Posted: December 14, 2017
Posted: December 14, 2017
Our school just hosted our second Canvas Café and it was a huge success! As I previously mentioned in a recent post I got this idea from my trip to New York at the Maker Faire. Many of the booths/projects I saw were about collaboration, community involvement and making learning tangible.
The idea behind these cafes is to teach students painting skills (for a variety of projects) and then have students teach the public these skills. I’ve had several students come on board as facilitators and I am seeing results in my classroom and the community. Students are starting to help each other more often and the community is gaining more respect for the arts program at our school – not to mention we are making money to fund some higher level projects, technology and resources.
The first café had just over 20 participants and 3 student facilitators. This time we had more than 30 participants and plans to try it again in the fall!
My Visual Arts 120 class has been the class I am working with on this venture. We select the painting together then I teach them the steps to create the work of art. We make a list of problems we encountered and ways to help others overcome those difficulties. Then we start to promote the event using social media and posters. Students and staff help by spreading the word!
The day of the event, student volunteers come to facilitate. This time we only had 2, but they are interested in going into education and this is a wonderful experience for them! We went through the steps of the painting with community members and I enjoyed watching my students teach techniques, problem solving and giving feedback.
We learned a lot from our October event and changed locations and altered the level of difficulty of the painting. The participants are already asking about a spring event. Students are excited by these events and I anticipate an even larger crowd next time.
Here are the key points for teachers hoping to recreate this project:
1. Pick a class.
2. Pick a painting.
3. Teach how to paint the image step-by-step. Make notes of the process along the way.
4. Have students identify problems they had while painting.
5. Develop solutions to the difficulties they encountered.
6. Set a time and date – promote your event!
7. Identify student facilitators.
8. The day of your event, have all the tables set and ready to go.
9. Go through the steps with the participants. Circulate to help!
Outcomes Met (there is no stand-alone Visual Arts 120 curriculum document, these outcomes are from the Foundation document)
12.1.4 analyse and use complex visual relationships, processes, and content, making subtle discriminations
Students will have to learn proportion, detail, shading, value and other painting techniques.
12.2.4 demonstrate an open-minded approach to diversity of ideas and artistic style, and show empathy to other people’s point of view
Student facilitators have to give feedback with people’s skill level and style in mind. They are coached to be open-minded and flexible about participants’ ideas.
12.3.2 demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of art works & 12.8.3 discuss and describe artistic processes in the art work of others
Students have to be able to describe the artistic process and identify problems.
12.7.1 use common safety practices associated with the proper care of art materials and tools
Students have to model to participants how to use and care for the art materials.
12.7.2 solve design problems by making use of the elements and principles of design, using a variety of technologies
Students are asked to identify problems with the painting process and explore possible solutions for participants.
Posted: October 31, 2017
I have always wanted to be an art teacher, school has always been “my thing”. I am lucky to live my dream every day! But many teachers, myself included, teach in a solitary environment. We don’t share what is happening in our world – behind our classroom doors. So this fall when I got a call, I was surprised by an invitation to attend “The World Maker Faire” in New York! I spent many nights wondering how I had been selected, what I had to offer and what would be expected in return.
My purpose became clear during the first day at the Maker Faire in the Education Forum. There were many speakers and the theme of innovation was strong. However, I was especially intrigued by the ideas and examples of makers with classroom assignments/ideas that made work more relevant, community oriented and meaningful. I was inspired to step outside my comfort zone and try something new – to test my teaching by reaching out to the community and use art to help our school fundraising efforts.
I took the ideas of collaboration, community and relevant work back to my classroom and my Visual Arts 120 class developed the idea for a “Canvas Café”. You may be familiar with the concept, “Paint nights” are often hosted for adults in the evening and you learn a painting step-by-step. My class decided to host a "Canvas Cafe" fundraiser which is a more family friendly event and includes a bake sale and coffee during afternoon hours. Students were excited to bring friends, family and even strangers into their classroom and make some money for our school too!
The first step was to pick a painting and order supplies. I taught the Visual Arts 120 class the painting, then we discussed the difficulties we had and created solutions to those problems. For instance, one student complained that they weren’t a good drawer. From this feedback, we decided to create templates so that our customers would have a guide if they needed drawing support. Students also helped figure out the cost of materials per person and how much we should charge per canvas to make a profit. Finally, students had to decide how the money would be spent. We decided to give half to the school and keep the other half to fund a collaborative senior project. Many teachers were inspired by the event and want to help me plan another one for December. I look forward to working with my students to make improvements on our previous event. On the day of the cafe, I had student facilitators help teach the painting to our community group. Students demonstrated techniques, helped problem solve, and encouraged painters to keep going!
It was great to see students volunteering their time for a school event, showcasing their work and talking to the community about the art program at DRHS.
After I stepped out of my comfort zone with the Canvas Café, I was encouraged to try something new again. Inspired by the Maker Faire booths that were filled with technology - the Visual Arts 120 students were tasked with creating a sculpture that addressed a social issue. We looked at the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their list of world issues. Students picked issues that they felt were important, then found a partner that had the same issue(s). Next, students were asked to develop a plan to make their sculpture interactive. Students were told they could make the interactive part of their project low tech (like a collaborative mural) or high tech (something with technology that might light up, move or make sound). I showed students some of the things I saw at the Maker Faire – like a booth where they used old toys to make new mini robots that moved with simple circuits. We looked at Jie Qi and her paper circuitry and talked about giving technology context and meaning.
We reached out to the community for donations of old toys, tools, recyclables and more to get parts for our high tech sculptures. At this point, we are still in the beginning phase of our project but I am excited about some of the ideas and knowledge my students are bringing to the classroom. Students are excited about their work and I am pleased to see some of the more ‘tech-minded’ kids helping others who are clueless – like me. I hope to reach out and get support from administration (to create a maker space), professional development opportunities, students, co-workers and my friends at Brilliant Labs!
Posted: October 16, 2017
Join us for our first "Canvas Cafe". Learn step-by-step a pumpkin painting. Hosted by the Visual Arts 120 class.
There will be a bake sale with coffee, juice and water at this event. Hope to see you there.
Space is limited.
Posted: September 8, 2017
Just a little note to students and parents - I have a teacher Facebook page! It seems to be the easiest and most efficient way to share student work, important reminders and spread some inspiration! Connect with me @MsJenniferMcGloin on Facebook.
However, facebook pages have some limitations -- like sharing documents and files. For all those items you can take a look on this page. I will do my best to keep it up to date. Let me know if I missed something or if you have any questions.