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Dioramas

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  • Katherine Abrams
    Dear Ken and Group: I agree that dioramas are highly engaging. Some of the questions I have always had about dioramas are: Is this kind of art is different
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 30, 2012
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      Dear Ken and Group:

      I agree that dioramas are highly engaging. Some of the questions I have always had about dioramas are:

      Is this kind of art is different from play? If it is, how? Artists may be thinking satirically or making connections to either childhood, ideals, social issues, or politics. Sandy Skoglund is a good artist exemplar.  Are our student artists doing this, and if not, what distinguishes it from toy setups they create at home? How to discuss this on a second-grade level? Is it okay for my classroom to be a playroom for this project?

      If dioramas are not very different from play, what connections make it appropriate for my classroom? It's a great aesthetic question -- if an artist is playing, is she still creating real art? Is this because she says it's art, as did Marcel Duchamp? Is it art simply because the students are cooperatively making a composition that tells a story?

      And then -- I have this problem with collage as well - how to teach the aesthetics of composition when the elements are already given. Very often I find the results unappealing. I do look for meaningful ways to discuss positive and negative (or "boring") space. What is the focus of the composition and the path the eye takes around it? But I don't have a silver bullet for this problem yet.

      Other comments?

      Kathie Abrams
    • Kathleen Maledon
      Wow! Lots of layers...Skolund s work jumps from historical dioramas to surrealism/fantasy/etc. I imagine the textures, colors, and depth (though playful)
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 30, 2012
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        Wow!  Lots of layers...Skolund's work jumps from historical dioramas to surrealism/fantasy/etc.  I imagine the textures, 
        colors, and depth (though playful) would be what you would discuss.  I find that when I first introduce art that is fun
        and playful like Acrimboldo, there is a shy smile that the kids get.  Like, "we can laugh at art" - that is a powerful message.
        Especially if their art backgrounds have only included the 'masters',  The old saying, "Play is a child's work.", seems 
        appropriate here.  Imagination is an integral part of play.  Dioramas offer a large assortment of skills for small kids:
        scale, manipulating paper, adhesive usage, selecting compositional solutions, etc. with the biggest one of
        being able to handle the scope of such a multi-stepped project (all planes must be taken into consideration).

        I don't understand how collage has all the elements given.  Layering, color considerations like scheme and weights, textures, unity, and
        interest come to the fore.  Maybe, teaching kids to try new layouts by just keeping the pieces unglued would help.  As they experiment
        with the loose pieces, you can go around and have private consultations suggesting new and more interesting alternatives.
        I usually do a collage by creating papers and a textured or color-filled background.  I also tell them they have to have one element
        that unifies the piece (and be able to articulate it to me).  Hopes this sets your mind awhirling and is somewhat in the ballpark
        of your question.  k


        On Jun 30, 2012, at 8:06 AM, Katherine Abrams wrote:

        Dear Ken and Group:


        I agree that dioramas are highly engaging. Some of the questions I have always had about dioramas are:

        Is this kind of art is different from play? If it is, how? Artists may be thinking satirically or making connections to either childhood, ideals, social issues, or politics. Sandy Skoglund is a good artist exemplar.  Are our student artists doing this, and if not, what distinguishes it from toy setups they create at home? How to discuss this on a second-grade level? Is it okay for my classroom to be a playroom for this project?

        If dioramas are not very different from play, what connections make it appropriate for my classroom? It's a great aesthetic question -- if an artist is playing, is she still creating real art? Is this because she says it's art, as did Marcel Duchamp? Is it art simply because the students are cooperatively making a composition that tells a story?

        And then -- I have this problem with collage as well - how to teach the aesthetics of composition when the elements are already given. Very often I find the results unappealing. I do look for meaningful ways to discuss positive and negative (or "boring") space. What is the focus of the composition and the path the eye takes around it? But I don't have a silver bullet for this problem yet.

        Other comments?

        Kathie Abrams


      • Brandy
        ... I wanted to address just this question- because I am a college artist who makes incredibly, intricate art works out of pre-existing materials.
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 1 7:10 AM
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          > And then -- I have this problem with collage as well - how to teach the
          > aesthetics of composition when the elements are already given. Very often I
          > find the results unappealing. I do look for meaningful ways to discuss
          > positive and negative (or "boring") space. What is the focus of the
          > composition and the path the eye takes around it? But I don't have a silver
          > bullet for this problem yet.

