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My Artworks
     
     
 

School Days

 

Canvas, acrylic paint, hot glue, pencil, photographs

36 inches x 48 inches

 

 

This drawing was inspired by William Wegman’s work with postcard extensions. I started by choosing 8 photographs of my students creating art and 3 photographs from when my grandmother was in school. I hot glued them onto a canvas and began extending them with pencil to create one fluid picture. Once I had all of the lines sketched out, I began painting with acrylic paint.

This picture reminds me of the change in the norm of being in your seat and quiet in the classroom. Now my students work on tables, on the floor and even outside. At times, it seems like chaos and the students are too busy socializing to be learning. I think the connection between the old photographs and the newer ones shows that while the learning process has changed, students are still engaged in the learning process.

 

Lunch Anyone?

 

Paper, glue, tape

2 feet x 2 feet x 4 ½ feet

(Lunch Anyone? Detail)

 

This piece was created in the style of Claes Oldenburg. I wanted to make a large lunch sack from cafeteria ID cards. I began by making a large sack out of paper and tape and then covered the sack with printed ID cards. I wanted to address the issue of the change in providing meals for children. When I was in school, most students packed their lunch or went home for a hot lunch everyday. The school did not provide breakfast; parents made breakfast for their children before they went to school. Now, almost all of the students at my school go through the cafeteria line for lunch and breakfast. (In fact, 85% of the students are on free and reduced lunches.) They have to wait in these huge lines just to get their food and then must have this card to scan to be able to get the food. I thought making a lunch sack out of these ID cards that they have to have to get food would symbolize this transition from having parents who took the time to pack a lunch and provide food for their students’ lunches to having parents who send their children to school hungry to receive the 2 main (only meals) they have a day.

 

Discipline

 

Pen and ink on paper

24 inches x 36 inches

 

When I was creating this piece, I thought about all the ways that discipline has changed since I was in school. I remember my teachers having students who misbehaved come to the front of the room to be paddled. While my school is one of the few that still use corporal punishment, there are many strategies that are employed before a student is ever paddled. I started this piece by drawing a paddle shape on my paper. I then filled in the paddle shape with all the discipline procedures that are used at my school instead of paddling.

Behind Tinted Glass

 

Colored pencil, construction paper, glue, marker, pencil

12 inches x 18 inches (each)

 

This piece was inspired by a recent school bus ride and incorporated the conceal and reveal play strategy. I thought about how I always see buses on my way to work but I cannot see inside them because of the tinted windows. I often wonder what is actually going on inside those buses. I remembered back to when I was in school and had to ride the bus. There were rules posted about staying in your seat, not eating, not chewing gum and not being in the aisle way. The bus was kept very quiet then. Recently I had to ride one of the school buses to go on a field trip and was amazed at the changes in the rules. Students were allowed to eat and drink, chew gum, and change seats while the bus was moving. When the trip was over, I asked the bus driver about what I had encountered and he told me that was normal and regaled stories of fights and inappropriate relations between students. This was definitely not what I had pictured all those days that I followed the bus to school.

I started by making two school buses out of construction paper. One looked like the bus that I had once ridden; low-back seats and clear windows. The other bus looked like the one I took on the field trip; high-back seats and tinted windows. I then traced these two buses onto white drawing paper and began to draw what I saw inside the different buses. The first was filled with students in their proper seats, sitting calmly. The second was filled with students in the aisle way, eating, drinking and fighting. With these two pieces the viewer is able to lift away the facade of the buses to reveal the behavior inside.

 

Raise Your Hand

 

Construction paper, cardboard, acrylic paint, marker, colored pencil, pencil, styrofoam, hot glue and drinking straws

 

24 inches x 30 inches x 15 inches

 

 

This piece focuses on the norm of raising your hand in school. I cannot think of any other place where I must raise my hand for something. I began this project by asking my students why they raised their hands at school. They gave various answers from asking a question to being quiet to making art. After this discussion, each student traced his/her hand and was allowed to decorate it in a way that expressed them. Students were given complete artist freedom when it came to how they decorated their hands and even what they could write on them. When my students completed their hands, I hot glued them to drinking straws. Then my students and I discussed what I should do with all of these hands. We made the decision together that the hands should be doing something related to school. I decided that I wanted the hands to stick up out of a school since that is where we raise our hands the most.