The second term of the school year was a marathon, but I’m pleased to say it was very successful! Continue reading
Category Archives: classroom
Ending 2021 On a Positive Note
Looking back at 2021, I have SO much to be thankful for despite major hurdles. Continue reading
What’s in the works for SWart Studio?
I don’t have any art projects in the works because I’ve officially begun a graduate research study. I’m focusing on creative ways to present in mid 2021. I chose a topical subject that deserves more attention. These are slides of my proposal at a fall symposium. More soon!
UPDATE: I completed my study in late spring. I presented my findings at a closing symposium of the semester. Similar to last year’s, but more complex. The response of my presentation was incredibly positive and I’m proud to say I earned myself another A. It was a lot of work, but my findings will only benefit my own teaching.
To review my final slideshow click HERE.
Major 2020 Update
Where has time gone? It’s been months and I’ve failed to update my website’s blog in forever, but as you might imagine — there’s a lot going on. And that was BEFORE the shelter in place hit Boston (and the rest of the world). In as few words as possible, here’s what I’ve been doing —
- I found myself outside the art room and teaching fifth grade more often that not. If gave me the confidence to start teaching subjects beside the fine arts. I applied and was accepted as a graduate student for a Master of Education (Elementary). It’s been a lot of work and very different than getting a grad degree in my twenties. I am learning a lot.
- Because everything shut down (except for supermarkets, hospitals, and schools) my team and I are teaching from home. I’ve been trying to incorporate arts integrated projects to support lessons my colleagues are sharing. I’m positing (slightly tweaked) week’s worth of lessons here until I fully update this site.
- I had a fun project concerning a forgotten super hero from the 80’s, but it’s been postponed indefinitely now that most publishers have suspended all activity for the foreseeable future. Here’s a tease of a work in progress.
Teachers Appreciation Week
I work with an incredible staff and know how hard they work, so much of which goes unrecognized.
Sending love and strength to all of the teachers across the globe!
Announcing classes for the new year!
I’ve fallen behind on updates with the end of the semester and a recent vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico. But I’m pleased to announce several classes I’ll be offering in Boston for early 2014. I’m looking forward to starting off … Continue reading
More on my latest collaboration
For the last several months I’ve been working with ten teen artists (and their friends) to create an installation that speaks out against racism in conjunction with the Culture for Change program of Boston. The group and I are finally ready to present our nearly 24′ piece to the public tomorrow evening. What follows is our artists statement. For more on the process, please check out the YES for Change Tumblr page.
A Force For Good (Against Racism)
papier-mâché (head), clear tape & saran wrap (spine), wooden frames (body), sequined fabric (skin), mirrors, and other medium.
Being given the opportunity to create some sort of artwork that educates the cause and effect of racism is both exciting and a little daunting. The subject of racism is very broad, as were our choices of art to use to translate our message. Following the process of an artist, starting with an idea, continuing with research, practicing with trial and error team building projects, and finally execution, we arrived at what stands before you.
During the course of the year we researched a variety of issues and events related to racism and in particular our community of Chinatown. We also sought out to learn more about the broad medium of installation art, knowing we did not want to necessarily produce standard 2D artwork. We learned about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, one of the most significant restrictions on free immigration in the US. Our investigation of racism and installation art brought us all over Boston and beyond. Our group visited the Chinatown Library where we viewed an Atlas timeline of Chinatown. It was a way for us to learn and find our roots and to see how it was like for our grandparents and great grandparents to deal with the obstacles presented to them in a new country. We visited the ICA to view installation art and hopefully inspire us. We learned about Ai Wei Wei and how he used installation art to oppose the Chinese communist government. Another famous installation artist, Yayoi Kasuma, taught us that much of installation art is conceptual, meaning that the artist’s ideas or concept are more important that the actual beauty of the piece.
Our team combined ideas collected from months worth of projects and field trips and drafted a final form for our installation. What we present to the community is a Chinese inspired dragon, its spine built of interlocking lit hands, surrounding a plastic figure and several mirrors. The mirrors reflect our audiences’ faces and positive phrases allowing viewers to become a part of the piece. The encircled separated plastic figure amid the sea of reflections is used to show the effects of racism, something, at one point, everyone has encountered, making us feel isolated or less than a whole. The dragon represents our main message, coming together we become an unstoppable force against racism. We are equally proud of our final piece and of all the work our team has done. This installation is our reward to show everyone what we’ve learned about art, racism, our culture, and each other.
Jagwar Ma – “Man I Need”
Be sure to hit “Like” on the website’s Facebook tab to check out the various music videos that are playing in my classroom or inspiring my work. I prefer to stay away from today’s Top 40 and a little jazz or classical mixed with play gems from the ’60s-’90s or current independent artists that students don’t regularly hear. I especially like artists from other countries, not played on American radio. I’m constantly posting songs on Facebook that create a week’s playlist, helping me to establish a fun and creative environment in the art room ( or “studio-classroom”, as I call it.)
Jagwar Ma is the latest band I’ve been turned onto. For more of their music, checkout their page on SoundCloud!
For my birthday I spent a long weekend in New York City visiting old friends and haunts from my youth. I’m excited to show students a series of pictures I took of work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’m … Continue reading
Latest class work
Third Graders have continued to explore the relationship between 2D and 3D with relief sculptures. Next week students will take their ideas and experiences and create fully realized 3D creatures.