I had two issues that I was struggling to solve in my classroom. One was that students I wanted to maximize classroom time with bell to bell learning and the second was that my students were starved for art history knowledge.
The first issue, bell to bell learning is challenging in the art classroom because clean up time of materials is a necessary thing. It always felt great when students successfully cleaned up their supplies and were ready to go to their next class. We got good at the clean up part but then I had students waiting by the door on their phones.
I realized that I could capitalize on this screen time by assigning weekly art history challenges. So each week I created this list: Art History Challenges and had the students create a page of images and facts on an artist.
I started this at the beginning of the year and although a few weeks slipped by the students now have a rich collection of knowledge and art history pages that they created and more importantly the bell to bell learning time is utilized and their knowledge of art history has expanded.
Here are some examples of the student Art History Challenges
My architecture students had the pleasure of visiting three wonderful spaces and meeting with talented architects and designers last week.
Here is a summary of our great day!
We are fortunate here at BHS to have Ariana Fabrizio,
daughter of Anthony Fabrizio and owner of Fabrizio
Corporation. This successful business is known for the high
quality millwork that they create for commercial and
The students toured their wonderful shop and got to see
a CNC machine in action!
Here is what Brendan had to say:
"I did not know The CNC machine at Fabrizio Corp could make such complicated designs and make a copy of something that was made by hand 100 years ago."
My proud teacher moment came at CBT Architects when my two former students
Dan Ricardelli and Meagan Kelley welcomed us to their office. Dan is a registered architect and Meagan is an interior designer with the firm, Robin Adams ( CBT Interior Designer) the students toured CBT's great building. They learned about the day to day work of designers at that firm, saw their library and even got to see the model building workshop in action!
"I liked touring the CBT firm, as it was interesting to see what the actual work space and building of a firm looks like, and hearing what its like to work there from someone on a similar path to me. " Ryan, Grade 10
AUTODESK Build Space
Last year Autodesk created a build space that you can read about here:
Designer Ben Uyeda of HomeMade-Modern has generous donated his time to BHS students once again, He met us at Autodesk and shared the information about the Autodesk space and toured the students through. He discussed his projects and how he as used the tools to enhance his designs and experiment.
Fashion Blogger and Designer Kristy Lyons
And the last treat for the day was a meet up with former student and Designer
Kristy Lyons. Kristy is not only a fashion blogger @ style-blueprint.com. Kristy also works at Consigli Construction in construction management.
Thank you to all of wonderful designers and artists who graciously took time to educate our students!
The arts, sciences, humanities, physical education, languages and maths all have equal and central contributions to make to a student's education. Ken Robinson
As students are making course selections this week they should consider signing up for an art course. Here is a great list of things you learn in Art....
1. Art stimulates the brain and helps develop problem-solving skills.
2. Art builds a keener sense of perception, contributing to making better decisions.
3. Art engages the senses.
4. Art helps you relax.
5. Art stimulates creativity.
6. Art helps develop individuality and independence.
7. Art helps to build self-esteem.
8. Art gives you a sense of well-being.
9. Art generates enjoyment.
10. Art promotes self-expression.
11. Art promotes abstract thinking.
12. Art gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
13. Art promotes non-verbal communication skills.
14. Art is exhilarating.
15. Art teaches us more about ourselves than we imagined.
16. Art inspires us to be even more creative than we already are!
Did you know that:
Here are some great quotes from Alumni about the art program:
"The value of the BHS Art Program was monumental in my success as a graphic designer. First of all, I would have never even taken an art class if it weren't for an observant art teacher in a study hall encouraging me to take the class while watching me doodle. Freshman year of college all of my classmates were trying to gain a base knowledge in the programs while I was able to really thrive and focus on my creativity because I already had a phenomenal base from 3 years of graphic design in high school. I will always be grateful for the BHS Art Program, it literally gave me a career path and was an integral part of shaping me as an individual."
-Elyse Goldstein Emery, (class of '03)
The BHS Art Program and its teachers guided me to my choice to be a graphic designer. Through the classes I took, I was exposed to many different methods and styles of art making. I started my journey of graphic design my sophomore year, tracing letterforms from specimen books and cutting them out by hand. I am lucky to have had such experience in high school, and knew exactly what I wanted to do when I started at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Thank you BHS for helping me find out who I am today.
Laura Allegretto, Graphic Designer
I relate a lot of my success to Burlington and its art department. Because of BHS and my art teachers I was able to grasp an understanding of design much earlier than most people and transform that into a focus at Syracuse University. If it weren't for BHS I would not be where I am today. A lot of people say that art and design are not important classes to take and don't become an artist because you will never find a job. But this is completely false. This is one reason I feel it is important to come back to BHS for Alumni Artist Day, so I can share what I have learned and encourage students to think about majoring in and finding jobs in art and design.
Jason Yeadon, NHL Graphic Designer
Learning to draw through observation was the most important skill that I aquired while at Burlington High School. I cant stress enough how important it is to have a strong foundation in life drawing when you get to college and aim to further develop and diversify your work. Drawing from life is the foundation on which I base all of my work, stylized or not. If you don't know the basics, you'll never be able to make what you see in your head come to life on paper. BHS taught me that the world is my greatest drawing aid, and that drawing what I see in front of me is never a poor use of my time.
Shauna Leva, Illustrator
Here is more info about our program and list of courses:
BHS ART & DESIGN PROGRAM
This primarily studio-oriented art program emphasizes visual literacy, technical skills, and creative problem solving. Discussion of art historical topics and famous artworks is incorporated into all art courses. Students will be encouraged to maintain and revise a portfolio of their most successful work.
The following is a list of art courses offered at each grade level:
Design (CP I) – Grades 9, 10,11,12
Drawing & Painting I (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Drawing and Painting II (CP I) – Grades 11, 12
Drawing and Painting III (CP I) – Grades 11, 12
Ceramics I (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Ceramics II (CP I) – Grades 11, 12
Ceramics III (CP I) – Grades 11, 12
Sculpture (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Photography (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Creative Photography (CP I) – Grades 11, 12
Photo Portfolio (CP I) – Grades 11, 12
Advanced Photography (CP I) – Grade 12
Fashion Design I (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Fashion Design II (CP I) – Grades 11, 12
Graphic Design (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Web Design (CP I) – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Digital Arts (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Digital Publishing (CP I) – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Introduction to Architecture (CP I) – Grades 10, 11, 12
Portfolio/Advanced Art (Honors) – Grades 11, 12
Advanced Placement Studio Art (AP) – Grade 12
Independent Study – Grades 11, 12
There are many wonderful summer programs for art and design students during the summer. Many of them have applications due in March, This is not an all inclusive list so feel free to post a recommendation in the comments section below.
Here are a few links to some summer programs for high school students:
MassArt Summer Program for Grades 11-12
Museum School of Fine Arts
Montserrat College of Art
Architecture Summer Programs
Wentworth Institute of Technology Architecture Summer Workshop
Boston Architectural College Summer Program for High Schoo Students
Carnegie Mellon Summer Program in Architecture
AND here are some more:
Link to list of Pre College Programs around the country in Architecture
By Gati Aher, Class of 2019
by Sophia Lupo, Class of 2019
By Kassidy Kirchner, Class of 2017
By Quentin Inglis, Class of 2018
Students in the Drawing and Painting class created large acrylic paintings of nature. Here are the assignment details:
Christina Chang teaches art and design at Burlington High School.