plastic mesh, students cut and rearranged materials to invent abstractions with facial features.  Coordinating and manipulating many materials was our method for working toward our goal: To create an abstraction which would still be recognizable as a face. *

Fifth graders will go on to design the surfaces of their handmade book bins, made with their classroom teachers. They, too, will be given the opportunity to explore the zentangle art experience!

*Many classes in our school enjoyed the story: When Pigasso met Mootisse, by Nina Laden. All students at Happy Hollow will be given the "doodling" lesson.  (Note: Talks from TED at : http://www.ted.com/themes/browse host a woman who speaks to the virtues of doodling.)

September 2011


Grades 1, 2

The newest classes to Happy Hollow are our first graders. This year, the "Name Plate" project is well suited for the first several art classes as it gives all of us a chance to see and review the names of each other. Students were taught how to make shape letters using their names and how to animate them by drawing eyes on the letters. We observed the structure of human eyes through photos and real life observations and identified the various shapes and lines seen in eyes. 


Grades 3,4,5

Pablo Picasso painted in the styles of Realism and Abstraction. His work changed drastically during his lifetime. We looked at one part of his paintings, the eyes, and made changes in the two eyes of our own imaginary people in our name plates. The names on our work, however, are real...really ours! Students practiced various types of lettering, including 3D letters, overlapping and textured letters.