CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Friday, August 29, 2014

Week ONE - Really?

"A" stuffing a hand-sewn neck-pillow for a special teacher

It is 2:15 in the art studio, on the first Friday of the 2014-15 school year. Two eighth-graders are outside the art studio door, working on a collaborative sculpture project that they started on the first day of school. Two fifth grade boys just left – they came during their guided study time to tie up some loose ends on the fiber-art projects they were making art for family gifts.
Needle felted finger puppets in progress
Lace overlay textile for pillow construction  By "I" grade 6

Revisiting printmaking
I am a little stunned to recount the following (partial!) list of activities students have engaged in during the first 4 days of school:

  • Potters wheel practice, resulting in 5 bowls and 1 cup
  • Clay slab bowl
  • Clay whistle project (on-going)
  • Clay sculpture - butterfly
  • Color-mixing experiments and resulting paintings
  • Cardboard sculpture – architecture, mechanical objects
  • Bookmaking/bookbinding
  • Drawing: from observation, from memory, from imagination, from digital reference
  • Digital designing
  • Pillows on sewing machine
  • Hand-stitched objects
  • Needle-felting
  • Soapstone carving
  • Mono-print printmaking
  • Styrofoam printmaking using the etching press
  • Scratchboard drawings
  • Origami

"Wings!" by "A" grade 6
Team-work in Sculpture Center
 How is it possible that so many art projects with such a variety of media and techniques are going on simultaneously in the studio in the first week of school? The answer is that the studio-setting we have established facilitates student-directed artistic inquiry. Returning students can get right to their work, knowing what studio centers are available and how to use them. Students new to the studio are learning how to work autonomously, after each new center is “opened” for the very first time. Authentic work in a studio-setting means that student-artists choose their idea, materials, and process. Observing these artists at work during Week One assures me that this is a great way to learn.