This Semester’s Finals

I’ve shared our finals process a few times previously, which you can read here. To explain briefly, though: Students are given their theme/subject/idea in advance, they make all necessary preparations, then they have the 95-minute period of time to create their artwork from beginning to end. I wanted to share, because I was once again impressed with what my kids were able to create in that short time period.

Drawing II had the theme of water. Anything was fair game, as long as it involved water in some way:

And somehow, Brooke managed to finish a batik piece in 95 minutes:

IMG_20140521_095810_873-11

 

Pretty strong stuff, and I was happy to see such quality work.

Painting I had a choice of subject matter, but it needed to be presented as a monochromatic watercolor painting. I didn’t get enough pictures, but here’s the few I was able to capture:

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Finals: Music

I explained our process at in a little more detail in a post here, but I wanted to show a handful of projects from my other classes. A quick rundown of what we did:

Step 1: Start with a theme. In this case, for my sophomores, juniors and seniors, it was something related to music.

Step 2: Spend a couple of days brainstorming and talking out ideas and possibilities.

Step 3: Create sketches, hash out our ideas.

Step 4: Moved on to create sketches with specificity.

Step 5: Get all materials prepped–paper, paint, palettes, pencils, pastels, photoshop programs, and whatever else may be needed.

Step 6: The pressure is on to come in and, within 95 minutes, create a meaningful artwork from beginning to end. This is our final.

And here are some of the results:

Artwork of the Week, 1/13

2014-01-09 14.56.07Amelia Johnson, Movement

12 x 12 x 18 inches, oaktag and spray paint

This project came from the 95-minute final that I gave my 3D Design students in AP Studio Art. They had sheets of oaktag, a paper cutter, some hot glue guns, and spray paint (safe, right?). The focus of the assignment was on creating movement within the sculpture, and this was easily the best of the bunch. Here are a couple more views from different angles:

 

Finals: Old/Antique/Vintage

I explained our process at in a little more detail in a post here, but I wanted to show a handful of projects from my other classes. A quick rundown of what we did:

Step 1: Start with a theme. In this case, for my juniors and seniors, it was something old, antique, or vintage.

Step 2: Spend a couple of days brainstorming and talking out ideas and possibilities.

Step 3: Create sketches, hash out our ideas.

Step 4: Moved on to create sketches with specificity.

Step 5: Get all materials prepped–paper, paint, palettes, pencils, pastels, photoshop programs, and whatever else may be needed.

Step 6: The pressure is on to come in and, within 95 minutes, create a meaningful artwork from beginning to end. This is our final.

And here are some of the results:

Finals: Comfort

For the past few years, my school has done a finals schedule with each class meeting for 95 minutes for a “culminating activity”. I’ve done exams previously, and I’ve done writing activities. But eventually I came to the realization that we should probably doing art. Here is the process I have been using, with two preparation days and a 95-minute block of time for students to create the artwork. For being a product person, I think this process works out well:

Step 1: Start with a theme. In this case, for my seniors, it was comfort.

Step 2: Spend a couple of days brainstorming and talking out ideas and possibilities.

Step 3: Create sketches, hash out our ideas.

Step 4: Moved on to create sketches with specificity.

Step 5: Get all materials prepped–paper, paint, palettes, pencils, pastels, photoshop programs, and whatever else may be needed.

Step 6: The pressure is on to come in and, within 95 minutes, create a meaningful artwork from beginning to end. This is our final.

During that 95 minutes, we were drawing, painting, and editing our photo shoot:

We were also mixing food coloring and bubbles (I don’t ask questions–I just provide supplies).

2013-12-19 08.58.01

We had some great ideas, and some great results (especially considering the time constraints). Comfortable places–beds, specifically–were a recurring theme, as were comfort food and objects which bring us comfort. Ideas were developed about comfort in solitude and comfort in our vices. It was great to see these ideas develop and come into fruition.

The one drawback of this process as a final, I felt, was my inability to give meaningful feedback. I obviously gave a lot of criticism during the brainstorming phases and during the creation of the project, but there was no way to give a worthwhile final critique. It was more of “turn your project in, I’ll grade it, and you can pick it up after school. Maybe I’ll see you next semester!”

I would say the end products were pretty successful, but more importantly, the kids enjoyed the process and responded well to the pressure of creating something within a 95 minute window. Apart from the lost opportunity for closure and feedback at the end of the project, I am really happy with both the process and the results.