Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Creating with iMotion HD for iPad

Arts 2012 from Samantha Melvin on Vimeo.

In class today, I needed a sample video to demonstrate how iMotion HD works, so I created this short. I have students who are working on a claymation project and I think this tool will work really well! It is a free app, and I was able to export to Vimeo, as you can see. How will you use iMotion HD with your art students?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Learning through Art with Jacob Lawrence

Our art classroom discussions since the start of school have been about art, how we all interact, and how artists represent the variety of relationships we have through art. As part of the focus, we used Jacob Lawrence's piece, The Builders, as a springboard for conversation about collaboration.

In a press release issued for an art exhibition of the Builders series in 2011, DC Moore Gallery wrote: "Jacob Lawrence: Builders features paintings, drawings, and prints that communicate the artist’s belief in the possibility of building a better world through skill, ingenuity, hard work, and collaboration. For the last three decades of his life, Lawrence (1917-2000) consistently pursued the Builders theme, creating a sequence of vibrant modernist images that highlight his pervasive humanist vision. The Builders concept first appeared in Lawrence’s work in the mid-1940s, but assumed greater importance in the late 1960s and soon became a major focus. His subjects were carpenters, cabinetmakers, bricklayers, and construction workers in a variety of workaday and family situations. Overall, they came to symbolize some of his larger ideas about American culture, hope, persistence, and the shared responsibility for transforming society, inspired, as he once said, by his 'own observations of the human condition.'"

Jacob Lawrence wrote: "I like the symbolism. … I think of it as man’s aspiration, as a constructive tool— man building. "

We, in turn, think about his work and discuss what it means to build a collaborative environment where we are safe to create and exchange ideas. That is what the Fine Arts Studio aims to be.

As an extension of the conversation, and to learn more about Jacob Lawrence and his work, take a look at this Artsology online art game, comparing two images of Lawrence's Builders. The website is a great resource about art history, as well. Click here: Artsology Jacob Lawrence art game

Image source:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A New Tool for Advocacy

I recently discovered a new tool for sharing information on the web. It is from Smore which allows us to create online flyers which can be embedded into blogs and websites, shared via Facebook and Twitter, and emailed to a distribution list. I created one to share with members of the Texas Art Education Association as a reminder of our TASA/TASB convention art exhibit. I love how easy it was to create. I see lots of possibilities for sharing news and announcements with parents and colleagues, as well as publicizing art events and opportunities for the art education association. In case you were wondering, the TASA/TASB convention is for Texas superintendents and school board members to learn more about best practices, new ideas in education and participate in workshops and presentations. TAEA participates annually through an art exhibit of K-12 student work from across the state. This is a great advocacy opportunity for schools and districts around the state as board members and superintendents search high and low for their district's art work. They want their district represented! And we, in turn, are there to advocate for art education. The new deadline is September 15th! If you are a TAEA member, be sure to register online and mail your students' work to me directly. There is information in the TAEA YAM booklet on the TAEA website. If you would like to become a member of TAEA, you can join online at