March Break 2015

I know this post is a bit late but we just had to share some of the magic that was created at last month's March Break Art Camp. Our theme this year was "In the studio with..." and we explored a different famous or emerging artist each morning and afternoon. We do this theme on a continuing basis because we like to connect kids with the larger world of art. Doing this not only provides inspiration and context for our lessons but also opens up our student's minds to appreciating the art that is all around them.  I think we picked some great artists this year because the camps were full about a month ahead! A big thank you to all of the families for signing up and for all of the hard work of our students.

During the week, we like to vary the media as much as possible as well as learn about artists from different periods working in different styles. We feel it's important to include women, artists of colour and, of course, Canadian content is always important too! This year's artists included: Emily Carr, Frank Stella, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mary Blair, Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Alberto Giacometti, James Gulliver Hancock, Henri Matisse and Kenojuak Ashevak 

Enjoy the pictures and please click on the artist's names above to learn more about them. We are forever grateful for the inspiration they provide.

Acrylic tree paintings inspired by Emily Carr. We did a forest visualization exercise with the kids and had them imagine they were a tiny insect on the forest floor. This helped them achieve the sense of power and awe of the forest that Carr represented in her work.

Acrylic tree paintings inspired by Emily Carr. We did a forest visualization exercise with the kids and had them imagine they were a tiny insect on the forest floor. This helped them achieve the sense of power and awe of the forest that Carr represented in her work.


Foil and plaster sculptures inspired by Alberto Giacometti. Here are 2 of our JK-SK students putting the finishing coat of gold paint on their work. We were really impressed at how independently the kids worked on these considering they had to create a foil armature and then cover it with plaster bandage. They were so proud of their 'dancing figures' and had a great time making them.

Foil and plaster sculptures inspired by Alberto Giacometti. Here are 2 of our JK-SK students putting the finishing coat of gold paint on their work. We were really impressed at how independently the kids worked on these considering they had to create a foil armature and then cover it with plaster bandage. They were so proud of their 'dancing figures' and had a great time making them.

This photo and the next are examples of 2-colour styrofoam prints made by our grade 1-2 students. Our inspiration for this work came from Canadian artist, Kenojuak Ashevak. She was an inuit artists who created beautiful prints representing some of the wildlife of Canada's arctic. Each student chose an arctic animal that had special meaning to them and worked really hard pulling multicoloured prints. 

This photo and the next are examples of 2-colour styrofoam prints made by our grade 1-2 students. Our inspiration for this work came from Canadian artist, Kenojuak Ashevak. She was an inuit artists who created beautiful prints representing some of the wildlife of Canada's arctic. Each student chose an arctic animal that had special meaning to them and worked really hard pulling multicoloured prints. 

Beautiful arctic hare print inspired by Kenojuak Ashevak.

Beautiful arctic hare print inspired by Kenojuak Ashevak.

These next three pictures show the kids working on streetscapes of an imaginary Toronto. We looked at the work of contemporary artist, James Gulliver Hancock and his project titled "All the Buildings in New York". If you have not checked out his work do yourself a favour and take a look.

These next three pictures show the kids working on streetscapes of an imaginary Toronto. We looked at the work of contemporary artist, James Gulliver Hancock and his project titled "All the Buildings in New York". If you have not checked out his work do yourself a favour and take a look.

We wanted the kids to pay particular attention to the beauty in the details of urban architecture. We were blown away by the focus and enthusiasm they showed at this. All of the details had to be drawn in pencil first, then traced over with Sharpie and finally painted with coloured inks. 

We wanted the kids to pay particular attention to the beauty in the details of urban architecture. We were blown away by the focus and enthusiasm they showed at this. All of the details had to be drawn in pencil first, then traced over with Sharpie and finally painted with coloured inks. 

Mixed media sculptures inspired by Frank Stella. This was a really busy morning! We had the kids cut out various shapes of cardboard, paint them with complementary warm and cool colours and then add pattern with oil pastel once the pieces were dry. The final step was to assemble them all and glue together on a masonite background. This was a first attempt at this project and it will definitely not be the last!

Mixed media sculptures inspired by Frank Stella. This was a really busy morning! We had the kids cut out various shapes of cardboard, paint them with complementary warm and cool colours and then add pattern with oil pastel once the pieces were dry. The final step was to assemble them all and glue together on a masonite background. This was a first attempt at this project and it will definitely not be the last!

More fantastic Frank Stella!

More fantastic Frank Stella!

We wrapped up this amazing week with a study of Jean-Michel Basquiat. This was a timely inclusion because of the AGO show of his work, "Now's the Time". We weren't sure how to approach this but decided to start with a reading of Maya Angelou's book, Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All, which is a poem using his paintings as illustrations. Then, as a group, we listed things in life that scared us and showed ourselves overcoming these fears. We had the kids work on unprimed, unstretched canvas using acrylic paint and oil pastel to achieve a 'Basquiat-esque' effect. We love how expressive the results are. 

We wrapped up this amazing week with a study of Jean-Michel Basquiat. This was a timely inclusion because of the AGO show of his work, "Now's the Time". We weren't sure how to approach this but decided to start with a reading of Maya Angelou's book, Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All, which is a poem using his paintings as illustrations. Then, as a group, we listed things in life that scared us and showed ourselves overcoming these fears. We had the kids work on unprimed, unstretched canvas using acrylic paint and oil pastel to achieve a 'Basquiat-esque' effect. We love how expressive the results are. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat inspired portrait on unstretched canvas. Media include acrylic paint, oil pastel and paper collage.

Jean-Michel Basquiat inspired portrait on unstretched canvas. Media include acrylic paint, oil pastel and paper collage.