My 3D classes are in the midst of completing a unit I created on figure sculpture. Their projects will have your jaws dropping in no time, just wait for it! :) So this one started last year when I spent a day in Ms. Traci Mims' art room at Ribault High School. I saw these super intriguing translucent body parts hanging in her classroom window with the sun shining through and just had to find out more!
She shared her process with me and I turned it into a beautiful monster of a lesson for my students!
Being the art history nerd that Ms. Holloway happens to be, of course I prefaced this project with tons of 'need-to-know' information on figure sculptures from the past. I mean we went the whole gamut y'all- from Egypt to Greece, to Rome, to the Renaissance, and almost everything between then and now. The JWJ artists can discuss figure sculptures from different continents and time periods, and even tell you the who's, what's, and why's behind each one.
Take Degas' iconic Little Dancer for example and see how many times and in how many ways it has effected intellectual conversation on so many social topics and issues relevant right now.
Look at how the Venus de Milo has influenced Jeff Koons ... We also talked about how artists are able to make unique and original artwork while still carrying over connections from the past.
Culturally, emotionally, and aesthetically, there are a range of smART conversations that can be sparked by comparing, contrasting, describing, analyzing, interpreting, and reflecting on these two monumental works of art by Auguste Rodin and (Ms. Holloway's personal favorite) Kehinde Wiley.
Watch the video from the Hayward Gallery below to hear first hand from contemporary artists about their work in regards to this very subject. This video led to a very higher order classroom discussion.
Okay, okay, okay, now for the fun stuff ... After being certain that all the JWJ artists understood the objective behind why figure sculptures are important and what our society has learned from creating and studying them throughout the decades, we finally got to work making our own!
The students got into groups and came up with a MOOD that they could render through a physical posture as the basis of their figure sculpture. (Did I mention yet that the only supplies needed for this project are packaging tape and scissors? Oh! AND a willing human figure model, of course!)
Safety first, Physical Education and Health standards second! As most of you know, ALL of my lesson plans are cross-curricular, and this project was no exception. We went over Sunshine State standards from Visual Art, World History, Math, PE, and Health. (I promise they are having fun while learning!)
What kind of mood or message do YOU read from viewing these figure sculptures?
Lastly, we discussed the roles that site and "place" play in art, most particular, in public art.
My students have learned extensively about the importance of public art from day one in my room. We have extra credit opportunities every month that relate to local public art and cultural events. This time, the students studied how the site of a sculpture adds to it's purpose and how viewers perceive it's meaning.
Each group had to come up with a location on our JWJ campus where their figure sculpture would make sense. We are still in the process of asking permission for each individual group's "site" to be approved, but so far, take a look at these stellar sculptures and see if you notice whether or not their placement plays a significant role in how they are interpreted.
Do you have suggestions for the artists as to where some of their sculptures should be installed? These aren't even half of them either, you guys! Be sure to check back in again soon to see the rest of these packaging tape masterpieces. (There's a ceiling bound spiderman figure still in the works ... !)
!!! No one has ever said we don't have fun while learning and creating in Ms. Holloway's art room !!!