Art in the community is a HUGE passion of mine. I had not realized how much I had actually initiated until I began to reflect upon my happiest moments in my career.
Art Party 2016
LSTS Mandala Collaboration
Our students worked with the local school and taught each other different Mandala techniques. Then they created their own designs. The designs were swapped and redesigned and painted onto umbrellas. The umbrellas were hung at the Crescent Mall.
Grade 6 Students Teaching The Local School
Nov 2015, Grade 6 my students collaborated with the local school next door (Lawrence S Ting). Each grade 6 students had 2 or 3 local grade 7 students to teach. The main goal of this task was to show the students how to draw a portrait following the “rules“and to initiate the first ever collaboration between the two schools.
To make the task even more collaborative we thought we’d turn it into a game. The first step was to draw the back of the head, then each student had to swap drawings, the second step was to draw a mirror frame, then they swapped again. It was now time for drawing the face in the mirror following the rules. The art was swapped for the last time and the entire painting was outlined in oil pastels and painted with watercolours.
Grade 7 Mandalas Involving Fabulous Parents, 2014
I did make a connection with one of my grade 7 student’s mum, Vidya as a part of our Mandala exhibit and celebration. Vidya and her friend came in and demonstrated flour mandalas decorated with flowers as they do back home. It was so wonderful seeing how skilled and quickly they were drawing with the rice flour.
I loved how this is a current practice for festivals and celebrations in India which makes our mandala unit so authentic. The students were absolutely engrossed with the creation of those beautiful mandalas. I wish they could have stayed there forever. Maybe we need to create more in paint under the atrium! This was the first time I have ever asked a parent to participate in an exhibition and I loved it.
MRISA AX, 2015
This was an incredible artistic event which I participated in. I did not organize it but thought it should still be documented here. 8 schools in this region participate in this amazing event. They gathered all the talented musicians, actors, artists and dancers and put them through a variety of workshops and challenges. It was phenomenal seeing the kids mix and jump into every task so enthusiastically. I was also able to meet other art teachers which was a real hi light.
Art displays 2014-current
Usually my first task when I arrive to any school is to figure out where to display the art. Unfortunately, even though my art room is amazing the rest of the MS building is really ugly. So I took it upon myself to beautify the dark halls. I have had quite a few display boards put up and have been able to display all work for most of the year. I turned the lower level into an art walk which has been very successful because many people come to the school store and cafeteria. I often receive compliments which is brilliant because it means the work is actually being seen.
Art for the soul 2014-15
In my first quarter I introduced art for the soul again which was actually very popular with the local staff.
We had some very exciting events happen for the first time last year in Ghana.
My goal last year was to bring the wider community into LCS, share student work in the world-wide community, take student work outside the school and bring local schools and artists into our art room. I really think I did achieve this. Now that I have moved to Vietnam I need to re-network and look for similar opportunities. This will take time but am excited to build on what I have already started to achieve. Art is so much more than what goes on in the classroom!
You really can’t beat that moment when students are taking their friends and family around and showing off their work. It is even better when they are teaching their new skills to people who look up to them. Everyone works very hard so they deserve to shine, they should be proud. This page is a celebration or memory of some fabulous events in the past. As we complete new events this year I will add them to this page.
I have only been in Vietnam for a month and have already started Art For the Soul on Thursdays for the staff at SSIS. I will also begin an art club for the students on Friday maybe they could connect with the wider community. I know I have to take baby steps but please watch this space. We will make a difference through art in Vietnam very soon.
Painting Murals For GISS Feb 2014
On Saturday I volunteered to go to Nima with some GISS students to help the Nima Muhinmanchi Art group paint some murals. Several artists designed the wall and drew it up in chalk then we came along and helped with the painting. Of course the artists applied the awesome finishing touches. I can’t wait to see the mural completely finished. I had never heard of this art group before but am fascinated by their purpose and link to the community. To read more about them look at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nimaart.gh
Semester 1 ART Party Dec 10th 2013
It was another HUGE success as you can see by the video for more photos and information have a look at: https://rjardin.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/2013-semester-1-art-party/
GRADE 6 AND 8 STUDENTS TEACH LOCAL STUDENTS.
All my trimester classes are ending in two weeks so I thought why not get the students to show me what they have learnt over the trimester by teaching it to someone else? What a brilliant way to bring the community into our art room.
The grade 6 students had to choose their favourite portrait activities from the trimester and create four lesson plans for their student as they will be teaching one on one. They all began with teaching the rules of portraiture and then followed with their choice of activities using ipads, projectors, ink, pencils, markers or watercolours. The goal is for the visiting student to create one major piece by the end of the 4th class. It could be a mobile, collage, painting, book or anything else the student teacher plans.
The grade 8 class had to prepare a research which was visually interesting and suitable for teaching the local children about Impressionism. They chose to present with posters, brochures, movies, ibooks or Prezzis.
Over the next three classes the students will be working on their own canvas but in a group of four. At the end of the task they will join the canvases to make four big paintings to hang here at LCS and in the local school.
Making Chandeliers For GISS (Global Issues Summit)
We have been painting and cutting plastic bottles to create these stunning chandeliers for the GISS conference. My art club began the project and figured out how to join them successfully. Now we are encouraging everyone to participate. Including all grade levels, administration, grounds staff and teachers. It is such an easy but effective project that I wanted the WHOLE community involved. We are trying to make as many as we can to hang around the school for the conference in February 2014. I can’t wait to see how many we complete.
STAFF ART TRIPS 2013-14
Participating in art workshops around Ghana with the staff from LCS is another way I link to the local community. They have been on bead trips, made glass beads, participated in an art field trip, played with clay and batiked.
