The Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) in Brussels had a colourful day on Wednesday (16 August) when a visitor trod upon on and damaged a work in the Yves Klein exhibition, Theatre of the Void (closed 20 August). While approaching another work across a gallery space, the visitor inadvertently walked on Pigment bleu sec (Dry Blue Pigment), a shallow wood basin spread with sand and the artists signature matte pigment, International Klein Blue (IKB), leaving white footprints on the work and blue material on the floor.
Even though we have several safety measures (warning signs, a partial barrier and a guard), the man was too fascinated [with the other work] to notice all of that, a museum spokeswoman tells The Art Newspaper. Bozar employees fully restored the work in-situ the same day, re-arranging the sand and adding more IKB. Dry Blue Pigment, first conceived in 1957, must be re-installed with new sand and pigment each time it is shown, the spokeswoman adds, so its not the same as damage to a unique piece.
In April, a journalist walked on a similar Klein work at the Muse d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain (MAMAC) in Nice during a press opening for the show About Nice: 1947-77 (until 22 October). Following the incident at Bozar, a museum visitor tweeted a picture of the post-damage cleanup, and quipped: I came for the paintings. But I stayed for performance art.
We all experience moments of distraction. For example, you might be sitting at your computer trying to grade or update your blog, or, ahem, write an article, when all of a sudden, you find you’ve been shopping for shoes on Amazon for 30 minutes. These events are part of the human condition; they are to be expected! So, it’s no wonder even our most focused art students will get off-task from time to time. But as educators, we have an opportunity and an obligation to provide structures to help our students be more purposeful and thoughtful during class.
If your students are off-task, it’s important to discern whether or not the behavior is symptomatic of a larger issue. Let’s take a look.
If you find yourself having to correct off-task behavior only sometimes or only at certain age-levels or in certain classes, you likely don’t have an underlying problem. However, if you are constantly dealing with off-task behavior across the board, the first step is to evaluate and reflect on your own instruction.
Are your students off-task in a developmentally appropriate way, or are they off-task because they are disconnected from your curriculum?
Are your students interested and invested in their art projects because they are relevant to their lives? Or is an underlying lack of investment leading to these off-task behaviors?
If you suspect a lack of personal connection to the art is the issue, the first response could be the introduction of a little more student choice into your art room. This might mean offering more options related to the subject matter or widening the choice of materials available to students.
Once you are confident the curriculum is engaging and relevant to your students, off-task behavior should decrease. You are helping to create behaviors geared toward learning the lifelong skills of effective time management and self-regulation.
Here are 8 simple strategies you can introduce this fall to help your students stay on-task and make meaningful progress.
1. Provide Focus Through Student Goal Setting
Purposeful progress can’t be made without a well-defined direction. One excellent strategy for providing direction is to encourage personal goal setting. This could be done formally, with a goal setting worksheet or a quick goal statement written in a sketchbook. Or, goal setting can sometimes be equally successful when implemented informally. To do this, have students share a goal with a partner or in small groups at their table. Either way, off-task behaviors are minimized when students have a clear vision of success in their minds.
2. Create Awareness with Countdown Timers
Time management skills require a cognizance of passing time. For students young and old, a clock or countdown timer can be a helpful tool to help foster this attentiveness. Consider purchasing a large format timer, or use an online version, projected onto your overhead screen. Both methods create a deeper awareness of time left to complete a task, which can be a huge motivator.
3. Encourage Peer Accountability Partners
Adults frequently use accountability partners to keep one another on track toward diet or fitness goals because it’s easier to stay on track when a friend is involved. Why not employ the same strategy within your art room to minimize off-task behavior? Assign accountability partners or have students self-select partners. Encourage partners to check in with one another in an informal critique capacity at several points during class so they can share progress and keep on track toward project completion.
4. Allow Students to “Sharpen the Axe”
We’ve all heard the old adage it is easier to chop a lot of wood when you take the time to stop and sharpen the axe. In the same way, taking a structured break can reinvigorate the artistic process. Demonstrate and model how to take brief breaks and transition quickly back into productive work mode. Whether it is a quick bathroom break, a brief time allotted for social conversation, or a whole brain learning break, there are lots of ways to let your students let their brains rest a bit. For whole group breaks, consider gonoodle.com.
5. Provide Project Benchmarks
Knowing the expected timeframe for various steps of a particular project helps students understand how to better allocate their time. By providing your students with an expected timeline, they can see how their working speed is measuring up. One way to do this is to start by taking the total amount of time (whether minutes or weeks) you are allotting for a particular project. Then, list each task or process involved in chronological order. Finally, assign an expected amount of time for each portion and post it for students to see. Of course, students may naturally deviate from the timeline, but it can offer a helpful overview to keep everyone on track.
