Friday, September 30, 2011

Krause Center for Innovation Textile Show Continued

Today I completed the installation of the You Are Here Street Banner Project in the KCI Art Gallery.

Below is a Photosynth of the installation components in the middle of the gallery. These are digital textiles of the initial explorations in radial pattern design which the San Jose and Hawaii students created. On this webpage is the lesson as a video (towards the middle of the page) and as embedded Scribd worksheets (at the bottom).
These fabrics reflecting on community are grouped into two islands reaching out to each other:

I am so very grateful to the Krause Center for Innovation for investing in my technology training as an educator. The depth and reach of my work with youth has been transformed by my experience in the KCI Merit Scholar Program. Many doors besides these gallery doors have been so graciously and generously opened for me by KCI.

Below is another Photosynth of the entire gallery space showing two street banners and digital prints of the student street banners. There are 17 designs in all. 17 additional full scale street banners hang along Alum Rock Avenue in San Jose, CA.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

TechShop Comes to San Jose!

Yesterday I spent a few hours at the grand opening of the TechShop in San Jose. This open access tools shop is amazing. On large chalk boards they engaged the public with the question "What would you make if you could make ANYTHING?" This was a great question to hold in one's head as one entered the space.

I liked how they describe themselves on their website:

"You can think of TechShop like a fitness club, but with tools and equipment instead of exercise equipment. It is sort of like a Kinko's for makers, or a Xerox PARC for the rest of us.
TechShop is designed for everyone, regardless of their skill level."
 Above: Vacuum form machine. Our engaging TechShop tour guide said "This is where clone troopers are born".

I was particularly interested in their textile equipment. They had an industrial single stitch sewing machine, two walking foot industrial sewing machines, several regular sewing machines, an industrial serger, a digital CNC embroidery machine and this free arm quilting machine below. It was exciting to learn that their etching machine (in another room) can etch fabric as I would love to experiment with velveteen etching.
They have a lot of software on their computers and have a partnership with Autodesk. This has enabled the TechShop to have about 20,000 worth of equipment on each computer. I signed up for their 3 month membership special yesterday and look forward to experimenting with the wealth of resources in both tools and people expertise. Everyone there was so friendly.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Krause Center for Innovation Art Gallery Show

I am very excited to be a part of celebrating the You Are Here Street Banner project in a gallery setting at the Krause Center for Innovation on October 18th 5-7, 2011. Show is up until October 24th, 2011. The last reception for this project was the August 13th street unveiling of the installed student designed banners on Alum Rock Avenue. Prior to that there was an installation of the San Jose students' textiles at Montalvo Art Center Artist Residency Commons in April of 2011. This new showing at the KCI art gallery will showcase textiles (digital printing through Spoonflower) created by student participants in the project from both Hawaii and San Jose. I am hoping to also have a laptop in the gallery to showcase the videos and website created in the workshop series. This project was a joyful collaboration between teachers Arlene U. Illa, Kelsey Rothrock (both at Cureton Elementary in San Jose, CA) and Cobey Doi in in Waimea, Hawaii.

Monday, September 19, 2011

ATC Trading Cards with Second Graders

This summer I was introduced to ATC (artist trading cards) on the blog of arts educator, Nicole Hahn: mini matisse. She organized an arts educator swap leveraging both Art Education 2.0 and SwapBot. I tried it out and received this amazing card above, Day at the Beach, in the trade from a Canadian arts educator Stewart Charlesbois. It is beautifully crafted. He fused recycled plastics and stitched his card on a sewing machine. It is so stunning. I am going to frame it soon.What a wonderful introduction to the world of ATC cards!

I am now working with a Second Grade class in Cupertino, CA in creating artist trading cards with the theme of Fall. These will be traded in a student swap organized by Ms. Hahn in SwapBot. We will be trading with another elementary school class. So far the other schools in the swap are from Canada, Tennessee, Minnesota and Georgia. The last day to join the swap is September 30th and the last day to send out the cards to the assigned school is October 14th.