          > Kathie Abrams

          I wanted to address just this question- because I am a college artist who makes incredibly, intricate art works out of pre-existing materials. http://www.uuworld.org/spirit/articles/23900.shtml (not the best color representation of the piece, but you get the idea.) Most people assume I photo manipulate my supplies to get them the size or color I need, but I work with what I have and the results can be just as pleasing as any painting, but this is kids we're working with; Not grown artists.

          Collage can be a force to teach different skills than positive and negative space. If that is the goal than I think college is a poor medium, *BUT* if your goal is balance in a piece, movement and flow of the eye, or contrast and focal points, than I think you have a winner. Because the artist isn't as attached to that 1 hour drawing of the person in the corner, they can more objectively see their piece of off balanced. And they can do something about it! They move it, and they can see, without penalty as the case is, that their piece is more powerful and just easier to look at with elements moved around. Collage is a powerful tool for teaching these essential skills of editing.
          It gets kids thinking about the big picture of their project. Because this is the change can occur when working with collage, most "process oriented" kids don't get as much from collage as older kids who are "product oriented". You can still teach these skills to them, but I allow them to paint their background and then use collaged images as the actors on the stage. We do exercises where they move the pieces around, get feedback from their table mates. More than 80%, I would guess, will increase their understanding of eye flow and off balancing focal points. 20% will just wait until we do again next year to really "get" it.
          I don't believe every art principle can be taught using every medium, and collage is a fine example of the limitations mediums can have.
          Regards,
          Brandy
        • MarciaB
          Brandy, I totally agree with all you ve said. I love collage because it is so accessible to children and they can easily do it at home. Collage is also one
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 1 10:30 AM
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            Brandy, I totally agree with all you've said. I love collage because it is so accessible to children and they can easily do it at home. Collage is also one of my preferred art forms in my personal work. For anyone who is interested in learning more about collage, I recently bought the book "The Collage Workbook" which I recommend. It has 50 activities for collage and the artwork is beautiful! You can peek inside the book on amazon.com. I may use some of these activities in my class.

            >
            > I wanted to address just this question- because I am a college artist who makes incredibly, intricate art works out of pre-existing materials. http://www.uuworld.org/spirit/articles/23900.shtml (not the best color representation of the piece, but you get the idea.) Most people assume I photo manipulate my supplies to get them the size or color I need, but I work with what I have and the results can be just as pleasing as any painting, but this is kids we're working with; Not grown artists.
            >
            > Collage can be a force to teach different skills than positive and negative space. If that is the goal than I think college is a poor medium, *BUT* if your goal is balance in a piece, movement and flow of the eye, or contrast and focal points, than I think you have a winner. Because the artist isn't as attached to that 1 hour drawing of the person in the corner, they can more objectively see their piece of off balanced. And they can do something about it! They move it, and they can see, without penalty as the case is, that their piece is more powerful and just easier to look at with elements moved around. Collage is a powerful tool for teaching these essential skills of editing.
            > It gets kids thinking about the big picture of their project. Because this is the change can occur when working with collage, most "process oriented" kids don't get as much from collage as older kids who are "product oriented". You can still teach these skills to them, but I allow them to paint their background and then use collaged images as the actors on the stage. We do exercises where they move the pieces around, get feedback from their table mates. More than 80%, I would guess, will increase their understanding of eye flow and off balancing focal points. 20% will just wait until we do again next year to really "get" it.
            > I don't believe every art principle can be taught using every medium, and collage is a fine example of the limitations mediums can have.
            > Regards,
            > Brandy
            >
          • Ken
            I feel that as long as the verb, create is used it is probably an art form. Putting together models without painting is probably not art until you paint
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 1 12:26 PM
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              I feel that as long as the verb, "create" is used it is probably an art form. Putting together models without painting is probably not art until you paint them. Setting the painted models in an environment that students create is certainly art.

              If all they were doing is putting together unpainted models and then playing with them, then I wouldn't distinguish that from play. If students are putting together models that are painted in a setting / environment that they create, then that's art.

              An added bonus is the integration into other subject areas the lesson affords. For example, it integrates into language arts if they are creating a Harry Potter diorama. It integrates into science if it's an environment in nature they are creating.

