Welcome to Artitudes! Fearless Kids Making Art! This blog is facilitated by me, Theresa Cerceo. I’m the very lucky Visual Arts Educator in a small (but powerful) public school district in the great state of Maine! This blog will include entries written by myself and my students. It’s main purpose is to share not just the art being made, but the ideas surrounding the artwork, our feelings about artists around the world & throughout time, and issues surrounding the arts. Our goal (mine and my students) is to document our art world with a blog that is student centered while building bridges in our community through the arts.
Every Friday, High School Studio Art students practice a variety of techniques to strengthen their observational drawing skills. Drawing from a live model, students are introduced to new methods meant to train their eye and give them a broader understanding of the artistic process. Written reflections allow students time to process their experience, their strengths, and the effectiveness of the technique in relation to what they have learned before and where they would like to go.
September 15th is International Dot Day. Inspired by the book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, students all over the world create dot inspired art in order to celebrate our unique creativity! Here are some of the dots made by our elementary students. In addition to demonstrating their creative thinking, students also had to show their knowledge of materials and color theory. All students, whether they were using paint, crayons or oil pastels, were only allowed to use the primary colors; red, yellow, and blue. They needed to mix these in various combinations and ratios to make other colors.
These dots will hang as part of a larger display that includes one dot from each child at our school, K – 6.
September 9 – 15, 2018
“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke
A new school year has begun and we are off to an wonderful start! So much has happened since our last post. We took time off from blogging last year but we are back with a lot of new ideas, new voices and new artwork and arts events to share! The beginning of a school year is a magical thing. It is filled with enthusiasm, possibilities, a chance to make changes and to build on the previous year. As we move forward let us remember all that we have learned and believe in all that we can become!
Since the 1940’s, Dame Julie Andrews has made a career as an actor on stage and screen. Known for such legendary Broadway roles as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and film roles as Mary Poppins, and Maria from the Sound of Music Julie Andrews has now begun to teach children the importance of theater and the other performing arts. Ms. Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton have created a show called Julie’s Greenroom. This new show celebrates and teaches children about theatre.
Julie’s Greenroom is a show about a performing arts school with Julie Andrews as the headmaster. With puppets designed by The Jim Henson Company (The Muppets and Sesame Street,etc.) the show was created for younger audiences, bringing in guest stars such as Idina Menzel to show kids what a career in the performing arts looks like. The show itself is simple to look at — puppets, guest stars, and two other main characters (even a puppet singing goose, and a puppet dog named Toby) — but witty and perfect for children.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/207395338″>Julie’s Greenroom – Official Trailer</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/jimhensoncompany”>The Jim Henson Company</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
It teaches about the career of acting, building acting skills, and also about things such as blocking, props and the job of the stage manager, etc. The focus is on everyone that works with the arts, not just the people you’d see on stage.
But the one thing that I love about this show the most, having seen a few episodes, is that it addresses important issues. Each puppet is a different kind of person. A different ethnicity, look, or different types of lifestyles. Even one of the puppets is a goose who cannot speak, however, they do not turn him away. Instead, they have a translator for him, and in this way the show addresses communication barriers, and what to do when you face them. They teach about discrimination, but they never come out and say it so bluntly. They teach it in a way that kids will understand. The show makes it clear to children that discrimination is not stood for, but without over complicating it (like all great children’s shows do).
Overall this show is incredible. It is entertaining even for older audiences, but it targets kids well. It is cute, and witty, and the lessons it teaches are important for both the arts, and for being out in the world. I would recommend this show to anyone from two to ten, or anyone older who really wants to know about the arts. It’s a great introduction to a world that, as far as I’m concerned, is not as well known as it should be.
On Wednesday, March 8th, our SLAM! and Band students took part in the Arts in Education Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education at the State House in Augusta. The following are student accounts of the trip.
At five in the morning, S.L.A.M.! and the band students packed up a bus with amps and posters, and we set off for Augusta! The bus ride itself was incredible; relaxing, and sociable. Everyone was extremely comfortable with each other and the atmosphere, for the most part was jovial.
The first stop on the trip was Orono. There we were given a tour of the school, and provided lunch. In addition to viewing various buildings, we were able to observe the gym, and get a look at what dorm life looked like.
After that we visited a high school , where our drama club was able to meet with the theatre students there. The kids there were incredibly welcoming and accepting. They were kind, and their work space was amazing. Their teacher led us through several fun and engaging skill building activities and icebreakers. They listened intently as we performed pieces from our play, and then they performed for us.
The following day was the Arts in Education Advocacy Day at the State House. As part of the day’s program, we were able to meet with our district representatives, Danny Martin and Troy Jackson, which was so cool. They were very kind to us and we were glad to speak with them.
There was a lot of people to meet (and photobomb with the Mona Lisa), which was exciting, and we fit in well.
Our own performance was well-received, and it was amazing to get the chance to really fall into a (at least semi-) relaxed state while performing in front of people.
But it was the other performances that blew me away. With the open mic session that was held, people were able to share their songs, poetry, or jokes. Many talked of things that was going on in their lives, and huge problems that were affecting everyone. One spoke of a sister who was far away and unable to be with her family. All of the poems and songs that were presented were incredible. Some of the poems were so powerful that I almost started crying.
There were two other performances, that were not part of the open mic segment. There was a dance and a play performed. The dance was gorgeous, very well done. The play was remarkable. It was performed by a group called Maine Inside Out, who are a group of people that have been incarcerated in the past, but have gotten out. Those performing the play did insanely well. Their message was clear, and powerful, and it was about people who were looked over for things that had happened to them, the way they looked, or things from their past. Things like having been incarcerated, the color of their skin, their religious and ethnic backgrounds, or the jobs they worked.
The whole experience was incredible, and being there, in a room full of strangers, it felt like we were part of a family reunion or something. The whole thing was amazing.
I loved presenting for S.L.A.M.! and sharing all that we have done, such as sharing our message at the S.L.A.M.! table and being interviewed for a podcast. The fact that we were able to spread our message and have people listen gave me a sense of confidence and achievement, the likes of which I have never experienced to such an extent. I am so proud of what my peers and I have done in S.L.A.M.! – Daley