Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Obama's Turn Around Arts Initiative

It's not local news, but the Obama administration has developed a strategy to use arts education to address some of the most challenging schools in the States. Celebrities are helping out by "adopting" one of these schools each. Some of the celebrities involved are: Chuck Close, Forest Whitaker, Yo Yo Ma and Sarah Jessica Parker.

This article covers the story. One of the principals involved believes that: "his school can prove that arts are an "accelerator" for improvements in reading, math and other subjects. He states: "we have to give kids' brains an opportunity to synthesize these things we're teaching them at a deep level. That happens best when arts are present in the school. " 

It will be interesting to see the results of these programs, putting the arts to the test in the most challenging situations. Here is the site for the program: http://turnaroundarts.pcah.gov/.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Symbolic Self-Portrait Activity & Colour Walk/ Scavenger Hunt

Here are a few studio activity ideas that I've heard of recently that I think are good enough to write down:

    Symbolic Self-Portrait:
Step 1: on a large paper (16 X 20 or more) trace the outline of your profile using a projector.

Step 2: write a list of personal interests and experiences (optional: consider the questions:
What is one of your favourite quotes? philosophy? prayer? Who are the most important people in your life? What represents home for you? Where do you want to go? What represents the future for you?)

Step 3: Draw/ write/ paint/ and collage items and scenes from your list inside the outline of your profile.

    Colour Walk/ Scavenger Hunt:
Simple but potentially beautiful and a good way to work on the element of design: colour.

Step 1: Walk from the class to the park and back in 30 minutes and collect a different item for each colour.

Step 2: All students glue their items on the same neutral toned bristol board in the same order. Hang the final piece in the studio for future reference.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A.G.O. joins the Google Art Project

The A.G.O. has joined other museums in contributing to the Google Art Project to make work accessible online.  Here's a National Post  article with info from A.G.O. staff and more details about the project.

And you can see more at the Google Art Project.

This is such a good idea, ever since I saw the Sistine Chapel interactive online site, (from an earlier post) I've been wanting to see more museums providing high definition content online.

By allowing the public to interact with artwork from home for free, museums can generate interest and help people make connections and build curiosity or familiarity with their collection.

This is especially useful for education, and a great tool for art teachers and students. This could be used to help with research, thematic exploration, and to prepare a class before visiting.  I hope we will see more and more great work accessible in this way.