WORKING WITH JENNIFER GOSS, A VISITING ARTIST
My students were very lucky to be able to work with Jennifer for 6 classes. They studied a tree unit inspired from her night paintings. By the end of the unit they created 3 major pieces of work: 1. Trees inspired by Klimt, 2. Leaves inspired by Matisse, 3. Gesso and mixed media inspired by Goss. The students loved having another artist in the room especially when she was analyzing their personalities and characteristics through their colour choices and designs. It certainly was a very rewarding time for everyone involved. The highlight for me was watching her painting progress at the art party.
WORKING WITH KOKROBITEY INSTITUTE
I was very fortunate to be asked by the director of the school if I’d be interested in seeing Kokrobitey Institute for possible art trips, student personal projects, and CAS opportunities. I am so glad I took him up on this opportunity because I have discovered a fabulous perfectly designed art center with so many amazing opportunities for the students. We have now run two successful overnight trips one with the students and one with the staff.
The Kokrobitey Institute’s main project at the moment is designing bags from recycled materials for local schools. These bags are made out of old billboards with decorative details from fabrics, plastic bottles, cans and inner bike tubes. Not only have they designed bags but they are also in the process of putting together educational materials for the schools. I was particularly impressed with the cards they have designed jam packed with educational material and games. These come with the bags. How brilliant!
I am looking forward to future trips.
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!
AISA would like to congratulate Astha Sood whose artwork ‘The Power of Adinkra’ will be published in the 2014 AISA Calendar. All winners of the AISA Art Challenge will be presented with a iPod Shuffle.
I have mixed feelings about art competitions because you never know what judges are really looking for even though I still encourage students to enter because when we have a winner it is SO exciting. Yeah Astha you have made LCS proud!
The parents asked my grade 7 class to design logos for the 45th anniversary. I don’t know who the winning students were yet but we worked really hard to create eye catching designs for the new house t-shirts.
Our first ever art party which was a huge success. We are planning to have two of these this year. I had the grade 8,9 and 10 art students running workshops for younger students and adults. This proved to be very, very popular as the attendance was an absolute record for any exhibition we have held over the last couple of years (in fact in my entire teaching career). The younger students listened carefully to the older ones and tried very hard to create the best art work they could. We also set up a group chalk painting which was white at the beginning and looks absolutely amazing. Seeing the whole community mix was inspiring. I could not have wanted for more. I was so proud of all of my students.
We have released new art cards and have framed art all over the school. The new art cards will be released in a couple of weeks.
Last year I ran a Community arts club. They created templates for the Dot day festival, helped with the international day art competition and painted murals around the school.
The teachers also wanted to join the fun. On Wednesdays I run and Art for the Soul group, where teachers come to play with arts and crafts. On the occasional weekend we take trips for beading and batiking. I have some fabulous ideas for trips this year.
I believe community also means bringing the community into your classroom so I invited Kwame to run a soap carving workshop. The students found it to be a lot harder than it actually looked. They enjoyed working with Kwame.
Two years ago I had my grade 8 class paint portraits for Beacon House Orphanage. The second group created digital art. The visit was a huge success even though all the children were quite shy. these kids have never had such a personal gift before so it was a very touching experience. This was inspired from The Memory project.
This was when Mary and myself got in touch with a local artist whose style I absolutely adore. We met Wiz, saw his studio and ran workshops with the DP students.
Trashy Bags is an amazing company who collects the plastic waste around Accra and turns it into beautiful bags. My grade 7 students decided to make new products for the store so they had to create a mock up and then present it to the managers and designers at Trashy Bags.
Last year I just discovered Nubuke which is one of my all time favourite cultural centers here in Ghana. I decided to take the students there to see an incredible exhibition. They loved it. There is so much art here, it is so important for the students to experience it and meet the artists.
WE HAVE A WINNER!!
Congratulations to Simone for winning third place on Look and Learn. The theme was “flying on the back of a bird”. Simone received a lovely certificate and a cash prize. Well done. You have made LCS proud!
My grade 8 students participated in an art exhibition in Singapore. We created artist trading cards, joined hundreds of schools and had our work on display in their big exhibition.
In China we entered a calendar competition which helped raise money for kids with Leukemia. One of my students won so we traveled to Shanghai for the awards ceremony. It was a fabulous day out. I still remember that trip very clearly.
At HIS we had a community event for International day. One year we painted Aboriginal dot art and the other we created Aztec mosaics. Both projects are still hanging in the school.
We often had our artwork printed in the newspaper in China.
In my last year in China I found the most amazing place to display the student’s work. It was a stunning ceramic painting center. We hung art work everywhere and had the students perform. This event was a huge success. I found it really hard to network in Hangzhou due to the language barrier so I was very fortunate to meet Wei at the right time.
We had more winners for an animation competition. The event was huge and we were the only predominantly western students to win so the film crew were very excited about us being there. Again another fabulous experience in Shanghai.
I don’t know if this counts but I have had two art exhibitions in Ghana, 1 in the UAE, 1 in China, 2 in Australia and will be working towards my third in Ghana this year. It did bring students, parents and the wider community together to appreciate art and music so I think it deserves a mention on this page. 🙂
Art calendars are another way I like to celebrate student success. It takes quite a lot of time planning and putting together a calendar but I have been very happy with the final outcome.
In fact Ghana was also inspired by this calendar because for the first time in LCS they have also released an “art themed” 2013 school calendar. Exciting times for the art department!
Congratulations to thirty of our students from Hangzhou who have been published in this book. It is a celebration of art created throughout schools in China. The parents could purchase this off of this link: http://www.blurb.com/books/2107261-art-on-the-go
I have my own copy and it is a fabulous memory of all our hard work throughout the year. Well done HIS.