Each fall we explore the work of Yayoi Kusama. Kusama is a contemporary artist who works with sculpture, color, dots, and the idea of infinity. She loves nature and brings her past into her artwork.
Students complete a multi-media, multi step lesson.
- Learn the history of Kusama's work
- Learn how to draw a pumpkin, step by step
- Paint dots
- Glue a piece of mirrored paper opposite their dots in the sketchbook
- Cut out and attach their pumpkin to the dot side of the paper
When complete, the students will have created a pumpkin in a mirrored room, multiplying into two pumpkins! A miniature "Infinity Room".
I second grade we read “An Eye For Color”, a biography of Josef Albers’ life. We do some exploratory work with color after the story, much in the way Albers would have worked with his college art students. The following class, we create a collage using different squares of colored paper. Students are given freedom in how they combine the shapes, then they choose a completed piece to share with the class. We finish the unit by assessing the learning with a class critique!
Second graders explore texture in a variety of ways in at Park Road. First we create a paper collage, reviewing tearing, curling paper fringe, cutting and making a texture making.
Second graders review their knowledge of making a "pinch pot". They learn how to make a bird out of one ball of clay, pinching and pulling to make a head, body, tail and beak. They add texture with tools to make the side of the nest and the feathers on their birds. Later, after the greenware is fired to bisqueware, the students have their choice of colors to glaze their sculptures. They are fired once more and wrapped in tissue paper, placed in a decorative paper bag for transport.
Balance and Symmetry
Second graders participate in a unit on balance, specifically symmetry. We:
- Learn to fold a piece of paper and cut a shape out of it to discover a symmetrical shape.
- Students work in groups to create a symmetrical design with shape blocks.
Next, students learn about the Japanese Notan. Students:
- Create symmetry on four sides of a square by cutting a shape and flipping it the opposite direction to adhere it to the paper. They immediately recognize the creation of new shapes in the balancing and symmetry they created.
- Students try cutting two shapes at a time to create a more complicated design.
- They then choose a piece to put on display at school. Students learn to choose a piece and "curate" a display when they make decisions in this way. (NYS Visual Arts Standard 4.1)