I will be sending these two above samples along for the teacher of the class we trade with. The one on the left has a Soviet Union stamp (CCCP). I wanted to integrate one word on the card that reflected a double meaning to the theme of fall; "tumble" refers to falling leaves and to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 2001. The card on the right is a sample for the students to see the use of asymmetrical balance and the use of one word reflecting fall, in this case a color. Chopstick wrappers and Chinese preserved apricot wrappers were used. Initially, I had intended for the students to also integrate a word (I printed out fortune cookie like strips of paper with dashed lines on them), but looking at the students' cards after the first workshop I am wondering if it might be best to leave the words off and just have the student designs. Below are a few images of some of the cards created for the swap. These cards will be completed sometime in the next few weeks.
Materials: tissue paper cut into squares, Q-tips, white glue, tagboard, colored papers, tracers of leaves and pumpkins (optional), food wrappers (I use a lot of Asian food wrappers in my work so I brought these in), scissor and stamps. I have a collection of very old used stamps and each student was allowed to pick one and I made the mistake of not first removing the very large stamps from the selection which might eclipse the cards design. It took some time to trade some very large stamps with student for smaller stamps.
Step 1: Discuss what the word "Theme" means. Discuss what imagery might represent fall. Discuss asymmetrical composition as each card will have an asymmetrical composition.
Step 2: Students take bits of tissue paper squares and using a Q-tip apply glue to tag board cut into 2.5" x 3.5" rectangles(in this case we used recycled food boxes).Carefully students trim off extra tissue papers.

Step 3: Students cut out a shape representing fall. And glue this to their card.
 Step 4: Students each create 2 cards as we need to create 50 for the trade. They can add a stamp to one of the cards they create. Some chose to place the stamp on the back of the trading card.
 Step 5: Students fill out an informational card that is glued to the back of their ATC cards.

Above: Four of the completed student cards before they are glazed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm not a natural math lover, but...

As a child, I always struggled with math, so I am always eager to find ways to connect art lessons with math. Many of the project I conduct with elementary students blend in components of geometry and fractions. Today, as I was fleshing out some ideas for a Google SketchUp collaboration, I found this site:
through this interactive page:
I am in love! I added this site link to the Slot Shelters website in the Collaborate section and will have links to each interactive definition for orbit, coplanar and non-coplanar, vector, congruent, perpendicular, tangent and angles.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Slot Shelters taking form

Well the idea Slot Shelters, that percolated last spring now has a site and five schools engaged. Hurray! I know it will be a long and twisty path to bring the first year to completion, but it is exciting to be taking steps down that road. Slot Shelters is a collaborative project engaging elementary school students in thinking about local and global shelter needs in innovative ways both online and off line through simple slot building cards and though joint designs in Google SketchUp. A better description is on the site: Slot Shelters

The lessons are still being fleshed out and rubrics being made. I also need to iron out some upload image features, but the Azerbaijan school and Hawaii school are beginning the first "explore" lessons. Many of the lesson draw upon tools I used in the You Are Here Street Banner Project last year, but one tool is new to me. I am excited to learn more about Google Sketch Up and see what the students create in it using their unique photographic textures created in Repper Pro. What is Repper? Check it out and have fun creating patterns: Repper
We will also be using VoiceThread, a great communication tool for discussions around videos or images.

Artist/Arts Educator Pantea Karimi will be teaching lessons with me here locally and we applied for an NEA Media Arts Grant through the Zero1 Art & Technology Network to support the project as it grows, but we won't find out results of application until May 2012.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Conceal & Reveal: Explorations into Identity

The highlight of my summer was attending the Microsoft Innovative Education Forum in Seattle and the most fun part of the forum was meeting 100 amazingly innovative teachers from around the United States. As part of the forum, we were grouped into Learning teams and were assigned to go on an excursion to a Seattle point of interest and collaboratively develop some sort of technology integrated project which we would all engage in this year with our students. It was a relief to complete and submit the project, Concealing and Revealing, and do final revisions to the shell of our wordpress site last week. There will be a selection from all the teams submissions and the winning project will attend the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum in Washington, D.C. in early November. I had the great fortune to work with two educators from Seattle, a student from Seattle and an amazing arts educator from Utah in creating this project.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Student Film Festival Logo Design

One of the projects I have been working this week is logo design. I have not done this in a long time and it was quite fun to work up pencil sketches and digital designs. The designs are for student video contests hosted by Next Vista for Learning. I thought film strip imagery and fruit imagery symbolic of where judging was taken place would be fitting. Here are a few initial sketches below and above are the more final digital sketches. The treble clef is for an upcoming student video contest which will be judged at a Tennessee educational conference in November.