Light and Shadow Exploration

The children of room 3 at the Gilliate building have been studying light and shadows, and the correlation to photography. In continuing their explorations, they photographed themselves, teachers, peers, and items within an isolated area of the studio. In this area were large mirrors, small hanging mirrors, flashlights, and transparent items that were used in manipulating their photography in ways that would promote their curiosity!!! 

Patrick: I see a shadow.


Where did it come from?

Patrick: The light, because it’s dark!



In continuing our light and shadow explorations, children from rooms 3 and 5 went out to find, and materialize their shadows! We took turns tracing each other’s shadows and then filled the outline using spray bottles of paint. We observed how our shadows moved and discussed where they went when they had disappeared. We weren’t sure if we’d ever seen a blue shadow before!!!

Arden: The shadow is gone because the light is gone! The sun is light and your body is darker than the sun.

La’Miya: It movin’ because we walkin’.

Juai: I’m spraying the shadow.


We are making our shadow blue! Have you ever seen a blue shadow before?!

 Juai: No.


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TAG at the IMA

As if having a classroom at the Indianapolis Museum of Art wasn’t enough; we are thrilled to be able to collaborate with the IMA and its teaching artists!!! The TAG program gives students a chance to visit and explore the museum, its grounds, and to implement newfound ideas into their explorations back at school. With our first visits, students from our Thompson and Lab School sites have shown great intrigue in visiting the grounds, collecting natural materials, meeting new animal friends, and connecting their findings to their artistic ambitions!


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New Interests

As the children become more and more acquainted with their schools and classrooms, new interests are becoming ever so apparent. From these interests blossom provocation, investigation, and discovery. From these bloom each child’s individual understanding of how THEY learn best. In fostering this continued growth, we have been exploring new and familiar artistic mediums with which we can support the fascinations of each classroom. Whether it has been while photographing plant life in support of botanical studies, or simply having our first experiences with clay and the firing process… watching the children play the largest role in their own growth and learning is truly an incredible thing to behold!!!

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Energy Exploring the Staples

It has been an amazing experience getting to know all of the children at our different sites. The energy and eagerness to engage with artistic provocation has been inspiring and I can’t wait to see what magnificent ideas blossom in the near future. In the meantime, we have been exploring materials that will become staples in the children’s studio experiences… and that support the amazing, child-driven themes of our classrooms!

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Visits to the IMA

This week we wrapped up our monthly visits to the IMA at the Gilliatte building by heading out to the 100 Acres Art and Nature Park on the grounds of the IMA.  While at the 100 Acres, we had the opportunity to look at several large-scale installations as well as enjoying the opportunity to run in some wide open spaces.  The children were particularly intrigued by the floating island or igloo house in the middle of the lake, and the tunnel leading up to the Park of the Laments, which has a pretty awesome echo chamber.

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May 11-15

We continued to work on basket weaving with Laura’s, Zuleyka’s, and Juliana’s classes.
We took a trip out to the 100 Acres for our last visit this year to the IMA.
We painted outside with watercolors and experimented with color mixing by trying to match the colors we find in nature.
We visited the IMA for the last time this year and worked with clay.  Students received certificates of completion for their participation in the TAG program this year.
We finished painting the smaller pieces for Kissiey and Alicia’s city bus project.
We painted hollowed-out eggs in Megan’s class and tried to come up with creative names for birds that might lay our painted eggs.
We visited the IMA for the last time this year and made collages out of triangular shapes, rope, and yarn.
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Studio Update April 13-17



In Juliana’s class,we worked on placing our clay people in the city we are building. We made a platform for some of our buildings, and added papercut buildings to the city.  Next week we will add LED lights to backlight our city.


We enjoyed a visit from Phil O’Malley, a guest artist, who helped the children to make paintings in response to the book, Who Makes the Sun Rise.





In Kyle’s class we constructed people out of clay as part of their human body exploration. 


In Marcy’s class we worked with Fimo clay to construct small clay pots that will serve as small hanging planters to add some “spring” to the classroom.





In Kissiey’s class we began construction of city buses out of clay.  Next week children will work with family members to build larger scale buses out of air dry clay.


We visited the IMA and spent time in the studio playing the drums and painting in response to the music.  We enjoyed a special visit from a guest artist from Uganda, Sister Sabina.


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Telling Stories with Clay

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Studio Happenings

We finished painting clay cats in Jessie’s classes, and in Juliana’s classes, we finished painting the clay people for the city the children are building.
In Laura’s class, they explored the parts of doors using a small magnet board, some Velcro, and pictures of the parts of doors.
Jessie and Bryan’s classes began making masks in response to some of the artwork we saw last week at the IMA.
We had our first visit from our IMA artist as part of our participation in the TAG Along program with the IMA and Arts for Learning.
We made some clay bowls using coil, pinch, and slab techniques.  These will be part of St. Mary’s contribution to a large event in the spring hosted by an SMCC board member.
We visited the IMA and explored the piece, “The Floor.”
We made some clay bowls using coil, pinch, and slab techniques.  These will be part of St. Mary’s contribution to a large event in the spring hosted by an SMCC board member.
We visited the IMA and explored the African gallery.  One of our students even played the drums in the gallery along with one of our teaching artists.
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Studio News

Students in Jessie’s class constructed cats out of clay and some began to paint their cats, as a part of their ongoing exploration of cats in their classroom.
Students in Juliana’s class added to their bottle cap city by constructing people out of clay.  We also began to install the city in the studio so we can add to it while keeping it safe and protected.
We went to the IMA with Bryan’s and Jessie’s classes to look at examples of masks and pottery in preparation for our studio work next week.
In Kyle’s class we learned how artists, like Chris Raschka, use gesture drawings to quickly sketch what they see around them.  We used a drawing mannequin or figure to practice gesture drawings, then observed what we saw around us to make gesture drawings.  We went back and added details to our gesture drawings by using watercolors.
In Marcy’s class, we explored primary colors and the ways in which they combine to form new colors.  We also continued constructing a color wheel using materials from the Remida.
We went to the IMA to learn how to make mobiles from recycled materials.
In Kissiey’s and Brandi’s classes, we learned how to use plaster to make our own masks.  Students also explored light using flexible LED light strips connected to a dial that allowed them to manipulate the color and pulsing of the lights.
We went to the IMA to learn about the visual rhythms present in artwork from the continent of Africa.  We took a closer look at weaving and the image of a crocodile that appeared in a lot of the pieces we observed.
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