Thursday, February 11, 2016

Clay Face Jugs...Ugly Jugs

We have blogged about Face Jugs
History of Face Jug is in the link below
Face Jugs

The use of pottery jugs can be traced back beyond the Roman Empire. In a region like ours, where histories are often oral, tracing the origins of our traditions is tricky. Face jugs are one of the traditions that are an amalgam of many cultural influences. Amongst that rich history is the port of Charleston; the African tradition of using jug pots as headstones was brought to our culture through this port. Highly prized red glaze recipes from China also made their way to our region from the Charleston port. And even from the pubs of England came a long history and influence through their ever-charming Toby mugs.

Face jugs combine the utilitarian influences of early regional pottery with the unique imagination of individual pottery makers. In the mountains of Georgia, and the Catawba Valley, North Carolina, ugly faces, snakes and devils were added to Market Jugs beginning in the late 1800's. These embellished pots were used to buy & store liquor; the ominous features would scare children so they would not be tempted to try the contents.

I was afraid of what would come up when I Googled "ugly jugs", but with safe search, I found just what I was looking for. Jugs with faces date back to antiquity, but became an American folk art tradition. The time and place this tradition began depends on your source, and the jugs had several purported purposes which could all be valid.
More ugly faces, after the jump.

Jerry Brown heard that slaves made ugly jugs to distinguish the different liquids inside. Jugs with faces were for the ones you couldn't drink, such as kerosene.
Potter Jim McDowell heard the history of the jugs handed down through generations. According to family lore, ugly jugs were used by slaves as grave markers, made ugly to scare the devil away. McDowell's face jugs include messages, like this one that says "Don't judge the color of my skin; judge me by the content of my character."

According to Pawprint Pottery of Barnwell, South Carolina, ugly jugs were used to keep kids out of the moonshine. They were made as scary as possible for this purpose! These jugs with recycled porcelain teeth would do the trick.
Potters provided jugs for bootleggers during the 1920s, but made them with ugly faces to show their support for Prohibition.
The Smithsonian Institution doesn't know what purpose the ugly jugs served, but places their origin in South Carolina in the mid 1800s.
Most sources I found placed the face jug tradition as beginning in Edgefield, South Carolina, although they are also associated with Georgia and other southern states. Georgia artist Brian Wilson made these whistling face jugs.
American Folk Art and Framing places the origin of face jugs in the piedmont region of North Carolina and Georgia. They feature works by many different artists, including this cross-eyed face jug.
Clayton Bailey makes face jugs with runny noses!
Super lesson...try it out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What? Chop up my Art to Make a HEART?

Yes, the kids were required to chop up their art to make this heart. 
I did not start off with this project in my head, but this is where we ended up.  
Honestly, I was not happy with the first "Matisse Style" cut out art.  They looked unfinished.  So, I had an idea.  I pitched the idea to the kids.  With a little discussion, they decided to plunge in a new direction with their Matisse cut outs.
Here is the end result.

For the first class period, I talked about Henri Matisse.  I explained how he used cut-outs in his later years. 
The kids made "Matisse Style" cut-outs.

For the next class period, I showed them Matisse's heart below.
I told them that they had to cut a heart that shape out of a construction paper of their choice.
Some students struggled with this, but eventually all the students were able to cut a Matisse shaped heart.

Once we got the "base" heart cut out, the kids had to chop their art from last week into squares or rectangles.  I told them they had to glue the squares/rectangles on the paper and they could not touch each other.
Once the shock of chopping up art was over, the kids pretty much rocked the project.



Keeping the heart theme going with a song by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty singing "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Yayoi Kusama Inspired Hearts

We have blogged about Yayoi Kusama before check it out on the link below:
Valentines is upon us and we thought it would be fun to do a drawing inspired by Yayoi.
The students were shown reference photos of her art and we discussed some of the Elements and Principles she used.
Here is her website to learn more: 
The information below was taken from her website. Go there and check it out. You will be glad you did...good stuff!

Started to paint using polka dots and nets as motifs at around age ten ,and created fantastic paintings in watercolors, pastels and oils.

Went to the United States in 1957. Showed large paintings, soft sculptures, and environmental sculptures using mirrors and electric lights. In the latter 1960s, staged many happenings such as body painting festivals, fashion shows and anti-war demonstrations. Launched media-related activities such as film production and newspaper publication. In 1968, the film “Kusama's Self-Obliteration"which Kusama produced and starred in won a prize at the Fourth International Experimental Film Competition in Belgium and the Second Maryland Film Festival and the second prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Held exhibitions and staged happenings also in various countries in Europe.

Returned to Japan in 1973. While continuing to produce and show art works, Kusama issued a number of novels and anthologies. In 1983, the novel “The Hustlers Grotto of Christopher Street" won the Tenth Literary Award for New Writers from the monthly magazine Yasei Jidai.
In 1986, held solo exhibitions at the Musee Municipal, Dole and the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Calais, France, in 1989, solo exhibitions at the Center for International Contemporary Arts, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England. In 1993, participated in the 45th Venice Biennale.
Began to create open-air sculptures in 1994. Produced open-air pieces for the Fukuoka Kenko Center, the Fukuoka Municipal Museum of Art, the Bunka-mura on Benesse Island of Naoshima, Kirishima Open-Air Museum and Matsumoto City Museum of Art, , in front of Matsudai Station, Niigata,TGV's Lille-Europe Station in France, Beverly Gardens Park, Beverly hills, Pyeonghwa Park,
Anyang and a mural for the hallway at subway station in Lisbon.
Began to show works mainly at galleries in New York in 1996. A solo show held in New York in the same year won the Best Gallery Show in 1995/96 and the Best Gallery Show in 1996/97 from the International Association of Art Critics in 1996.

