Submitted by:Marica Shannon, Mitchell Middle School, South Dakota UNIT: Sculpture - Art with a Message – Pop Art 1960’s PROJECT: Relief sculpture with text - What is on Your Mind?
Objectives: The learner will
Understand how an artist gets ideas
Critique works of art
Use a variety of sources to gain an understanding of a artist and/or and arts form
Combine the elements of two or more arts forms to communicate ideas or information
Create a work around a selected theme
Integrate planning- develop and use personal symbols/words
Develop skills: sculpture and collage – plaster addition
Understand and use sculpture vocabulary
Create a relief sculpture that demonstrates what is on a teenager’s mind (students will be free to express ideas –concept of censorship will be discussed in terms of offensive language or ideas. "Sensation" exhibit will be mentioned)
Sheet Styrofoam is very inexpensive - and often free as packing materials. I used sheet Styrofoam for many sculpture projects.
View work of George Segal (See Resources below). Discuss what Segal was trying to do…showing a "Slice of Life." Discuss the different themes in Segal’s work. What was Segal trying to tell us about society? What message was he trying to communicate?
Brainstorm... Hunt through magazines and newspapers. Find words that spark a thought in your head…. tear out pages that have words on them that appeal to you. Study the words you have selected- Can you find a theme relevant to today’s society? As a homework assignment - look for a minimum of five additional words that mesh in with a selected theme.
Make plaster face form. Apply two layers of plaster gauze over plastic face form. Put name on inside of form with a piece of masking tape (store in assigned cupboard).
Draw interesting contour for sculpture base on 12"x18" (30.5 x 46 cm) newsprint. Trace contour onto Dow Styrofoam by pressing hard with an ink pen
Cut base contour using hot wire (could use scroll saw)
Tape cut off pieces onto the base in a different location (ex: translation- slide from bottom edge to top edge). Add any additional cut Styrofoam pieces with masking tape (from scrap bins).
Create interesting relief (raised up) areas with pieces of window screen – note the organic qualities that can be achieved with the medium. Tape screen shapes in place. Plan where mask face will go.
Glue plaster face to desired location on base. It should be placed to create a focal point.
Apply plaster gauze to entire surface of base and to raised up shapes. Be sure to wrap around the edges to create a neater look. Secure lip/edges at base of plaster face with gauze strips.
Get ideas for color and theme to present with words you have selected. Use Word to create additional words for collage.
Paint entire surface of sculpture with Gesso (or white paint) – use the 1" to 2" (2.5 - 5 cm) house paintbrushes. Allow to dry (look for additional words).
Enter any words still needed for collage into Word®– select fonts that will enhance your sculpture.
Cut out words…collage onto sculpture to accentuate the curves of the sculpture….make them visually appealing.
Optional – subdue the words with a light coat of pearl or white spray paint. Optional: Apply Tissue paper collage over sculptures (Note: most students left theirs white)
Censorship issues…any words not appropriate for school must be painted out. Spray paint will be available to paint entire sculptures if necessary (I had two students use inappropriate song lyrics - parents gave them permission to bring the lyrics in - I still censored the work. The two students liked theirs painted metallic better, anyway).
Attach fish line and cardboard squares (holes punched in) on back for hanging. (we hot glued the cardboard to the back - tied the fish line through punched holes). Critique work (student handout) You can try hot glue - or use tacky glue and wait a day to tie on fish line. Hang on bulletin board with two T-pins for each sculpture.
Optional: View video on Claes Oldenburg for a different perspective on sculpture of the 1960’s (I used this as a substitute lesson for a professional day I was out)
George Segal - This book shows Segal at work creating his unique sculptures along with some of his work.
George Segal - The 132 illustrations in this volume convey the impact of Segal's works and chart his course as one of America's most influential sculptors.
1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
2. Using knowledge of structures and functions
3. Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
5. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices
Students generalize about the effects of visual structures and functions and reflect upon these effects in their own work
Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks
Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
(Students learned about Art Therapy as
Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas
Students employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas
Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks
Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry
Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas
Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures
Here are some suggestions for use by art education list members.
From Marvin Bartel:
1. PAINTINGS. Seal it with Gesso or water base flat wall paint and use it to paint on. Most spray paint or oil paint solvents will dissolve Styrofoam unless it is protected first.
2. PRINTS. For printing, avoid lines. Try poking it down with a ball point or pencil to make pointillist highlights.
2. SCULPTURE. Both free standing sculpture and relief work comes to mind. It can be cut with sharp box cutter knives, utility knives, a band saw, or with a hot wire (probably toxic fumes). Assemble sculpture with white glue and tape. The tape can be removed the next day.
I might browse the drywall tape department of a building supply store for various texturing materials for walls with which to coat the completed Styrofoam pieces. An assortment of dowel rods to combine with the Styrofoam shapes could facilitate planar-linear constructions and relief compositions with negative positive interplay. Wheels would be fun.
I would Google the images of Louise Nevelson and Moholy-Nagy to tickle my own thinking about the kind of questions to ask and compositional choices to pose in order to get them thinking and experimenting. I might requiring a concept such as IMAGES or SHAPES in MOTION by using repetition with variation. I would not show the Nevelson and Nagy work until after they had developed their ideas and completed their pieces. This would facilitate an art history and composition discussion to build on their own creative work.
Currently, there is (was) a David Smith show at the Guggenheim. In today's art world I suspect we would find more figurative work, animals, symbols, and so on.