Landscapes from Junk

Look!

It’s Monet! But these pictures are made from bits of rubbish! They reminded me of the work we saw in Here Comes the Garbage Barge.

I learned about the artist, Tom Deininger, from CRAFT, who learned about him from Nag on the Lake, who learned about him from Twisted Sifter.

Pondering this medium for our upcoming Pop Art unit…

Olympic Sculpture Park, revisited!

When we went to the Seattle Art Museum in spring of 2010, we had a chance to see some of the pieces at the nearby Olympic Sculpture Park. One of the works that caused a lot of conversation was “Untitled” by Roy McMakin:

The black chair looks like one of the plastic ones you can get at WalMart, but it’s metal, just like the white “paper” box.

When my significant other Toby was in San Francisco for WordCamp last weekend, he sent me these neat pictures. Look familiar?

 

This last one is designed to look like what giant computer servers sometimes look(ed) like.

Thanks, Toby!

DIA Museum Trip!

If I had a travel budget to take my class around the world, you can bet a big part of our visits would be spent in museums. Art is such a tremendous way to learn about history and the world around you, and I wish we could spend time close to the masters more often.

I’ll do my best to document my trip today to the Detroit Institute of Art¬†and post it here. The DIA is one of my favorite museums in the world (The Henry Ford is undoubtedly the best, of course, and I also like the National Museum of Scotland and the National Gallery of Art in DC), and going there was about the only thing I told my parents I REALLY wanted to do when I came back to Michigan this summer.

Here are a few pieces by artists we’ve studied that I’m REALLY excited to see.

"Giant Three-Way Plug," Claes Oldenberg
"Dancers in Repose," Edgar Degas
"Basket Set," Dale Chihuly
"The Bird of Washington or Great American Sea Eagle," John James Audubon

And no visit to the DIA would be complete without an extended visit to the jaw-droppingly magnificent Diego Rivera mural (It’s the one you’ve seen in the Chrysler Imported from Detroit commercial).

"Detroit Industry," Diego Rivera

Rad pictures hopefully to come tomorrow!

 

New OK Go video!

Pretty much every single OK Go video has made it into our classroom in some way or another, whether we’re talking about Speed Stacks…

White Knuckles

Rube Goldberg machines…

This Too Shall Pass

And now I can see this video being used for (among other things) discussions of lateral and radial symmetry! Amazing!

All Is Not Lost

And you can click here to make your own message!

See, I did!

The one thing I *can’t* seem to do is figure out how to imbed video on my shiny new website. Help?

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

This Friday, we read the section of Hugo Cabret where the automaton dips its pen into ink and draws a startling image. This inspired me to do this art project with our class.

Our results were quite lovely. They brighten up our hallway!

If you’d like to do a similar project, here’s the rubric we used, aligned to Washington state standards.

Japanese Cherry Blossoms rubric

###

Victoria & Albert Museum

Last spring, I had my students write persuasive essays on which museums I should visit and why. One piece that caught my eye was Viktoria’s, which gave several compelling reasons why I should visit the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It seems like many of my stories wind up leading back to community. For example, members of my 2009-2010 class may remember meeting Matt Pizzimenti, who visited us in the fall while he was out traveling and starting a business in San Francisco. Matt and I went to high school together, but we didn’t see each other after 2001, when I graduated. Yet when he sent me a message saying he was heading out to Seattle, I immediately asked him to stop by our classroom and spend some time hanging out with me. UCMST tied us together for life.

Back to London. I checked my e-mail one evening and discovered a message from my friend Jack Zaloga, who was also in my graduating class at UCMST.

“So this is going to sound weird, but were you getting out of a cab in SoHo about four hours ago?” Indeed I was! Jack moved to California after going to the University of Michigan, and I hadn’t really seen him since 2001 either. And now, here we were, randomly meeting up in a city of millions of people! It was so fantastic to see him.

Jack and I

After walking through the city, Jack and I made our way to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I didn’t realize it was a museum of art and design, which meant it had all sort of items that artists had to create for some purpose — everything from furniture to clothes to household appliances to old-fashioned locks and gates.

Viktoria asked me to take a look for some fabulous purple Vivienne Westwood shoes. The problem is that museums have TONS of items and they can’t have every item on display at the same time — there’s just not enough room! So these red shoes were on display instead.

Vivienne Westwood platforms!

