A Message from Mr. Michael – The Art Teacher

Hello FCMA Family,

I hope you are all enjoying this new sunny winter season:) We have been having as much fun as possible in art class this year.  Below you will find an update for each grade level on what we have done so far and what we are cooking up next.PIcs of Art

K-1 Early Elementary has been exploring and practicing color mixing, cutting/gluing, basic observational drawing, 3D paper construction, the nature of shapes, lines, texture, space, and confidence in their artistic abilities. Here is a list of some of our projects so far: Take a line for a walk (the nature of shapes and lines), experimenting with texture through leaf rubbing, fall landscapes, winter sunsets, 3d paper animals, observational drawings with photo references, all medium lesson about finding something beautiful, winter mittens, Pop up cards/displays, and  pages of brainstorms for the spring art show.

2-3 Lower Elementary dove right into art creation this year. Many students carried their art skills with them through the summer and could answer review questions and include art vocabulary!:) We have been focusing on developing confidence in art creation ability while making connections to art careers/ art history. Here is a list of some of our projects so far: Chalk galaxies(first great lesson), Lascaux cave pastels, paper sculpture insects, pattern design with emphasis on overlapping, observational drawings from photo references, snowflake designs with optional sculpture/ flight tests, Pop up cards/displays, and  pages of brainstorms for the spring art show.

4-6 Value–Upper Elementary does not ever disappoint with their thoughtful designs and comic relief. We kicked off the year with a demonstration from local wood sculptor, Alec LaCasse. The students had purposeful an polite questions for the artist and became enthralled with the soap carving lesson that followed. To prepare for this lesson we learned how to draw portraits with chalk from Edward Curtis photographs of Native Americans, then sketched all six views of our sculptures before carving them in soap. Here is a list of some of our other projects so far: one point perspective landscape watercolor paintings, drawing and building images with geometric forms, observational drawings from photo references, Pop up cards/displays, and pages of brainstorms for the spring art show

Middle School – The two middle school classes were able to vote this year on the direction that their art classes would take. The groups organized into a Digital/photo class and a class focusing on free expression. Below are brief synopses on the direction each class took so far.

Digital/Photo- This class began with serious discussions about culture and the impact of digital mediums. We then used the school iPods to find letterforms in nature at Rosie’s Park and then rearrange them with digital tools to create phrases. Next, we explored memes through meme creation. Although we had decided to explore some digital mediums we also added some traditional lessons like one point perspective landscape watercolor paintings, observational drawing of cute animals, and paper sculpture to mix things up.

Free Expression- In this class, we have been pursuing confidence and freedom while Destroying our inner critics. We started out at Rosie’s Park with some outdoor painting and drawing. Then became inspired by Scottish artist, Andy Goldsworthy which lead to temporary outdoor art installations made from natural found objects.  We performed many medium experiments and performed a silent Critique where each student practiced writing encouraging and constructive comments. We delved into observational drawing, landscape painting, Cubist abstraction, and some paper marbling as well.

Both middle school classes were instrumental in the designing of the yearly aerial group school photograph. They sketched/finalized the shape of the dove, mapped it out in the field, marked the field off with temporary fencing, and plotted out the shape guides for the students to stand on

On all Fridays up until January, a few middle school students elected to create and submit artwork for the Scholastics Art and Writing Competition. I would like to congratulate April Martlock, Alyssa Thompson, Mya Wallace, Michael Laabs, Nate Grose, and Arianna Bartek for completing and submitting 15 amazing works of art. All of your work was of the highest quality and I am so proud of each one of you. I would also like to congratulate Alyssa Thompson on winning a Silver Key for one of her photographs and representing our school at the Scholastics Art and Writing ExhibitIon held at the College for Creative Studies.


Doodle for Google* in all grade levels

*Doodle for Google is fun a design challenge and optional contest from Google’s Doodle team. This year’s theme is, “When I grow up, I hope…” and the winners will be chosen by Kermit the Frog and Jimmy Fallon:)  I will be collecting and submitting some ideas that stand out from each grade level and sending instructions home if your student wants to submit their design independently. For more info go to https://doodles.google.com/d4g/

Michael Chabot
Art Teacher