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Arts & Activities - Page 14

“Art Works” is a monthly column that provides bits of know-how and reminders of ways to assure the success of your art program. In the coming year, look for advice and suggestions related to learning about, responding to and making art, integrating art into the curriculum, displaying student work, reaching out to the community, and more.–B.H. . when we Display and Explain it by Barbara Herberholz our students have completed their two-dimensional drawings, paintings, prints or collages, and there they are—in a neat stack on a shelf. What do you plan on doing with them? They deserve to be shown to the students, your fellow teachers, visiting parents and administrators. They need to be matted or mounted, and placed on exhibit in a corridor, hallway or special bulletin board. HONOR STUDENT WORK By matting Y or mounting your students’ works, you honor them—you are visually stating that their work is important and it deserves to be suitably displayed and labeled, just like in commercial galleries or art museums. Here are some tips on how to make the most of the display. Providing mats or mounts for the artworks is your first step. A mat is created by cutting a rectangle from poster board, railroad board or traditional mat board, and the size is determined by the length and width of the student’s work. The student’s work is attached to the back of the mat with masking tape. Economy, ready-cut mats, with or without backs (which protect the drawing or painting), come in packages of varying sizes. They are ready-to-use and made to fit two-dimensional pieces of artwork on a variety of sizes of paper: 8" x 10", 9" x 12", 11" x 14", 12" x 18" and so on. These mats are available in white, black and assorted colors from art-supply catalogs. If you cut a mat yourself rather than using the ready-cut ones, you will need to have mat board, poster board or railroad board. You will need to use a pencil, ruler and/or a T-square. Then, you will use a mat knife or X-ACTO® knife and a steeledged ruler to cut out the rectangle you have measured that fits the size of the student’s work. The student’s work should then be attached on the backside with masking 16 tape. A backing piece serves to protect the drawing or painting. A more expedient way to prepare for an exhibit is to mount the student work. You may choose to use poster board or construction paper in various colors or black. The mount is, of course, larger than the artwork, which should be attached to it with a glue stick at the corners and edges, rather than all over the backside, as this tends to make the paper not lie flat. To flatten paper that has curled or buckled (if tempera and watercolors were used), iron the student’s work on the backside. Anything created with crayons or oil pastels should not be ironed, since these two media are oily and waxy, and melt under the iron’s heat. Another tip for speedier mounting is to use your paper trimmer and cut off half an inch at the top and on one side of a piece of 9" x 12" paper or 12" x 18" paper, before you distribute the paper to the students. Then, when you mount it on another piece of paper—black or colored construction paper that measures 9" x 12" or 12" x 18" —you will have a quarter-inch border all around the student’s artwork. Then you may place this on a larger piece of paper to achieve a double mount, which is especially attractive and “sets off” the student’s drawing or painting. Choose colors for both the border and the background mount that echo one or two of the colors in the student’s composition. Both mats and mounts should have borders with measurements that are the same for the top and the two sides. The bottom border may be a bit larger. This space may be used for attaching a label with the student’s name, grade level and the name of the composition. SHARING THE WHYS AND WHEREFORES Visual Arts Standards. You had concepts for each art lesson, as well as vocabulary and skills you incorporated, and these should be succinctly stated, printed out and mounted on the bulletin board along with the student work so visitors understand the whys and wherefores of the lesson. For instance, an activity involving still life might have the following mounted information: • We painted still lifes—objects that don’t move. • We looked carefully at the arrangement of shapes and compared sizes and the overlapping placement of the objects. We observed colors, textures and patterns. We looked for the tallest objects and the smallest. We filled our paper with the composition. • After we drew our still lifes, some of us used black markers to go over the pencil lines before adding color with oil pastels. Some of us used colored markers, and some of us used watercolors. We improved our skills in working with these media. • We learned that very realistic still lifes appeared in Holland about 1650, and some artists such as William Harnett in the19th century “tricked the eye” with his still lifes in which the observer believed the objects were real, not painted. Later, Cézanne, Picasso, Braque and Matisse found new ways to paint still life. “LITTLE-BROWN-BAG” PORTFOLIOS If you are looking for a way for your students to carry their artwork home, or to simply store individual students’ two-dimensional works, collect brown grocery bags, the large kind with two handles at the top. Cut off the bottom and then cut open one of the two sides. Then turn it inside out so the printed labels are on the inside. Use masking tape, plain or colored, and attach the open side and the bottom. You now have a portfolio (carrying case) for each student that conveniently fits papers up to 18-inches wide. Students may design and label the blank sides. n Barbara Herberholz is an art-education consultant in Sacramento, Calif., and an Arts & Activities Contributing Editor. She and her late husband, Donald Herberholz, Ed.D., wrote “Artworks for Elementary Teachers,” now in its Ninth Edition (McGraw-Hill; 2002). x You had an objective clearly in mind when you motivated your students for the art activity. You followed the state or national may 2010

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