It was also great to see the giant Chihuly sculpture that was hanging over the information desks right in the main lobby. Hard to believe that a local Northwest artist has such an incredible piece in a museum in a different country!

Chihuly chandelier in the V&A rotunda

One last note: I thought you might want to check out how they clean the chandelier!

###

Victoria & Albert Museum

Last spring, I had my students write persuasive essays on which museums I should visit and why. One piece that caught my eye was Viktoria’s, which gave several compelling reasons why I should visit the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It seems like many of my stories wind up leading back to community. For example, members of my 2009-2010 class may remember meeting Matt Pizzimenti, who visited us in the fall while he was out traveling and starting a business in San Francisco. Matt and I went to high school together, but we didn’t see each other after 2001, when I graduated. Yet when he sent me a message saying he was heading out to Seattle, I immediately asked him to stop by our classroom and spend some time hanging out with me. UCMST tied us together for life.

Back to London. I checked my e-mail one evening and discovered a message from my friend Jack Zaloga, who was also in my graduating class at UCMST.

“So this is going to sound weird, but were you getting out of a cab in SoHo about four hours ago?” Indeed I was! Jack moved to California after going to the University of Michigan, and I hadn’t really seen him since 2001 either. And now, here we were, randomly meeting up in a city of millions of people! It was so fantastic to see him.

Jack and I

After walking through the city, Jack and I made our way to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I didn’t realize it was a museum of art and design, which meant it had all sort of items that artists had to create for some purpose — everything from furniture to clothes to household appliances to old-fashioned locks and gates.

Viktoria asked me to take a look for some fabulous purple Vivienne Westwood shoes. The problem is that museums have TONS of items and they can’t have every item on display at the same time — there’s just not enough room! So these red shoes were on display instead.

Vivienne Westwood platforms!

It was also great to see the giant Chihuly sculpture that was hanging over the information desks right in the main lobby. Hard to believe that a local Northwest artist has such an incredible piece in a museum in a different country!

Chihuly chandelier in the V&A rotunda

One last note: I thought you might want to check out how they clean the chandelier!

###

Lichtenstein

Ladies and gentlemen of my 2009-10 class, I’ve been thinking about you lately. I’ve been sneaking peeks at the 5th grade teachers’ class lists and I can’t believe you’ll be there so soon. I think all adults say stuff like this, but it seems like it was just yesterday that many of you arrived in my classroom back in 2008 as brand new third graders. Can you imagine your life without Ticket to Recess? Or classroom meetings? Or the June box? :) I can’t imagine my life without you, and I’m thrilled to watch you grow this year.

Anyway, I’m just now really starting to understand how incredibly lucky I was to have spent the summer in London and Scotland. While I was there, it was almost like I was living inside of a dream. Throughout this year, I’m going to share with you some of the adventures we had abroad. You were with me all the way.

So today I was thinking about Lichtenstein. I had a chance to see WHAAM when we were at the Tate Modern in London, but while we were in Edinburgh, we came upon a surprise.

My friend Jackie and I were trying to find the Museum of Modern Art. This was harder than you might think.

We thought this path would take us to the museum.

So we took this great path that went along a river, but we never found the museum. We walked a very long way. But we weren’t discouraged! We tried again the next day!

Found it!

And boy, was I glad we went back. We discovered that they have one of my all-time favorite Lichtenstein pieces, “In the Car.” I was so moved by the art, I was speechless. I got a little teary.

Art should communicate something to you, or move you.

I know we’ve looked at pictures of Lichtenstein standing next to some of his larger pieces to get an idea of how big they are, but it was an incredible experience being right there in front of such an enormous work of art.

It's so huge! The whole thing doesn't even fit in the picture!

I can’t wait to take my students to a museum this year. I’m also so grateful that we’re able to include art in our six-day schedule. I’m already plotting what our first project of the year will be….

(Thank you to Ms. Jackie King for the photos.)

###

WHAAM!!!

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to announce that this summer I will be able to bring you on a trip with me, as I did last summer! This summer, we’ll be traveling to London and Scotland! Upon learning more about our itinerary, I immediately went to the Tate Modern Web site (this is the site we used to watch a movie about Jim Dine‘s studio), and I discovered that we’ll be able to see Roy Lichtenstein’s WHAAM!, as well as one of his wall explosions! You can see the pop art the Tate Modern has (including some pieces by Claes Oldenberg!) here.