Art Newsletter

Art Newsletter: February 2019
Hello students and parents/guardians of P.S. 133, there is great news to share from the Art Department. I and Mr. Ramsingh wrote an ArtSPACE grant and it was approved and granted by the NYC Department of Education! So, this means that the art and music spaces will be getting an upgrade. The Art Studio will be getting new tables, chairs, flat file storage unit, 4 panel portable visual art display boards and paper display holders and Music will be getting choral risers, music stands and cart as well as an auditorium sound system upgrade!! We are so excited to share this news with all you as we continue to work with students and parents on building community through the arts.
The Art Making Parent Engagement Workshop: Re-discovering Our Sense of Perception is here. It will be held on Tuesday, February 12, during parent engagement time from 2:20-3:00pm. The workshop will focus on learning to look through an artist’s eye as we discuss space, objects around us and how slowing down the process of seeing can work to enhance and improve one’s awareness and drawing skills. Come and enjoy yourself as you reacquaint yourself with the act of drawing. Look out for and email from Mrs. Lee, our wonderful parent coordinator, on signing up for the workshop.
And as always, we are constantly working on appropriate behavior within the art studio. All students are reminded to BE SAFE, BE POLITE, BE COOPERATIVE, BE RESPONSIBLE and BE KIND. When students work together with a partner or the whole table group, we focus on being helpful by providing positive constructive feedback and kind words of encouragement. And this is where community begins.
A quick look at what has been happening in art:
The students are learning about composition, their neighborhoods and the city we live in. As the students studied houses and buildings within Queens and famous NYC skyscrapers, they began to understand more and more how arranging, connecting, and placing down different shapes could communicate the idea of their city neighborhood. The students are creating drawings and will then move onto printmaking as thy use their imaginations to stamp their own inventive city scenes.
Remember as you talk to your children, ask them about how things are arranged and encourage them to describe what they see by using such words or phrases as; above, below, next to, top, bottom, corner, side, left, right, outside and inside. The more the students use this language in their everyday discussions the more they can describe what they think and what they are learning.
1st Grade
One more week and our birds will be flying through the building. The students have been working so hard observing their birds, mixing their colors and painting their awesome bird paintings. I think John James Audubon would be proud. Throughout this project the students have also been learning about studio protocol and have develop a good sense of movement
within the art studio as they work as helpers, retrieve their own paint, share their water cups, put their work on drying racks and help to clean at the end of class. We have good team players in the making.
2nd Grade
The 2nd grade spirit animals are coming alive. Students are now adding the final touches to their collage with pattern and textured papers. They are thinking about smaller details and working on making good paper choices to enhance different parts of their spirit animals. Once the spirit animals are done the students will participate in a “gallery walk” to share their work with the class and discuss their process and what they have learned.
3rd Grade
The students are now beginning to add their own cultural patterns to their leaf for the 3rd grade “Trees of Life”. We discussed how to use our cultural patterns/designs resources as inspiration and are now using the images and creating our own unique pattern/designs based on our cultural backgrounds. Color Pencils will be used at the end to finish the patterns/designs. Then the students will turn their focus to painting tints and shades for the other side of the leaf.
Make sure to ask your children about their project and how they are creating their pattern/designs. The more the students talk about and explain what they are doing the more they begin to understand it. Some vocabulary we are using is overlapping, pattern, design, combining, altering, changing, modifying, layers and the concept of something starting simple and then slowly getting more complex, thus the idea of working in stages.
4th Grade
The students are studying landscape through the artwork of Palestinian American artist Jordan Nassar and the question that he poses is “How long does it take for something associated with one culture to be accepted as a legitimate facet of another culture?” It is this question that is the driving force behind using images from students’ cultural background as components of their artwork. How can the students take images or symbols and reconstruct them to make them their own? How are they starting with something (traditional pattern or design) and restructuring it to have a meaning that is important to them?
The students are now drawing their patterns and designs into their landscape and will be using color pencil to develop contrast and movement within their image. Ask them about their work, have them describe how they are using their resources and ask them about the work of Jordan Nassar. I will leave you with some collaborative one-line poems the students wrote to describe the work of Jordan Nassar.
“Abstract, mountain, confusing, abstract stuff, lava, abstract, colorful, satisfying.”
“Different, blocks, colorful, mountains, understandable, simple, colorful, landscapes.”
“Abstract, mountains, complex, hills, colorful, patterns, patterns, colorful.”
“Soft, mountains, colorful, plateau, colorful landscapes, landscapes detail-less.”
“Sunset, beautiful, mountain, fascinating, semi-abstract, cool, weird, multi-purpose.”
5th Grade
The Symbolic Masks are done, and they came out great. The students engaged in a lot of dialogue and peer assessment throughout the process as revisions and changes were made. I’m hoping to get some up before Mid-Winter break in February so keep your eye open for them around the building.
The students are now beginning their next unit on Cubist Portraits by Pablo Picasso. It will be a continuation on studying the features of the face and how the biggest artist of the 20th century was influenced by masks from Africa that lead to him to develop and invent Cubism. The students will be working with collage and paint as they develop their own unique cubist portraits.
And remember look at art, think about art and make art!!
Hope the year is starting off well on all fronts and if there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to email at or call the school to set up a meeting during Parent Engagement time on Tuesdays 2:20-3:00pm after school.