Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mola Art

Third graders recently completed a lesson exploring Molas, a textile art made by the Kuna Indians of Panama.

Before beginning our Mola project, we did a quick weaving lesson - thinking about things weavings might be used for, including baskets, rugs, and fabric.  Students created woven patterns using colored strips of paper, and could add additional patterns with sharpie when finished.

Proud weavers from Ms. Park's class

During our next class, students were introduced to Mola art.  We looked at where Panama is located on the map and learned that the Kuna Indians live on the San Blas Islands, found along Panama's coast. 

We viewed many examples of Molas, while learning some important details along the way.  Molas are fabric panels handmade by Kuna women, who earn money and respect for their families through their craft.  Molas are made using a technique called reverse applique, involving many layers of fabric being cut and sewn together. They are traditionally worn on the blouses of women.  When creating Molas, artists are inspired by everyday life, nature, legends, and even dreams.  

Students spent a few weeks creating Mola collages.  Each student began by drawing an animal using simple shapes.   Remembering that Molas typically feature bright colors and patterns, students colored in their animals keeping this in mind.  We then cut out and glued our animals to black paper.  Students finished their artwork by measuring, cutting, and gluing strips of colored paper to create a unique background design.

Borja (Ms. Munger)

Eden (Ms. Munger)

Tage (Ms. Munger)

Carmen (Ms. Park)

Kylie (Ms. Park)

Mazen (Ms. Park)

Johanna (Ms. Park)

Allison (Ms. Dileso)

Hugo (Ms. Dileso)

Sebastian (Ms. Dileso)

Joshua (Ms. Dileso)

Gracie (Ms. Dileso)

Toba (Ms. Dileso)

Mola Art on display at the WPS Art Show

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Cat in the Hat

Kindergarten students recently enjoyed reading "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss (who had a birthday earlier this month!).  Many students had read this classic before and eagerly anticipated the funny twists along the way.

Students then created Cat in the Hat drawings, following along with step-by-step directions.  It was helpful to think of shapes and letters as we drew (examples: the Cat's face was a giant "U" and his bow tie was made from two triangles and a circle).

Below are finished cats by Ms. Tanguay's class, who completed their creations using red tempera paint and colorful dot markers.  We loved seeing so many unique results!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Watertown Public Schools K-12 Art Show

The Watertown Public Schools K-12 Art Show is now on view!  The exhibit is on display through March 28th at the Watertown Mall.

Come celebrate the hard work and talent of our students at the opening reception this Tuesday, March 21 from 5 - 7 p.m.  All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

Below are displays featuring artwork by 1st and 2nd grade students at Cunniff!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

4th Grade Pop Art Prints

Fourth grade students have been working on self-portraits inspired by artist Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement.  To begin, we watched a short video about Pop Art:

Self-Portrait, Andy Warhol 1966

Students learned that Pop Art is short for "popular art" and that Andy Warhol was a Pop Artist interested in exploring popular culture of his time.  He often used bright colors and repeated images, using printmaking to create many copies of his artwork.

For this lesson, we would be creating our own collection of self-portraits, using a printmaking technique called foam relief printing.  To begin our self-portraits, we created simple line drawings using pencil and paper. Students used mirrors to observe basic shapes, proportions, and facial features.

Each student transferred their drawing onto a foam printing plate - first taping their paper on top of foam, then tracing over drawn lines using a dull pencil.  This created a copy of their self-portrait, now indented into the foam.  To carve our image deeper into the foam, we removed the paper and used a dull pencil to press into lines one more time.  

Students learned that when we later add ink to our plates and print, these carved out areas will remain empty and the uncarved areas will hold onto the ink. 

Printing day!  An exciting class where students learned proper printmaking techniques, including how to use a brayer (roller), roll out and apply ink, and hand-print their images onto paper.


Day one of printing was a success!  Students gained practice with relief printing and are looking forward to trying again next week.  Once finished, they will be choosing a few of their best prints to create a final project in the style of Andy Warhol - stay tuned!