Monday, February 13, 2012

Workplace Safety Posters 2012

It's time again for the annual Utah Labor Commission "Workplace Safety Poster Contest". I both hate and love this assignment. I hate that I am giving my students an assignment so that I can get money for my art program (even though they benefit from that money). I love the results- both the really good ones and the ones that are unintentionally funny. I also love that my art program gets $500 just for participating plus matching money for any student winners. Last year I got an additional $200 because one of my students won $200.

I'll begin with my favorite category: Unintentionally funny/ Just plain awkward.

I love that Jose "accidentally" drops a brick on the other guy's head as he's eating his lunch.
That was no accident, if you ask me.

Where are their legs?!
I have absolutely no idea what this has to do with safety. If you're not safe your heart will bleed and grow wings?
"So that baby's don't poop on your hands or arms . . . Always have safe sex". I tried very hard to explain that using condoms has little to do with workplace safety, but this kid could not be deterred. Ian thinks it might be relevant in Nevada or Amsterdam. I also don't quite make the leap from un-safe sex to having a baby that poops on me. I guess my mind goes straight to disease. So deliciously bad on so many levels.

Now on to the next and last category: Possible winners. I had some pretty great entries this time and am very excited to see if any of them win a prize.

This kid is super-talented, but also really gang involved. It's kinda sad. I think he could make a living doing art in some form if he doesn't get sucked too far into gang life.
I just thought this one was cute.

The earth as a hard hat- I love it!

I think this one has an excellent chance. It's touching and has a good "be safe" message.

Another one that's just super cute.

This girl should write slogans for an advertising agency.

Last, but not least, a tree with branches that spell out the word "Safety". Kinda cool.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Art of Mexico

Last night at WJMS the Fine Arts Department celebrated The Art of Mexico. This project has been in the works since September and many, many hours of planning and hard went into it and I feel it was hugely successful. 

There were many steps along the way starting with buying and matting several prints of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo paintings. I then had my Drawing 1 and Painting classes create Mexican Folk Art projects while my Art Foundations classes created "skeleton party" drawings for Day of the Dead. Kate, our ceramics teacher, had her students make Day of the Dead calavera masks. Our instrumental music teacher, Lauren, had her Advanced Orchestra learn mariachi music, which she had to transpose herself. Last, but not least, our choir teacher and resident Mormon Tabernacle Choir member, Phil, taught Mexican Folk songs to his students. Unfortunately the timing was bad for any participation from drama classes, but our amazing Drama teacher, Lisa, helped with every step of the planning process. 

The last step was getting everyone else in the school involved. I created a lesson about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera for the Social Studies teachers to present before taking their classes to the library to view the art show. We also planned a community night, which is what we did last night.

Here's a run-down of the evening:

A view of about half of the visual art part of the show. Student art work mingling with the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
The choir performed Mexican folk tunes in the library two different times. Phil played the accordion and three of his students accompanied him on guitars and ukuleles. 
LOTS of Mexican candy.
The event drew quite a large crowd.
Students and community members viewing the art.
The Orchestra performed mariachi music in the auditorium.
Several kids got into the spirit and wore festive hats and clothes.

I think this turned out to be a very successful cross-curricular project that also included the community (bonus!). I am very proud of all the hard work we did to achieve this. Thanks Fine Arts peeps!