Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Arts Experiences Bucket List Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted about my arts experiences bucket list. I warned you that there would be more posts about this. I have SO many things to put on that list. I bet I could post once a month for the rest of my life and still not get them all. 

So, here I go with another post... (numbers picking up where the other post left off).

4. I want to see anything by Frida Kahlo. I'd love to see IT ALL. In fact, I'd prefer to visit her blue house. As much as I love her, though, I'd settle for seeing just one of her works. Maybe I can do that this summer while I am in Boston. Apparently, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has Dos Mujeres. 

5. My husband talks about the art in Bangkok all the time. He is from the north of Thailand, but has spent a lot of time in Bangkok. He lived and worked there for several years. Check out this link to learn about some really cool places to visit. I think this is on my Arts Experiences Bucket List mostly because of him. I have yet to visit his home country with him. I want to do that very badly, but I also really want to see this art. He talks about how much I would love it!
Photo from link above. 
6. This may be the most attainable Bucket List item so far. Well, maybe. I think it could be attainable because it is something that happens in my hometown. I don't know if my personal artwork will ever be good enough for this juried festival or not. We will see, because I am working on this one as we speak. I'd like to have a booth of my own artwork showing at the Gum Tree Festival of Art in Tupelo, MS. From there, of course, I'd like to try to do other festivals. The Gum Tree Festival is great. You should visit Tupelo during May for this event. The link has a couple of paragraphs about the history of the festival. The Gum Tree Festival is one of my favorite things about living in Tupelo. I look forward to it every year. There's something for everyone: foodies, children, visual artists, musicians, dancers, performers, truly everyone loves it! Here is a great post by a fellow TupeloBlogger Jeff Jones about the festival. Check it out. If you only have time to check out one of these links, I recommend the Jeff Jones link! The photos are from this year's festival. SaveSaveSaveSave

As always, let me know what's on your bucket list!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Easy Peasy Fish

Here's an easy and cheap art project that would be a great end-of-the-year activity. It can be finished in a few hours all in the same day.
Use leftover construction paper, magazines, and even notebook paper. Keep the engaged while you  tidy up for the summer.

Take some left over paint, any color, and paint over a magazine pager or on newspaper. Draw fish on old paper, too. We used notebook paper for these fish. Trace them with any color marker and color them. Draw some patterns on top. Look at the red fish with purple fins. This fish was colored lightly and then the patterns were drawn on top with the same exact crayon. Draw some circles on any color construction paper to look like bubbles. Cut some sea plant shapes out of the magazine papers once the paint dries. If you use a thin layer of paint, it will dry in an hour or so. Cut it all out, layer/arrange, and glue.


Following Directions with Kandinsky

It makes a great beginning of the semester project. I designed this to help me get a feel for my students after coming back from maternity leave. It gave me a method to assess their skills and let them practice listening and following directions. I love how they all turn out differently. 

I took a gazillion pictures. I was THAT excited with how these turned out. I think these also gave my students some confidence because they couldn't mess it up. 

This would probably make a good end-of-the-year project, too. I've not taught it at the end of the year, but I imagine it would be something that you could use to keep the kids engaged after all those assessments are over but before school gets out!

I hope you enjoy all of these beautiful images. Let me know if you decide to try it. I'd love to see photos of your student's work. 

Crystal Wagner at Cheekwood

We visited Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville a couple of weekends ago. This was an amazing contemporary installation that was there at the time. It is by Crystal Wagner. Let's all go look her up and follow all her things. 

This was breathtaking. It is also the first time I'd ever heard of Crystal Wagner. That means nothing. As much as I follow art, I still can't possibly know all of the contemporary artists. The reason I even mention that is I'm glad I learned about her. She is doing some really amazing things. 

How might we use this in our classrooms? I can see a collaborative project created with chicken wire and plastic bags or old clothes. What are your ideas?

Let's discuss. I'm eager to hear your thoughts.

Teacher Leadership: Beyond the Four Walls of the Classroom

I am teaching a two hour professional development session on teacher leadership for my school district next week. I decided to go ahead and post a bit about what we will discuss.

In this session, I will talk about national, state, and local leadership initiatives (NEA, MAE, TPSD, and ASCD). I will introduce participants to a plethora of organizations at the national, state, and local level that provide leadership opportunities. We will talk about getting published and presenting at conferences. I will also share about blogging and how I developed an "About Me" document to include as the tag in my personal emails and as a page on my blog.

I feel like some of my strengths are creating a space for my own voice and putting myself out there for others. Both of those can be scary. So, I also plan to talk about finding what is right for you while also getting a bit out of your comfort zone.

I've recorded an intro video that tells My Teacher Leadership Story. You can watch it and see what you think. Of course, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you have a Teacher Leadership Story to share. Please do!

Oh! I almost forgot! Here is an opportunity that I make available to you. You can always write a guest post for Party in the Art Room. Teachers should be telling their stories, and you can definitely do that here!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Artist to Know Right Now

I took my mom and girls to the Gumtree Arts Festival this weekend. You need to know about this festival. It happens every year in Tupelo, MS. That's right! The birthplace of Elvis Presley! Here's a flyer. Ooooobviously, you won't be seeing this in time to go this year, but you can see this awesome flyer and make the plans for neeeeeexxxxt year. Right?

We love the festival because we are artsy gals. This year, though, I stumbled upon an artist I'd never met, John Vowell.

I really loved his work. I bought a small piece. I wish I'd bought more. Luckily for me, he lives in Tupelo and is married to the counselor at the K-1 school that feeds into my 2-5 school. So, I can probably connect easily with him.

I want this guy to come work with my fifth graders and am going to try to make that happen. If I can, I will post about it. In the meantime, check out his site. I really love his symbolism. It is fun but political and edgy with a message all at once. I wish I could've found a pic of the Make Art Not War piece he had in his booth today. You guys would love that one.

Here is the piece I bought:

Check out these:
A post shared by Justin Vowell (@theartofjustinvowell) on

A post shared by Justin Vowell (@theartofjustinvowell) on

A post shared by Justin Vowell (@theartofjustinvowell) on

I love art so much.
What do you think? Let's chat! I love to get comments and connect.