Tuesday, 16 September 2014

It's "Ask A Curator Day"!

#NipRockArt students, do you know what a curator is?  Get ready to find out.  Wednesday, September 17th is "Ask a Curator Day", and we'll be learning all about their roles & responsibilities by following the conversation on Twitter.

Grade 9 & 10, this is a great opportunity to become more familiar with people whose careers are focused on collecting and presenting art.  Grade 11, are there any questions you may have that relate to your Traditional vs. Contemporary Art assignment?

Take a look at the list of museums and galleries that are participating in the day's events:  "#AskACurator: Who to Ask".  Do you think that certain galleries may be able to answer your questions?

~ Don't forget to include #NipRockArt in your tweets! ~

A special thanks to Stacey Wallwin, who shared the information!

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Art Assignment

Whoa!  Grade 11 #NipRockArt students, you have to check this out:

Did you hear what they said about contemporary art?  ...and about traditional art?  Does it remind you of our Traditional vs. Contemporary Art assignment?  (I hope so)

I know I'll be exploring some of the great work that The Art Assignment has shared:  on Tumblr, (also: responses on Tumblr), on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Facebook.  You should, too!

Next week, we'll discuss how this relates to our latest project, and how it may influence your research as well as your art.  



Sunday, 7 September 2014

Traditional vs. Contemporary Art

Ai Wei Whoops
Want to smash a few vases?  Head over to Ai Wei Whoops, and watch the amount of damage tally up at the top of your screen as you drop, drop, drop to your heart's content.  It's a little unsettling to think of what would happen if you really did smash a vase & cause so much destruction, but do you know that someone did?  I won't spoil too much of the surprise, so you'll have to check out the story from the site.

Ai Weiwei is a contemporary artist, meaning that he works in the present time.  We are fortunate, because he uses the internet & social media to connect with his audience.  This allows us to appreciate his work on an entirely new level; one that doesn't require us to visit a museum or gallery. Not that we wouldn't want to go to a gallery, but for many people (like those of us who live on the Northern shore of Lake Superior), it isn't always easy to stroll down to our favourite cultural centre.

Do you think we value traditional art more or less than contemporary art?  Which type of art makes more sense to you?  Do you think traditional art is more valuable because it has been here longer and is more established?  What about the artists who produce art and share it via social media, extending a virtual invitation and redefining art appreciation for the world's population?  

Grade 11 #NipRockArt students, I'm asking for your opinion.  Start looking for art.  Explore and discover contemporary and traditional artists.  Develop an opinion.  Talk about it.  Ask questions.
Find out where & how to ask questions.  Let's figure it out together.

So, where do we find art?  It can be a little overwhelming to think of the millions of artworks 'out there'.  You can begin by looking at some fantastic resources:

Here is one explanation of contemporary art:

Use your blog to share your thoughts.  This week, we will review a few of these points together. We'll also chat about our learning goal and success criteria, which connects to the Ontario curriculum:

  • students will "demonstrate an understanding of the critical analysis process by examining, interpreting, evaluating, and reflecting on various art works"
  • students will "demonstrate an understanding of how art works reflect the society in which they were created, and how they can affect both social and personal values"


Thursday, 28 August 2014

#NipRockArt Students: What Will Your Year Look Like?

What makes you curious?  What captures your attention?  Where do you find freedom?  How can you use art to share your ideas?


Step 1:  Make your digital portfolio (extra info here)
Step 2:  Create stuff.  
Step 3:  Put your stuff in your portfolio & write about it.  Or talk about it.  Or make a video about it.







and so much more!





Friday, 6 June 2014

Music, Drums & More

You can learn so much if you're willing to listen... with your ears, your mind and your heart.

Today was a very special day for #NipRockArt students, because Shy-Anne Hovorka came to speak about her experience as a musician.  Savage is one of the songs featured in her latest album:

Our class learned about a wide variety of musicians throughout Shy-Anne's talk today, and we were so excited to learn that she will be performing with the iconic Buffy Sainte-Marie in the near future!  Ms. Sainte-Marie's music was new to a number of students today (although their teacher remembers watching her on Sesame Street...), but most of us had no idea that she had to overcome many challenges because of the issues she has shared through her music.  What a fascinating artist to learn about.

A Tribe Called Red was another group that captured the attention of many young students.  Shy-Anne shared a video from this year's Juno's performance:

Their use of traditional & contemporary music (and imagery) is captivating.  You won't be able to listen without wanting to dance...

Some musicians who were new to us...

Joey Stylez, Keith Secola & Shawn Bernard have collaborated together, and they are also successful solo artists.  Derek Miller's music has an edgy-blues feel to it -- no wonder Shy-Anne wanted us to check it out!  

You know what's cool?  Being able to tweet about your guest speaker while she's presenting.  Know what's even cooler?  Having one of the musicians who your guest speaker is talking about... SEE THE TWEET & FAVOURITE IT!

#NipRockArt students thought it was nice of Tanya Tagaq to notice us!

Tanya Tagaq is an Inuk throat singer from Nunavut.  Her style developed throughout her youth (she is self-taught), and began to attract the attention of world-renowned musicians such as Bjork and the Kronos Quartet.

Take a moment to listen to her interview with Jian Ghomeshi...

Thank you so much for speaking with us today, Shy-Anne.  You taught us so much, and we learned to appreciate music on an entirely new level.  

Some future #NipRockArt musicians...


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Time... for some fantastic art

Yesterday, the grade 9 class discussed change, and how we can view the concept from a variety of perspectives.  Ideas like seasons, moods, opposites, night/day, clothing, music and imagery were offered as possible ways to define the concept.  

Change and time have a mysterious connection...

How can we use the concept of TIME in our art?  How do we show the passage of time?  Can we capture time?  Is there beauty in the progression of time, or can it be seen as a force of change with unyielding power?

Grade 9 students are gearing up for a momentous FINAL TASK that will challenge their use of the Creative Process over the next month.  They will be investigating the concept of time, and will explore several artists who use related ideas & themes in their work.  They will document their ideas, experiments and questions using their digital portfolios, and we will present the finished artworks on this blog.

*A special thank you to Apex HS for inspiring this project.   

Would you like to offer suggestions of ideas & artists to the grade 9 class?  Feel free to comment on this blog post, or tweet to #NipRockArt.  We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Some very helpful resources:


Thursday, 20 March 2014


Apparently I have some clay geniuses in my classes!  The past few days have been amazing in the #NipRockArt room.  Take a look at some of the amazing work.

The students and I created the Twitter hashtag #TeachTheTeacher after a few giggles around the wheel.  I will be the first to admit that I am horrible at forming any sort of vessel on the wheel, but some of my students are absolute naturals.  I have no problem at all if they can show me a thing or two.  

*All of the photos above are documentation of "first attempts".  Can you believe it?*