Saturday, April 1, 2023

Illuminated Manuscript

Tada! I finally got around to coloring one of my own coloring book pages, ha! I made this page just about 2 years ago when I was going through an extremely stressful time in my life and I was in a constant anxiety spiral. Through happenstance, two of my friends Carolyn Murray Spencer and Chrissy Giandonato both suggested that I read Untamed by Glennan Doyle, so naturally I did!

One of the parts of the book that resonated the most with me was when she talked about her own anxiety and creating a list of "reset buttons" to help her return to herself.

"I keep a handwritten poster in my office titled “Easy Buttons and Reset Buttons.” On the left are all the things I do to abandon myself. On the right are my reset buttons, the things I can do to make staying with myself a little more possible.” - Glennan Doyle

I didn't make the easy buttons, but I decided to make my own list of Reset Buttons. I was teaching a unit on typography at the time and somehow then made a mental leap to illuminated manuscripts for my inspiration. Side note: this drawing also then became the basis for an illuminated manuscript project that I taught in my Art History class last year during the Medieval Art unit! I believe one of them actually won a Scholastics Art Award this year! My kids are legit THE BEST!

I will probably color in a few more versions of this as I would like to explore a few other color palettes - but that's the beauty of coloring book pages! I can color in as many as I want!

If you would like to buy your own .pdf version of the page, you can download it from Etsy for $5 here

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Scholastics Art Awards

I am so proud of my students at Cab Calloway School of the Arts, they have accomplished so much this year! By the end of the year, our students will have participated in 6 art exhibitions, the Scholastics Art competitions, and countless community initiatives!

It can be hard to quantify the success of a school's program, and Scholastics is but a small fraction of the successes of our kids, but I am thrilled to share with you some highlights from the competition this year! You can also see the actual artwork here!

Cab Calloway School of the Arts: 2023 Scholastics Art Awards

  • 132 Individual Art Awards

  • 2 National Silver Keys

  • 27 Gold Keys

  • 39 Silver Keys

  • 66 Honorable Mentions

  • 66 Students were recognized (30 middle school, 36 high school)

  • 2 American Vision Nominees (best in state)

  • 24% of the overall awards in the state were presented to Cab Calloway students

But it's honestly so much more than the awards that matter. One of the things I love the most about my students is how hard they work, and how much passion they put into their art. I have students who come in before school to knock out a few prints from their linocuts, a bevy of freshman who come in during homeroom every day to do extra work on their ceramics projects, seniors who come in during every study hall in order to work on their own personal projects.

Working with these kids every day is just absolutely inspiring. Some of the kids love digital art and aspire to become illustrators. Others are making contemporary art about the personal issues that impact them, such as gender and identity. Many are embracing technical challenges and can create hyper-realistic portraits. I love that the full range of interests and skills is both present, and embraced.

If I could give myself one task an art teacher, it would be to encourage students to find their own voice and vision, and to share that with the world without fear of failure! Because of course every artist will fail, but I like to think that if all we do is succeed, than are we really challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves to the limit of our creativity?

All that to say that I'm so proud of my kids who won awards, AND for every student who wins an award (in a system that is very biased towards realism), there are at least 2 other students who are taking creative risks and potentially even failing whose efforts I am equally as proud of! To all of my students who inspire me EVERY day with your enthusiasm and creativity, THANK YOU for being you and I am so proud of you all!!!!!!