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Super Hero Sculptures Morph into Pop Art–Laurel Dell Third Graders

Third graders at Laurel Dell have added some color to their Hero project as they designed logos for their creations.  How does a single picture tell a story? How do you show lightning hands, or super speed, or controlling fire? Students were able to experiment with tracing paper and carbon paper (new to them!) as they refined their logos. Several students decided their super hero would protect us all from fires.

Students culminated their Super Hero project by turning their super heroes into comic book illustrations. In the process students learned a little bit about Pop Art (Roy Lichtenstein) and the offset printing process (Ben Day dots reproduced by printing on bubble wrap).

Every step of this process encouraged students to imagine their creations in a more in-depth, concrete way. They have named their heroes, given them jobs and homes and friends, and are poised to create some wonderful stories with their heroes.

Thank you to the California Arts Council for their generous support of this project. CAClogo_stackedRGB

Making Family Flags at James Monroe Elementary

On December 4th, Youth in Arts hosted a Family Art Night at James Monroe Elementary in Santa Rosa, as part of a free program offered to schools impacted by the recent fires.  Riley Street Art Supply [] kindly provided the supplies for 50 students and their families to take part in the Family Flag project.  Participants were asked to close their eyes and think of symbols that give them strength and power.  When they opened their eyes they were asked to quickly draw four thumbnail sketches.  They then chose their favorite image from the group and redrew it on a larger scale on the canvas flag.  After all the symbols were sketched, they added lots of vibrant pastel and watercolor to complete the piece.  The finished flags were beautiful and colorful images representing the resilience, diversity and heart of James Monroe Elementary.  Thank you for having us!

Shawna Alapa’i brings Hula to Sonoma Mountain Elementary

Hula artist, Shawna Alapa’i and her troupe of dancers put on a beautiful evening performance at Sonoma Mountain Elementary in Petaluma.  This marks Shawna’s second year at Sonoma Mountain, and it was wonderful to see the school community come out on a chilly Friday to support her.  Shawna sang and told Hawaiian folktales, as her dancers performed several traditional Hula dances.  She wowed the crowd with her demonstration of the Poi Ball dance, which she shared she used to do with the balls lit on fire!  The event concluded with the students doing a impromptu performance of their “Moana Dance” for their proud parents.  Thank you Shawna for a lovely evening!

Third graders Persevere to create Hero Sculptures at Laurel Dell

In the Youth in Arts visual arts model program at Laurel Dell, third graders devoted an entire month to studying the human form. We have created our own Super Heroes sculptures. We brainstormed together and individually: What is a problem you see in the world? How could you solve it with a super power? What would you like to have as a super power?  This connects directly with one of the key third grade life science standards: how the environment, traits, and behavior impact plants and animals and an understanding of the human form.

We started with Blind Contour Drawing. Keen observation helps to build a strong scientific and artistic eye. We are teaching our hand to do what our Eye tells us, instead of what we remember or think. We thought about how we would show our super power with our bodies as we posed for each other for Observational Gesture drawing. Not only did the model use their entire body to show a pose, but the artists used their entire arms to draw on very large pieces of paper. Students were asked to show the Gesture of the model and fill the page with only 30 seconds to draw! We were sprawled across the floor for this warm-up.

Our next job was to build hero sculptures out of wire, foil, tape, rice paper, and medium. Students persevered in this 3-week undertaking!

Along the way we documented our work with observational drawings.

Along the way we documented our work with observational drawings.


Wrapping wire and then applying foil took a lot of patience.

As a next step classroom teachers could build upon English Language standards by writing descriptive stories about their Super Hero.

Thank you to the California Arts Council and the Laurel Dell PTA for their generous support of this project.CAClogo_stackedRGB