Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the Art Room for the 2017-18 school year.  We are deep into our first art challenge of creating artbooks that tells an aspect of our own STORY--the 6th grade making Chinese Puzzle books, and the 7th grade making tunnel books.  These books allow for a lot of freedom in media choice and in going in student driven directions.  I am excited to see where the students take them.

Why start there?!  The theme for this year, as in every year, is story and how to tell our own story visually.  In 6th grade we discuss and explore the idea that although there are multiple narratives throughout history and cultures in the art world, oftentimes these multiple narratives get overlooked in favor of the traditional Western European Art narrative.  We spend 6th grade trying to explore every narrative but that one in order to see other "stories."  In 7th grade we start to interact more with the idea of how these stories build and inform other stories.

And, of course, this idea of story is mostly explored through MAKING and the Artist's Process. We make art, we discuss art, we plan, practice, create, refine... and then present.  I work hard to display student work, and also they keep EVERY FINISHED PIECE in a portfolio in their google drives.  Ask to see their portfolio some time.

I'm excited to start telling this year's STORY with the students.  Questions, comments, trials or tribulations?!  Feel free to contact me, Carin Lilly,

Monday, June 12, 2017

Zig zag juxtapositions!

2 drawings in one, sliced up and arranged in an accordian pattern--look from one way and see one artwork, look from the other side and see another.  These drawings needed to show some sort of visual contrast.

Soccer players:

Geometric vs organic:

Animals and color:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A little color for you on this gray day

Endangered Species Clay faces!

During the months of March and April, 6th and 7th graders embarked on a giant clay project:  each student created a clay face from an endangered animal of their choosing.  They used additive and subtractive methods of building with clay- shaping, sculpting and carving.  Once the clay was bisque fired, they jumped into painting and color mixing, and then used acrylic paints to paint their animal.  They could go realistic or be inspired by folk art animals. We had lemurs, dugongs, Asian elephants, sloths, river dolphins, red pandas... and some animals I had never even known of.  And as we went along, each of these pieces took on a life and personality of their own--they came to life.

The whole process was one that took immense attention to detail, patience and thoughtfulness.  And the results are stunning.  Students should be so proud.   Some stellar samples are below.  Meet these fun characters that were made to educate others about conserving and supporting.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Conferencing in Art

This spring, I would like to do something a little different.  Your child will present their portfolio of work and talk a little about what they've learned in art class and where they would like to go next with their learning.  I will be available after school from 3-4:30 Mondays in March.  Drop me an email at to set up a time to meet.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

REVOLUTION: worth fighting for!

A giant collaborative project based off the work of Shepard Fairey, whose work is influenced by the style of traditional revolutionary propaganda posters.  Students took digital portraits and used the pixlr app to stylize their work after his or revolutionary posters.  The 7th graders then did a four color reduction block print of their photos.   The 6th graders created block prints answering the question:  What is worth fighting for?

A small group of students then came in and combined the words and images in order to leave a powerful visual statement of portraits and words.

REVOLUTION showcase: 6 by 6 project

6by6:  Artwork in response to other artists’ work

7th graders chose and researched an artist from a large list of artists who worked within revolutions and social movements.  They then created an artwork in response to the artist’s work.   This artwork had to be the size of 6 inch by 6 inches.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Alpha 6, 7 and healthy food marketing!

As some of you may know, I have been part of a yearlong cohort in Education for Sustainability Leadership at Shelburne Farms.  This, in conjunction with a FEED course I took this fall, has been enlightening as I go deep into the ideas of systems thinking, school transformation, and what it means to be a leader in sustainability and education.  The FEED course centered on the cafeteria and food systems surrounding it, and we even got to create and share a meal with Becky Mashak, our food services coordinator, in the hopes it could be introduced into the cafeteria.  As I've been working on an interdisciplinary Revolution unit with the other teams, I decided to work with Alpha to work on a "healthy choices" marketing campaign in our cafeteria.   We first read a really great article about how posters and videos actually make a difference in choices within the cafeteria, and then the 6th grade focussed in on creating fun characters promoting healthy choices both in poster and animation form.  The 7th grade made large scale "artsy" works to be hung in the cafeteria. Here are some works in progress:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

REVOLUTION! with Winton 6,7 and Holden 6,7

Last March, I had the opportunity to attend the National Art Education conference in Chicago, and attended an incredible workshop on melding science and art at the level of synthesis (with depth.) I started kicking around the idea of creating an interdisciplinary unit that includes all teachers on one team.  After talking with other teachers about this, it morphed into visual art, music and social studies working together on a unit this summer.  Language arts wanted in, and we spent the summer planning.  Then a few of us attended a conference on project based learning and it turned into an even bigger unit!  And, voila, we have a revolutionary unit on Revolution! It's our first time through with interdisciplinary PBL, so like an actual revolution, it's a little messy.

We had our big kickoff with a visit from various revolutionaries, including artist,  Frida Kahlo, and we are all busy jumping into various explorations in each classroom.  It will all culminate with a final event on February 23-- various presentations and art show.

The art component begins with the idea of ourselves as revolutionaries and Jeff Evans gave us all the spark of a question: What is worth fighting for?!  That question is being answered by the 6th graders of Holden and Winton, as they are carving out and creating answers to the question in words.  They are also taking creating digital portraits in the style of Shepard Fairey's "Obama, Hope" poster or Revolutionary Propaganda Posters.  The 7th graders are taking those digital portraits and making them into multicolor reduction prints, which is a doable challenge for them.

Here are some works in progress: