VISUAL ART NEWS

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MIDDLE SCHOOL ART

SKETCHBOOK DESIGN

The BMS/CMS middle school artists are creating sketchbooks, which are the perfect portable space in which they plan, reflect, and make art. These “traveling portfolios” record their growth over time. Since all art needs an audience, we invite you to take a look at what they’ve been making and share in their successes. 

1.
          INSPIRATION
The art classroom is a place where thinking and inspiration is visible. We want our spaces to be reflections of our middle school artists. Our gallery spaces are filled with inspirational images that students selected. It creates an inviting studio space that  encourages connections and dynamic conversations.
I discovered that as a person I take risks and love adventure. I also like to dream and imagine.      -BMS Sketchbook Artist
Student Inspirations:
 
b “This image is of the Mona Lisa with a face mask. This shows me how much things have changed...what we call normal right now. The mask is a new essential for our generation.”
 
f “This is a picture of a soccer ball I own. My dog destroyed it in a few weeks. It shows how much power animals, including humans have. This image inspires me because it shows how much damage something can do to anything.”

f "This (rocket)inspires me because it shows what mankind can achieve if we put our minds to it.”

“My dog Cotton makes me feel safe. I can tell her anything and she won’t judge.  At the end of the day I will tell her everything and on walks she will just stand by me listening. I feel like she can understand me.

 
b John Baldessari's written proclamation expressing the power of text.
A student's planning page and ideas for personalizing their sketchbook cover.
            PERSONALIZING OUR SKETCHBOOKS

In the 60s, conceptual artist John Baldessari filmed himself writing “I will not make any more boring art” over and over until the film ran out. His performance was a proclamation, using the power of text in place of images as a new form of art. Students generated words, inspired by their personal inspirations, and transformed the surface of their sketchbooks into a tapestry of creative messaging for the year.

3.
2.
             DIGITAL DOCUMENTATION

                Students learned to successfully take photos as a                        way of sharing their work in order to navigate our digital learning space.

An artist created a drawing based upon her inspiration photo and learned how to capture, edit and upload it into a shared gallery.
4.
STUDENT DESIGN & RESPONSE

5.
DESIGN PROJECT: Illuminated Letters
Students created illuminated letters as the final step in personalizing  their sketchbooks. Students explored the rich history of lettering design from Medieval illuminated manuscripts to the work of contemporary textual artists like Alex Trochut. They went through the designing process, from researching, to compositional planning with thumbnail sketches, to experimenting with materials to the final product. 

The top two images show styles of Medieval letter forms.
 
b Left, an example of student work on thumbnails and color application in their sketchbook.

b  Far left, samples of finished letter designs.

6.
SKETCHBOOK COVERS WITH ILLUMINATED LETTERS

*See student artwork from the Elementary Schools & Staples High School
Our art curriculum is based upon the understanding that students move from a focus on self to more global thinking through this stage of adolescence. Self-discovery and expression are at the essence of art-making in the middle school. We help students find their artistic voices by guiding them through a process that integrates skill with self-expression.

© 2020 Westport Public Schools Music & Visual Arts, Westport, Connecticut