Doodle 4 Google Contest!

Sandburg Middle School is registered to participate in this year's "Doodle 4 Google" contest!  Students in art classes will be asked to re-design the Google logo according to this year's theme, "What I'd like to do someday..."

In order to have entries submitted, students must have a parent fill out the entry/permission form that accompanies the entry.  You can obtain one of these forms from Mrs. Leban in class, and return it to me here at school.  I will submit all eligible entries via mail at one time.

The National Winner will be awarded a $15,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of his or her choice, a trip to the Google New York office for an event on May 19, 2011, a laptop computer, a Wacom digital design tablet, and a t-shirt printed with his or her doodle on it.  The winner's school or will also receive a $25,000 technology grant towards the establishment or improvement of a computer lab or technology programming. The National Winner will also have his or her doodle featured on the U.S. Google.com homepage!

But that's not all!  There will also be three national finalists,  forty regional finalists, and four hundred state finalists!

Not in art class right now?  Absent the day we complete this activity?  Want to participate anyway?  Here's a link to the entry form and permission slip (sorry, this form is specific to Sandburg Middle School only) - I've already filled out as much as I can, so return all pages to me when you're finished and I'll include your entry with the rest!

For complete details and rules of the contest, visit the Doodle 4 Google website here.



The Sketchbook Project, completed!

I did it!  I finished my entire sketchbook for The Sketchbook ProjectMr. Leban and I were up LATE Thursday night completing the books, and I ran to the post office Friday to mail them out.  But they are finally finished!  Here is a preview of my book:

As you might've guessed, many of my pages are about school.  My book's assigned theme was "secret codes."  Sometimes I disguise the people or objects I'm making art about as other things because I don't want people to know.  Other times my drawings can be very obvious and you know exactly what I'm trying to say.  Both ways of making art can be good.  I like to see what people think the art is about - they don't have to feel the same way that I do about a picture.

Hey!  There's a Sandburg Art sticker!  If you use a QR reader on that code, it takes you to the Sandburg Art website!

This is one of those pages that doesn't have any "secrets."  It's just about squares.

I like this drawing.  I was working on it in school while 8th graders were drawing, too.  You might have seen it in class even!

Want to see the whole thing?  Want to check out the sketchbooks that others have done?  The Sketchbook Project is going on TOUR!  It'll be in Chicago at the Hyde Park Arts Center July 14-17, 2011.  See the tour site for other state's exhibitions.  I definitely plan on stopping by the Chicago one!  Mr. Leban will be there too.  He has his own book (theme: "Revenge") and a book by his students from Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, too!


WIN a Nintendo DSi XL!

I love Scholastic Art Magazine.  We have a subscription here at Sandburg, and we love reading the articles to learn about art from the past, as well as contemporary art.  We then use our knowledge as inspiration for our projects here at school! 

I remember reading Scholastic magazines when I was in school, and I always loved them.  The information was written in a language that I understood - the articles weren't too "easy" or babyish, but also not too hard to read!

The latest issue of Scholastic Art is all about masks.  The magazine is running a contest to design a mask, and you can win an awesome prize: a Nintendo DSi XL system and a copy of the game Art Academy!

I did some research on Art Academy, and it looks pretty cool.  The game teaches you different drawing techniques to make you a better artist!  You use your DS stylus as a pencil or brush to create images.  When you're done with all the lessons, you can still use the "free paint" mode to create masterpieces of your very own!

Have any of you played Art Academy yet?  I think I might have to go pick up my own copy to try it out!

There will be THREE winners of this contest!  The deadline for the contest is February 28, 2011, so don't delay!  Here's the link to the contest, with all necessary entry forms and rules.  Good luck!


Clay Rattles with 6th Grade Art

We made rattles out of clay in 6th grade art classes!  Look at this sweet skull rattle that one of my students is making!  I wanted to have a fun clay project that we could complete in the short time we have together.  If a project is also functional, so much the better. 

This lesson is inspired by Native American symbolism, dance, and musical traditions.  We read about music and dance and the importance in Native American rituals.  We learned that rattles are a common musical instrument used in ceremonies, although they're made out of materials such as turtle shells or tin cans.  We decided to instead form our rattles out of clay.  We either mimicked common symbols from Native American cultures, or made up our own personal symbols to form and decorate these shaker-rattles.  

First, we drew plans for our rattles.  Then, we formed two small pinch pots, which were joined together to form the basic ball shape of the rattle.  Slab and coil forms helped us decorate the basic forms to create new shapes and designs.  Then we fired our clay.

After the clay was fired, we added a finish coat of paint and shiny glaze to top it off, and... voila!  My rattle is a strawberry, since it's my favorite fruit.  I also added a fancy letter "L" on the back for Leban.  You can see my plan behind my rattle in the photo below.


BIG messes all in the name of making ART!

Eighth grade students spent their first week back from winter break making marbled paper using a shaving cream and food-coloring technique.  The process is EXTREMELY messy, as you can see from our photos here.  I had fun photographing everyone as they smiled for the camera with shaving cream hands.

Our marbled paper pieces will be used in a paper sculpture project.  We're making star lanterns that will hang from the ceiling!  I also had fun taking some photos with my Christmas present: a Fujifim Instax camera.  It's like a mini-polaroid camera that takes photos like these:

I love the super fun size of these mini photos!  Plus, the camera is a really cute rounded shape.  I love functional objects with interesting design, so it's no surprise that this camera appealed to me.

Did you get any good gifts over winter break?


New FREE days at the AIC

The Art Institute of Chicago is FREE on weekdays between now and February 4th!

It is also free on Thursday evenings (from 5 to 8 pm) between February 10 through May 26th.

However, the Art Institute will be changing its hours later this year.  After February 25th, the museum will close at 5 pm on Fridays instead of 8 pm.  Also, they will no longer have free Thursday evenings (after May 26th), but the good news is that the first and second Wednesday of each month will be free ALL DAY starting June 1st. 

For full details, see this Chicago Tribune article.
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