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917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
(415) 457-4878
yia@youthinarts.org

Family Art Night

Thursday night brought Laurel Dell families from every grade together for an inspired evening of creativity. Fourth and fifth graders began the evening by sharing their visions for their new school with their friends and family. Students worked with architects Shirl Buss and Rich Storek to practice design thinking strategies as they explored ideas and created solutions for their new school.

Kindergarteners showed friends and family just a little of what they have learned as they added creatures and people to their imaginary world. As recipients of the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts grant, students in TK and K learned about strategies for being a good friend as they also discovered lines and shapes and colors and tools in their three-month visual arts residency with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal.

We wish to make a special thank you to the Laurel Dell PTA, the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund, the California Arts Council and the California Wellness Foundation for their generous contributions to the Arts at Laurel Dell Elementary School.

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Youth in Arts thanks the Creative HeArts Fund and the Tamura and Rezaian families for their ongoing support for this program.

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

Kindergarteners Make Portraits and Explore Emotions

Kindergarenters have spent weeks learning about lines and observational drawing, and now it’s time to show what we know. Students were given mirrors and asked to make faces: what does happy look like? Sad? Angry? Surprised? We then talked about our friends faces and what we can do to keep them smiling. Children had the opportunity to experiment with mirrors.

Next, we made emotions faces: four quick sketches showing our faces with different emotions. Students added color with their colored pencils. Regular practice has made them pros with color.

In our third week of portraits, we went big on beautiful heavy watercolor paper (thank you RileyStreet for making sure we have the best supplies). Once students had practiced drawing a big oval with just their finger on the paper, they were given pencils then sharpies. Don’t forget the details (hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, ears, etc).

And then comes color! In oil pastels then liquid watercolors. I’m glad to have the super strong watercolor paper.

And finally, tell me a story with your picture frame. What do you love? What have you learned? What do you want people to know about you?

You can see all of the beautiful Kindergarten Art in our Gallery at Youth in Arts April 14-May 26.

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Youth in Arts thanks the Creative HeArts Fund and the Tamura and Rezaian families for their ongoing support for this program.

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

Observational Drawing with Kindergarteners

As an art teacher, Observational Drawing has become my favorite project. I have dozens of plastic animals that I have painted black to help artists focus on the lines and textures more than the “creature”. Plastic animals are a familiar toy, they are safe and fun to draw. Students learn to look closely, and let their eye tell their hand what to draw. They practice drawing what they see, not what they remember. After several weeks practicing lines in 2D and 3D, that are ready to go.

One class of animals is just not enough, so in our second day with them, we considered habitats, both real and imaginary. Mostly imaginary. Using an old map of the area, we drew more animals, colored them and cut them out, then worked together to create a habitat where everyone can live together in peace and color.

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Youth in Arts thanks the Creative HeArts Fund and the Tamura and Rezaian families for their ongoing support for this program.

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

Looking at the Lines We Made

WRLogo-Online200px-RedThe Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts program allows kindergartens to develop a deep understanding of lines, shapes, colors, and friendship. In this early class, we work on fine motor control as we design sculptures of 3D lines complete with colorful bead patterns.

Students gain their first experience with observational drawing, which is a fundamental component of the program. They learn to look closely and document their work with their drawings.

This year, the Walker Rezaian project has expended to two sites! Thank you to our generous donors.

 

Students practice perseverance and fine motor control as they find beads for their sculpture

Students practice perseverance and fine motor control as they find beads for their sculpture

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Lots of choices

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Lines move off the page and into 3D

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teachers have fun too.

The first step in observational drawing.

The first step in observational drawing.

Observational drawing of a sculpture

Observational drawing of a sculpture

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Thinking about choices

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Concentration

Making sure the sticky "feet" stuck!

Making sure the sticky “feet” stuck!

Students had to pay close attention to use some of the tiny beads.

Students had to pay close attention to use some of the tiny beads.

Teachable moments were embraced: how do you share one bucket with a group of friends? What happens when two people want the same shiny bead?

Teachable moments were embraced: how do you share one bucket with a group of friends? What happens when two people want the same shiny bead?

Learning to look: we ask students to look closely as they make drawings of their sculptures.

Learning to look: we ask students to look closely as they make drawings of their sculptures.

Tetrahedrons and Community Mapping

Fifth grade students at Laurel Dell learned how to make a flimsy piece of paper strong by rolling it, then turned their “sticks” to triangles and into Tetrahedrons. They also learned about Vetruvius, one of our earliest known architects. Next week they build with their tetrahedrons.

Meanwhile in fourth grade, students took a close look at their school to discuss what they love, what doesn’t work, and what they want to change about their schools!

