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Artists at Work

Arts in education is essential for the overall development of our students as we challenge them to be their #BestSelf. On our mission to inspire BIG Dreams, we expose students to the arts through cross-curricular experiences, the embedding of creative teaching strategies in all academic areas, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of independent special area courses. As we navigate the world of remote learning and reimagine what school will look like in our new normal, the four main content areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are certainly a focus, but just as important are the special area courses which provided our students with a well-rounded and comprehensive educational experience. In our current instructional model, we have included an expanded platform by utilizing Google Sites to house all of our Special Area content. Students now have access to new, meaningful, and creative lessons every week with each lesson designed by our expert Special Area Teachers throughout the district. As part of this experience, we encourage student to teacher communication and interaction through the use of an exit ticket to document participation, allow for teacher feedback, and assess student performance. Our site currently includes opportunities in Physical Education, Chinese, Spanish, Project Lead the Way, Music, Digital & Financial Literacy, and of course, Art.

This month, our middle school students took full advantage of our Specials remote-learning website and really shined with this art challenge!  Our students were tasked with creating a self-portrait using any materials available at home. Once completed, the students were encouraged to display the self-portrait in their favorite place. 

The prompt called for use of materials as varied as traditional art media to unconventional supplies such as recycled items, including magazines, old pictures, fabric, and other found materials. Creativity is in full force so far, with students thinking “outside-the-box” with the planning and creating of their self-portrait. Students have made portraits out of paper clips, newspaper, tin foil, clear tape, construction paper, and cardboard. Many of our students enjoy digital art and are quite adept at it, using applications such as ibisPaint and Procreate. Some students created their self-portraits using Google Slides. In doing so, they imported photographs as well as drawings they made to create a digital collage. 

Middle School Art Teacher Diana Archila said, “Every day, I look forward to opening my email to see what artwork has come in. I am constantly amazed at the quality of work that I get. Even without the benefit of in-person art classes, these kids can create beauty out of ordinary things. Their capacity for seeing the possibilities is the stuff that makes great artists.”  Ms. Archila is committed to engaging students in the world of art. They engage with different genres and work with many art forms. We are fortunate to have such a talented educator in our district. Check out the fun Ms. Archila and her students had with this Trashion Show!

Currently, the self-portraits are still coming in and participation in the Art Google Classroom is off to a great start with 78 students currently in our 4th and 5th-grade classroom and 71 students in our 6/7/8th grade class and more are joining each day. We are excited about our upcoming projects which will include weaving, animal portraits, and pocket-sized dioramas.