Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Picturing America

Soap carving.

Last Thursday six of our homeschooling families attended the Missouri River Regional Library's first home school program for 2012. The title was "Artist Focus Program." There were four stations that the students rotated through, spending about 20 minutes at each. Approximately 50 area homeschooled students participated. Each station featured a print from Picturing America--"an exciting new initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities, (which) brings masterpieces of American art into classrooms and libraries nationwide. Through this innovative program, students and citizens will gain a deeper appreciation of our country's history and character through the study and understanding of its art."

Digital portrait photography.
The prints used can be viewed here. Sculpture: 4b--Benjamin Franklin by Hiram Powers (1862). Portrait photography: 18b--Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange (1936). Collage: 17b--The Dove by Romare Bearden (1964). Still life: 6a--American Flamingo by John James Audubon (1838). (The website also has educator resources, including lesson plans.)

After a brief discussion about that station's featured print, students did the following activities:

  • Sculpture: Carved a sculpture from a bar of soap and/or created a sculpture using Model Magic.
  • Portrait photography: Took digital portrait photographs of each other.
  • Collage: Made a collage using pictures cut from magazines.
  • Still life: Drew a still life of their choosing using markers, colored pencils, and/or drawing pencils.

There are seven more programs scheduled for this year. They are all on the first Thursday of that month from 3 to 5 p.m. in the library's Art Gallery on the second floor. They are open to all homeschooling students. No registration is required.
  • March 1: Spy School
  • April 5: Rocks and Minerals
  • May 3: Emergency Preparedness 
  • August 2: Genealogy/Family Tree
  • September 6: Catapults
  • October 4: How it Works--taking apart small appliances
  • November 1: Holidays Around the World
More collage.

We hope you will join us for one or more of these programs!

And a special thanks to the library staff for offering such a wonderful program.
Still life.

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