Friday, December 2, 2011

Choosing Materials

A screen shot of the supply list page for Art 1

Joy asks, “How do you decide what materials students need to use in your art projects?”
In a brick a mortar classroom, funding and what the teacher decides to order for student projects determine what supplies are used in the art classroom. In an online environment, it’s a bit trickier. Students are attending school from home, and there is no cabinet of art supplies for most of them. They are required to purchase their own supplies in most cases as well, so making decisions about what we can use for projects must be decided with cost in mind. Cost is the main decider of supplies for my Art 1 class, as well as availability. I have students all over the state of Ohio in big cities as well as tiny towns, and all students need to have access to the supplies I assign them to buy. Because of this, the supplies I am able to use for art projects are a bit limited. Most of what I teach in Art 1 is drawing, some painting, and collage/mixed media. Though the supplies are limited, students are able to excel at the basics and as the semester goes on, I am seeing students develop their own artistic vision and style. Though I teach in an online environment, all projects are completed in a traditional form on paper rather than using Photoshop or other computer programs. Students have the opportunity after taking Art 1 to enroll in Art 2-5, Art Appreciation, or Digital Photography. Though individual art projects are created outside of the digital realm in my class, this week I created an interactive collaborative art activity in my live lesson about mixed media. Students took turns choosing materials and combining them in a virtual canvas. I encouraged them to experiment, repeat objects, and have fun! The result was a virtual collaborative art piece that is now displayed in my classroom.
The collaborative artwork students created in a live lesson together

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