Arts Learning Community

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Check out what is happening in the arts learning community being created in the
Sausalito Marin City School District
Everyone is an artist.” – Joseph Beuys
What is Collaboration? What is Community?
We learned that when there’s a problem, we should work together to solve it.”
students – Imara, Billy, & Jeremiah
Notes from the Youth in Arts Specialists:
Brooke Toczylowski, Visual Arts Specialist, Grade K-5
It has been a joy and an honor working with your children during this first year of the Arts Demonstration Grant! During the December Art Walk Event many of us had the chance to meet each other and enjoy the inspiring creations of our young artists. THANK YOU for your support of the arts! As a practicing artist and a visual learner, I believe the arts are an integral component to a quality education. Not only can art help to improve skills in the core content areas like math and writing, but I believe art can teach important skills like observation, reflection, critical thinking, leadership, self-confidence, and community.
During Open House in May a small taste of the students’ artwork from the art studio will be on display in their classrooms and in the multi-purpose room. And DON’T WORRY, YES your students’ artwork will be coming home at the end of the year for you to fill the fridge or frame for the walls of your home. We all know how important it is to show our students that we are proud of the marks they make in this world. I tell my students all the time, that when they put pencil to paper they are expressing themselves and constructing their futures.
Students in second grade are investigating Collaboration. We are reflecting and recording our experiences of making art as a team in a journal. So far, students have made newspaper sculptures big enough for someone to fit inside, a group painting with one color and its tints and shades, and now the students are working on clay communities.
Martin Luther King Academy Middle School Arts Classes
Evan Bissell, Visual Arts Specialist, Grade 6-8
At MLK we are working on projects that combine writing and photography.  In 8th grade we are creating mixed media pieces about “Where I’m From”.  In 7th grade students are creating external/internal self-portraits made from collages of photos they create.  In 6th grade students are working on mixed media photographs about personal
Willow Creek Upper School
Ascha Drake, Visual Arts Specialist, Grade 6-8
At Willow Creek we have been focusing on using the arts as a way to interpret the world, to tell personal stories, and to express a sense of self and community.  We have been experimenting with many different materials with each grade level.  In the 6th grade we are currently creating autobiographical (though some more fantastical than real) comic book strips with an emphasis on story telling.  In 7th grade we are finishing a printmaking project for Women’s History month where students were asked to create prints that promote ideas about women’s rights.  In 8th grade, students are continuing with acrylic paint on their Heritage paintings, combining patterns and figurative elements to speak about their personal history.
Twilight Afterschool Art Studio
Ascha Drake, Visual Arts Specialist, Grade K-8
Artists have been working on a sculpture project, which also requires thinking about shapes, but in a 3-dimensional way. The students began looking at reusable materials such as cardboard boxes, egg cartons, and tinfoil, and they thought about turning them into sculptural art materials. How do you make something stand and balance?  How do you attach parts so that they are secure? Students explored different ways to make sculpture; practicing skills and learning techniques to give them confidence.  The artists then embarked on a “BabyBot” project – creating baby robots that represent the perfect companion or “side kick.”  Once the skeletons were formed, the students began wrapping a plaster “skin” on the forms.  They then were able to paint the Babybots with acrylic paint – learning how to mix new colors and make wise brush choices.

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