              Ken

              --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, Katherine Abrams <kathabrams@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Ken and Group:
              >
              > I agree that dioramas are highly engaging. Some of the questions I have
              > always had about dioramas are:
              >
              > Is this kind of art is different from play? If it is, how? Artists may be
              > thinking satirically or making connections to either childhood, ideals,
              > social issues, or politics. Sandy Skoglund is a good artist exemplar. Are
              > our student artists doing this, and if not, what distinguishes it from toy
              > setups they create at home? How to discuss this on a second-grade level? Is
              > it okay for my classroom to be a playroom for this project?
              >
              > If dioramas are not very different from play, what connections make it
              > appropriate for my classroom? It's a great aesthetic question -- if an
              > artist is playing, is she still creating real art? Is this because she says
              > it's art, as did Marcel Duchamp? Is it art simply because the students are
              > cooperatively making a composition that tells a story?
              >
              > And then -- I have this problem with collage as well - how to teach the
              > aesthetics of composition when the elements are already given. Very often I
              > find the results unappealing. I do look for meaningful ways to discuss
              > positive and negative (or "boring") space. What is the focus of the
              > composition and the path the eye takes around it? But I don't have a silver
              > bullet for this problem yet.
              >
              > Other comments?
              >
              > Kathie Abrams
              >
            • fa_fadira@yahoo.com
              Dear all, Let me introduce myself first, I m a Visual Art teacher from Sekolah Cikal in Jakarta, Indonesia. I wanna share a picture of Diorama s that my
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 1 12:53 PM
              Dear all,
              Let me introduce myself first, I'm a Visual Art teacher from Sekolah Cikal in Jakarta, Indonesia.

              I wanna share a picture of Diorama's that my student created.

              I integrate the making of diorama to their classroom unit of inquiry which is Ecosystem.

              The students are divided into 4 different groups of ecosystem which is lake, rice field, river and pond. Then they have to plan together with the group how they are going to create the diorama also decide who's the one making the animals.

              The materials we use is just cardboard box and play dough.

              I hope this helps.

              Thank you.
              Ayu Fadira :)
              Sent from my BlackBerry®
              powered by Sinyal Kuat INDOSAT

              From: "Ken" <kenroar@...>
              Sender: art_education@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2012 19:26:51 -0000
              To: <art_education@yahoogroups.com>
              ReplyTo: art_education@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [art_education] Re: Dioramas

               

              I feel that as long as the verb, "create" is used it is probably an art form. Putting together models without painting is probably not art until you paint them. Setting the painted models in an environment that students create is certainly art.

              If all they were doing is putting together unpainted models and then playing with them, then I wouldn't distinguish that from play. If students are putting together models that are painted in a setting / environment that they create, then that's art.

              An added bonus is the integration into other subject areas the lesson affords. For example, it integrates into language arts if they are creating a Harry Potter diorama. It integrates into science if it's an environment in nature they are creating.

              Ken

              --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, Katherine Abrams <kathabrams@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Ken and Group:
              >
              > I agree that dioramas are highly engaging. Some of the questions I have
              > always had about dioramas are:
              >
              > Is this kind of art is different from play? If it is, how? Artists may be
              > thinking satirically or making connections to either childhood, ideals,
              > social issues, or politics. Sandy Skoglund is a good artist exemplar. Are
              > our student artists doing this, and if not, what distinguishes it from toy
              > setups they create at home? How to discuss this on a second-grade level? Is
              > it okay for my classroom to be a playroom for this project?
              >
              > If dioramas are not very different from play, what connections make it
              > appropriate for my classroom? It's a great aesthetic question -- if an
              > artist is playing, is she still creating real art? Is this because she says
              > it's art, as did Marcel Duchamp? Is it art simply because the students are
              > cooperatively making a composition that tells a story?
              >
              > And then -- I have this problem with collage as well - how to teach the
              > aesthetics of composition when the elements are already given. Very often I
              > find the results unappealing. I do look for meaningful ways to discuss
              > positive and negative (or "boring") space. What is the focus of the
              > composition and the path the eye takes around it? But I don't have a silver
              > bullet for this problem yet.
              >
              > Other comments?
              >
              > Kathie Abrams
              >

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