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Middle School Art Projects - Fall 2019

Blog Type:  Arts Middle School
Date Posted:  Thursday, December 12, 2019

An overview of the art projects that the 6th, 7th and 8th graders have been working on since the beginning of the school year with Ms. Popova (grades 6 and 7) and Ms. Campbell (grade 8).

Grade 6: Personal Boxes

6th grade students made personal collection boxes inspired by the art of Joseph Cornell. They constructed their own boxes, paying special attention to surface materials and craft. Inside, they organized a collection of objects and images to represent their family. The largest compartment represents the student, and the smaller compartments represent family members. The resulting artwork is a family portrait, but instead of photographic likeness, the inner life of a person is revealed through the symbolic value of objects standing in for favorite activities, professions, hobbies and beliefs. The students also wrote artist’s statements, explaining their choice of objects and images. To see all student work and learn about our diverse and fascinating community click on the button below.

G6 personal boxes



Grade 7: Ink Landscapes

First the students of Grade 7 completed a worksheet based on the ink drawings of Van Gogh. They learned how different marks, strokes and patterns can be used to represent the varied textures in a landscape. Next they created their own art: they used black ink and several brush sizes to paint Ink Landscapes based on a variety of landscape photos. The goals were accurate proportions and contour lines, “translation” of the color landscapes into various patterns, and richness of expression. No tracing was allowed: all paintings were done through keen observation. The resulting artwork captures both the feel of the landscape and the personality of the artists. You can see all student work by clicking on the link below.

G7 Ink Landscapes



Grade 7: Self-Portrait as a Spirit Animal

“Self-Portrait as a Spirit Animal” is a joint 7th Grade project between the Art and English programs. It illustrates a poem written in English class and serves as a cover for a portfolio of Autobiographical writing. The students looked at examples of historic anthropomorphic animal representations, ranging from Egyptian gods, medieval illuminated manuscripts (Le Roman de Renard), fable illustrations, and through contemporary comics, bandes dessinées, and animation. In their watercolor pencil illustrations they created their own anthropomorphic animals, combining human and animal traits. They designed full pages, incorporating text and a decorative border. To see all student work, click on the link below.

G7 Self-portraits



Grade 8: Photo Essays

In Art 8 we looked at the black and white work photography of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier- Bresson to understand composition, the use of light, the telling detail, the art of candid photography and the artists’ choice of particular subjects and themes: stark or ironic critiques of popular culture, portraits of America and France, geometric compositions and surrealism.  Students studied how to use light, depth of field, composition, and focus or lack of focus for effect as they experimented with digital photography. For the final project, each student created a digital photo essay of 4-6 photos on a theme of choice. You can see all student work by clicking below.

G8 Photo essays



Grade 8: Public Art Sculpture Maquettes​

Students in grade 8 are finishing a unit on public art maquettes.  For this project we posed the questions: What is the purpose of public art?  What public art can you envision in your neighborhood? Where? What? Students found a local site, took photos to serve as a back-drop for their scale model, and then designed a scale model sculpture appropriate to and reflecting the site.  To create their sculptures students chose and experimented with materials: wire mesh, wire, clay, plaster strips, wood, cardboard and paint; and for the ground and set of the sculpture: cardboard, sand, static grass, paint, cardboard, and scale model people to create the illusion of scale. The project includes an artist statement explaining how the sculpture reflects the site chosen, the concept of the work, and the process. Their work will be on display in the Middle School Library for two weeks after the vacation.