Oakland High School Art Program



Participants: Deborah Green/Oakland Tech; Deborah Gordon/Castlemont; Ericka Duke/North Oakland Middle School; James Treacy/Skyline; Lauren Litwin/Skyline, Karen Zinkalfsky/Oakland High, Claudia Goodman-Hough/Redwood Heights, Ernest Alatorre/Greenleaf; Carissa Moline/New Highland Academy; Steve Bronson/Oakland High; Donald Greene/Melrose Academy; Michelle Lewis/Glenview; Carla Oden/Skyline, David Mertern/Oakland High; Blanka Soltys/Studio One; Ann Wettrich – OUSD/VAPA facilitator.

Thanks to David for hosting this session in his studio/classroom at Oakland High School

1. Announcements and Opportunities

After a quick round of introductions, Ann provided information on the following opportunities:

  • Art IS Education is an annual, month-long showcase demonstrating the power of youth learning in and through the arts. Each March, during National Arts Education Month, schools, school districts and community arts organizations participate in Art IS Education, where students have opportunities to share the process through which they have learned new skills, solved problems, take risks, and persisted through obstacles, in order to express their ideas through art. Participate by looking through the events on our calendar: artiseducation.org/calendar OR submit your own event: http://www.artiseducation.org/submit-your-event/
  • Inventing Our Future / Integrated Learning Summer Institute Aug 9-11(Tue-Thu) from 8:30am – 4:00 pm at Chabot Space & Science Center; Theme – Re-Storying Our Common Humanity – Changing the Dominant Story is Liberation; Creating Shared Story is Transformative; Creating Action around Shared Story is Revolutionary. Join us for this 3-day journey where we use storytelling as a tool to move us from empathy to solidarity, recognizing one another as parts of a growing community of allies and assets. Visit the website www.inventingourfuture.org for more information and to register. 
  • The OUSD Visual and Performing Arts Dept. is pleased to announce the 2016-17 Arts Incentive Grant Opportunity. Funds are available to build or expand arts learning opportunities at OUSD schools. Information and Applications may be found at this link:Arts Incentive Grantshttp://www.ousd.org/Page/12732  Who can apply: Individual OUSD School Sites, networks of Schools in conjunction with a community-based organization, or divisions within OUSD in collaboration with school sites; Application Technical Support Workshop dates are April 6th, 7th, 12th and April 18th from 4:00-6:00 PM at International Community School Music Room. Attendance at one workshop meeting is recommended for all applicants. Please register for Application Workshops through On-Track Technical Support Meetings(On-Track login required). Applications are due emailed to vapa@ousd.k12.ca.us by May 16th, 2016.

2.  The Role of Technology in the 21st Century.  David engaged us in this hands-on workshop presentation. He began talking about his love of hands-on making, engaging many media and material, but he is also interested in introducing students to technology and challenged the stereotype of youth as advanced computer / digital technology users. While many are social IMG_8834media / Facebook savvy, he makes the case that students need help in engaging with educational resources and tools online.

He began with the website he created for his teaching, using Site Builder at $75/annually that he recommends for its ease of use. His multidimensional website includes student assignments, lesson plans, student work, digital bios, arts resources and much more. The site is a great teaching tool and enables students who miss a class to easily catch up on what they missed and can encourage them to write and publish their work. Michelle challenged writing in the art classroom—given the limited amount of time available for engaging in making and studying visual forms. Ann suggested a resource book for those who are interested in getting visual arts students engaged with writing about their work: Mapping the Intelligence of Artistic Work By Anne West (critic, curator, educator & writer).

David provided us with comIMG_8829puters and led us through the exploration of some of his favorite “go to” art websites for students. These are great tools to expose students to and they can explore them on their own—and can be especially helpful in keeping students engaged with finish up on a project before others. Pacing is so often a challenge in the art classroom. He posts the following list in his classroom, so that they are always at the ready to explore:

webcamtoy.com / artpad / grafitti creator / make beliefs comix / weave silk / window seat / neave / flashface / happy daric

3. Teacher Exchange – We went around the circle and everyone had an opportunity to check in and share projects and ideas.

IMG_8836Deborah (Green)presented a few ideas from her Art 1 class, where she has 150 students with a wide range of attention spans – from zero to total focus.

  • Academic discussion: She’s been experimenting with this by using a simple questions prompt: How was your weekend? What is something you did that you felt good about?
  • Studying master artists: Students research an artist of interest online and create a poster to present this artist to their classmates. Students learm research, presentation and graphic design skills, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of an artist and their work.   She requires students to include: name of the artist, an image and description of of their work, and a quote. They must also write a reflection on the back of their poster—describing what they like about this artist and their work AND what they learned.
  • Sketchbook Journal: Deborah has created a templated worksheet called “Oakland Tech Sketchbook” for the 6 week marking period. Students do at minimum of 5 sketches (10 minutes each) following prompts and drawing from observation. There is also space for journal reflections and prompts.

Lauren – discussed several projects she is working on with students: portrature/photographs; secrets of commercial food photography; making a chidren’s book with the class that includes writing poems and conducting research into illustration from the midieval to contemporary times.

Claudia – she is collaborating with a teacher at here school and working with students to create a films in imovie — 6 stories leading up to the American Revolution. Students are making costumes and writing scripts, as well as filming and editing. She will send the group an invitation to the screening.

 Erika – she is a first year teacher at West Oakland Middle School. She recently graduated from Mills and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at USF. She is engaging student in a discourse on Oakland artists and having them visit her classroom, i.e. Malik Seneferu and masks from West Africa. Students are interested and engaged—speaking about how they see themselves in the masks.

Jamie – Skyline is working on developing a Career/Tech Ed Program. Has completed the first draft of an AP art class that will serve as a capstone course for seniors in the program.

Ernie – explained that he has no formal training in art, and has been filling in a gap at Greenleaf working with elementary students. With mixed success and learning along with the students, he has been connecting art projects to holidays and is exploring clay along with the students—using online resources to help guide the process.

Carissa – she is doing a collage projects with students with the intention of scaffolding their skills and working into a project that involves making their own special place.

Donald – he is engaging kids in art projects around popular culture films and themes—Star Wars and Sponge bob Square Pants. They are working on making and scanning ther drawings to create an animation.

Michelle – discussed several projects

  • Quilting.  Her classes have been working with the African American Quilters Guild of Oakland. The Guild has spent two days a week in her classroom over a 3-4 week stretch—engaging the students in quilting projects that include learning applique, making patches and paper pinwheels. The Guild has provided this programming, including all the materials at no cost to the school, and is now working on adding batting and backing to the students work. She highly recommends the Guild’s work with schools.
  • Imaginary Animals. Michelle went to the Richmond Arts Center and took a workshop using recycled materials to create a sculpture of an imaginary animal by morphing two creatures into one.   She is planning to adapt this workshop with her classes and thinks it will be a 2-week project.

4. Upcoming meetings – planning. We decided on locations for our next two meetings:

  • Wed, April 13 – Michelle will host the meeting at Glenview
  • Wed, May 11Skyline – Carla offered to host and present a workshop on career / tech ed. TBC.

RESOURCE:  David’s Rubric for Grading Student Projects



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