October 24, 2014: Art

We start the year with a short Collaborative Art Unit. This year the 2nd-5th graders created a Color Wheel Collage that we will use as a teaching tool. It will be hanging in the art room for years to come and is a great representation of the many tints, shades and tones found within a single color. Each student had the chance to make a monochromatic (one color) drawing of an object of their choosing to attach to our color wheel. They focused on drawing lightly with pencil, layering colored pencils to create a saturated color and used markers to create emphasis and contrast in their drawing. They also practiced their best cutting skills so they would only include their drawing and not the white space around it (not always an easy task). The Color Wheel Collage will be displayed on the bulletin board outside the art room for all to admire until it takes its permanent place hanging in the classroom. 2nd-5th graders also created two Run for the Arts Banners and Collaborative painting for the art room. The RFA banners will be used during RFA for years to come.

All fourth graders have been busy in the art room learning about the Paleolithic to Neolithic Stone Age Cave paintings that exist in many caves around the world. We have observed the top 10 most famous Cave Art from all over the globe. Did you know there are not only cave paintings in France and Spain but also in Argentina, India, Australia, Somalia, Bulgaria, Lybia and Brazil and many other locations? These paintings were created between 40,000 and 5,000 years ago!

No one knows exactly WHY cave paintings and drawings were created, though both scientists and art historians have developed several theories explaining why these ancient people created the elaborate artworks. Fourth graders are developing their own theories to explain why the Paleolithic people went to so much trouble and effort to create the paintings; we will compare the fourth grader’s theories to those of the experts.

We also have been discussing and sharing our OPINIONS about a site that houses some of the most famous cave art in history. Over the last 100 years, The Caves of Altamira in Spain have been visited by millions of tourists. All this change to the atmosphere inside the cave has the left the artwork faded, damaged and growing green mold. The have been closed and reopened many times over the years and were again recently reopened by Spain’s government. Many scientists are protesting this choice to reopen the Altamira cave. Spain’s government officials are insisting that they are being very cautious to keep the cave art safe from deterioration. We have been discussing the pros and cons of this decision from many perspectives.

We are also exploring HOW cave art was made. The fourth graders discovered that the people who made the artwork had to craft all their art materials from nature. We have natural materials that exist around TIS and we're using them to create our own paintings.

Thank you,

Sarah Harpole
Art Specialist