Funded in part by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation.

Power Building

Students at Laurel Dell are exploring architecture and the world around them. Mentor artists Rich Storek & Shirl Buss are working with 4th and 5th graders to investigate the community, learn about architecture and design their own projects. Rich’s classroom was working on building tetrahedrons and learning about how to make structures solid.  Shirl’s students were building individual Tower of Power structures and then creating bridges to link with a classmate. Shirl worked with teacher Mr. G to help students pick out words that represent who they are in the world. They then created the Tower of Power to help share their story. When they link with a classmate they begin the process of collaboration. Mr. G is part of an engineering collaborative of the Marin County Office of Education, he said the work they are doing with Shirl will carry over and connect with other aspects of the classroom curriculum.

Funded in part by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation.

 

Family Fun at Laurel Dell

boy handsLast night, sounds of laughter, music and stories filled the auditorium on the campus of Laurel Dell Elementary School as Youth in Arts conducted the second Family Art Night as part of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeARTS Fund.

Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal led the intergenerational crowd in making a book entitled, “With Our Hands.” Caregivers and their children outlined their hands on recycled maps and then decided what their hands could do together. The book will go on display in the “Imagining Friendship” Gallery Exhibit opening at YIA Gallery on April 8.

Meanwhile Executive Director Miko Lee led families in an old fashioned quilting bee, sewing diamond shapes onto a 12′ Guatemalan kite. The kite pieces were designed at the enthusiastic Family Art Night in February. There were so many diamond shapes designed that Youth in Arts will create an additional kite.

Suzanne will be headed back to the school to make sure as many students as possible are included in this additional finished kite. The kites were designed to celebrate community and be mobile. The finished kites will be unveiled at the YIA Gallery and then will move to the temporary school site while Laurel Dell is under construction.  The collaborative artwork will travel with the community.

Thanks to our amazing volunteers: Stephanie Daly for ironing the diamonds onto the kite and recreating the centerpiece, and to youth volunteers Lena and Haley for helping out on the Family Nights. And a great thanks to all the parents, caregivers, teachers and children that came out to make art with us. We know you have so many things to do and we are thrilled when you join us to create, collaborate, and build friendships. As Principal Pepe Gonzalez summed up, “Another great night with Youth in Arts!”

Thanks to the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund and the California Arts Council for making this possible.

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Animal Habitats: Making Green

WalkerHeader(By Paris Dowd, intern. This was her first attempt at designing an art lesson for the classrooms. It was a huge success!)

“This week we introduced the TK and kindergarteners at Laurel Dell to oil pastels. The kids worked together in groups, sharing the paper and the materials (including the pastels, baby oil and sponges for blending and sticks for scratching a drawing on the surface of the color). The goal was to color the large pieces of paper covering the tables while learning to blend and experiment using the new medium. Students were given shades of green, yellow, blue and white pastels to work with and asked to create as many new colors as possible.

After working in this way with the pastels, I observed a few of the kids switching to using colored pencils to draw and scribble with overlapping lines in their personal art journals.  It seemed that the kids were excited to continue exploring blending techniques across a range of mediums.”

(Paris is an intern working with the students at Laurel Dell to create process books using the Making Learning Visible (MLV) technique out of Harvard School of Education’s Project Zero. Each week Paris shows students pictures of themselves at work, and asks them to reflect on their art: what they learned, how they helped others, what was challenging, and more. MLV makes reflecting, writing, speaking, and collaborating so easy for even the youngest learners.)

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Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Art

WalkerHeaderWe’re off to a strong start in the T-K and Kindergarten classrooms at Laurel Dell Elementary school, 2015-2016 recipients of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Award.

Students have been working with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal, learning to use drawing pencils, black china markers, colored pencils, and even Sharpies. They have been working on showing and telling more about themselves through their pictures, and on customizing their Beautiful New Art Journals. Thank you RileyStreet yet again for your help in getting the best supplies to our kids.

 

Kindergarten Art: Line Study

In Kindergarten Art, our work will build on Art Fundamentals for kindergarteners. We start with LINES. Students practiced vocabulary like:

  • Straight
  • Zig Zag
  • Curved
  • Wiggly
  • Diagonal
  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
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Practicing SHARING with Paints: keep the colors clean for your friends. If you want to mix, please do it on the paper.

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Brainstorming with friends: what OTHER lines can we make?

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Students used black grease pencils to make the darkest lines. The longer shape allowed for more control, and the dark line showed up more than a crayon.

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Lines can be made up of shapes and letters. Assessment: It can be a challenge to make a straight line of shapes! This is something that is easy to practice.

How many different LINES can you draw?

How many different LINES can you draw?

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