From1998 to 1999, a major retrospective of Kusama's works which opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art traveled to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

In 2000, Kusama won The Education Minister's Art Encouragement Prize and Foreign-Minister's Commendations. Her solo exhibition that started at Le Consortium in France in the same year traveled to Maison de la culture du Japon, Paris, KUNSTHALLEN BRANDTS ÆDEFABRIK, Denmark, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, KUNSTHALLE Wien, Art Sonje Center, Seoul.
Received the Asahi Prize in 2001, the Medal with Dark Navy Blue Ribbon in 2002, the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officier), and the Nagano Governor Prize (for the contribution in encouragement of art and culture) in 2003

In 2004, Her solo exhibition “KUSAMATRIX" started at Mori Museum in Tokyo. This exhibition drew visitors totaling 520,000 people. In the same year, another solo exhibition started at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo  In 2005, it traveled to The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto,
Matsumoto City Museum of Art.

Received the 2006 National Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Losette and The Praemium Imperiale -Painting- in 2006.
In 2008, Documentary film : “Yayoi Kusama, I adore myself" released in Japan and also screened at international film festival and museum. Exhibition tour started at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney in Australia in 2009, City Gallery Wellington in New Zealand. Conferred the honorary citizen of Matsumoto city.
Solo exhibition at Gagosian Gallery NY and LA, Victora Miro Gallery in London and Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan. Honored as Person of Cultural Merits in Japan 2009.

In 2010, solo exhibition and permanent outdoor sculpture at Towada Art Center in Japan.?Participation to Sydney Biennale and Aichi Triennale. Solo exhibition at Victoria Miro Gallery in London, fiac in Paris.

2011, solo exhibition at Gagosian gallery (Roma), Victoria Miro gallery (London). Europe and North America retrospective tour started at Museo  Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid traveling to Centre Pompidou (Paris), TATE MODERN (London) and Whitney Museum (New York). Solo exhibition at Watari Art Museum (Tokyo). In September, participate in the 2011 Chengdu Biennale (China). Programmed solo exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane) in November.

2012, “Eternity of Eternal Eternity", recent works solo national traveling show started at National Museum of Art, Osaka traveled to The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Nagano, Niigata City Art Museum. In the next year, it travel to Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Oita Art Museum and Museum of Art, Koch. Solo exhibition at Victoria Miro gallery (London). Shinjuku Honorary Citizen Award. The American Academy Of Arts and Letters Foreign Honorary Membership. Collaborated with Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs on collaborative collection “LOUIS VUITTON × YAYOI KUSAMA Collection".

2013, “Yayoi Kusama. Obsesión infinita [Infinite Obsession]", South America retrospective tour started at Malba - Fundacacion Constantini. It will travel to Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Centro Cultutal Banco do Brasil, Brasília, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo and Mexico City. “KUSAMA YAYOI, A Dream I Dreamed", recent works exhibition tour started at Daegu Art Museum, Korea. It will travel to Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Seoul Arts Centre, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Making Heart Stamps

A few weeks ago, I was rummaging through the art room closet and found a ton of hearts with a sticky back.  It occurred to me that Valentine's Day was coming up, so I decided to use them for the project below.  The project was for 4th grade.  It was total chaos, but we did manage to get the project done in one class period.   

Kids can get up to 5 hearts from the basket.

Kids pull the sticky off the back of the heart and glue on a 5" x 5" piece of paper.

Kids used the white ink first, then the black.
When using white ink, they made their print on black paper.
When using black ink, they made their print on white paper.

Last thing, they glued the black and white paper to the pink paper.

Here are the leftover stamps.  A big stack of Heart Attack-ack-ack-ack!

Here's Seth Avett (The Avett Brothers from Mount Pleasant, NC) singing, Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" with the echoing words Heart Attack-ack-ack-ack.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Art Elements and Character Education

How can we promote good Character in our school in an Art Elective class? I had this idea the other day. I always have early finishers. So, in between a Clay Face Jug Unit here and a Paper Mache Mask Unit here. I had a table set up for kids to help with these texture rubbings. I tried to think outside the box and make a connection with Texture and Character Education Words. This 15 to 20 minute down time before the next studio project can be tricky. I like to use it to help with school wide projects. We have done posters for Positively Post It to helping create signs for a sporting event.

I printed the Character Education words out on copy paper. Had texture templates for kids to use. We chose only blue'ish themed colors to go along with our school's hashtag for the year #TRUEBLUEMACLAY. This was a great lesson to just interact with the kids.

I try to sit down with the kids on occasion and we will discuss issues that come up. You all know how art classes just get relaxed and REALLY talk. This particular lesson brought about a ton of information on social media. What to and not to post. What to like and not like and what to share and not share. The Arts are a great way to send a message and help offer guidance in an informal way to students. My brain is twirling thinking of other ways to incorporate the character education words. This made a super cute bulletin board with a message that packed a punch!