6. Implement “Ask 3, Ask Me”
Sometimes, students get off-task when they are not sure how to proceed with a project. With many students and a single art teacher, it can often take a while for students to get individual attention to answer the question at hand. To eliminate this challenge that often leads students off-task, implement the “Ask 3, then ask me” strategy. When you are busy helping individual students, encourage kids to ask three friends if they know the next steps or a strategy to overcome the stalled-out portion of the project. If, after talking with three peers they still are unable to proceed, then they can ask you. This eliminates long lines and empowers students to gather instructional information from one another instead of getting off-task.
7. Incorporate Printable Checklists
Frequently, when a project or process encompasses many steps, students can get off-task because they don’t understand or remember the directions. Try creating a brief checklist that lists each step in order. Make and distribute copies to each student so they can check off each step of the process as they complete it. This eliminates off-task behavior due to not knowing how to proceed.
8. Hold Direction-Focused Conferences
Rather than circulating the room and addressing student challenges as you see them, consider a more structured system to hold kids accountable and keep them on-task. Tell each student they will have a 60-second mini-progress conference with you sometime during the class period. Move through your class roster. Keep the conference short and sweet. Limit your discussion to two questions. What have you been working on and what are your next steps?
Novelty keeps things surprising and keeps students on their toes. Use a mixture of these eight strategies throughout the year to keep your artists motivated and on-task!
What strategies do you use in your classroom to keep kids on-task?
Grenfell Tower may be adorned with works of art made by local schoolchildren under plans put forward by site officials. Eighty residents died in the tower block fire in west London on 14 June.
Michael Lockwood, the site and remediation manager, told The Sunday Times that scaffolding surrounded by netting will be erected around the 24-storey structure from the end of August. Site workers will remove debris and the towers cladding panels behind the covering.
Lockwood recently met primary school pupils in the area who said that looking up at the tower is upsetting. I asked them if they would like to come up with paintings of what they would like to see on the building, he said. The works would be projected on to the scaffolding screen.
Last month, family, friends and fellow artists filled St Marys Church in Londons North Kensington to commemorate and celebrate the young artist Khadija Saye and her mother Mary Mendy who died in the fire.
The issue of climate change is insidious, warn eight UK-based artists who highlight the encroaching threat of environmental degradation in an exhibition opening later this year. Slow Violence, which is due to open at the Art & Design Gallery at the UKs University of Hertfordshire (29 November-20 January 2018), will include new and recent works by Katie Paterson, Adam Chodzko and Thomson & Craighead, among others.
The exhibition title is taken from the 2011 publication, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, by Rob Nixon, a professor at Princeton University. Slow Violence acknowledges that the violence of climate change can often be unrecognised, even invisible, incremental, localised, extended, durational, the exhibition organisers say in a statement, adding that the contributing artists challenge us to rethink the prevailing climate change iconographyof melting ice caps or desertification.
London-based Michael Pinskys Pollution Pods (2017) mimic the smog found in some of the worlds most polluted cities. A series of interconnected geodesic domes contain polluted air, emulating the relative presence of ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide which pollute London, New Delhi, Sao Paolo and Beijing, the artists website says. Ellie Harrisons Early Warning Signs (2011), which resemble garish retail notices, are also included (the words climate change spin round on revolving signs).
Emma Critchley is showing Frontiers, a photography and film series. The viewer roams through a seemingly apocalyptic landscape encountering what may appear to be detritus from the aftermath of a disaster or perhaps boats carrying those fleeing crisis, she tells The Art Newspaper. Alternatively, we may be witnessing the discovery of new land, artificial islands or a future scenario where land has formed from debris.
The work was made in 2015 when China aggressively pursued a programme of land reclamation on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. It also references the Pacific Oceans floating garbage patch [of plastic waste], Critchley says. Other artists featured include Ackroyd & Harvey and Tom James.
The show taps into the University of Hertfordshires partnerships with environmental initiatives such as the Climart project based at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.
New York City MetroCards are often disposed of immediately after use, but as artists are demonstrating, we should think twice before tossing them. In an ongoing series of exhibitions called Single Fare, creatives are transforming the small tickets with miniature paintings, drawings, and sculptures. From portraits of people to lush landscapes, there’s an impressive amount of detailing on these unconventional palm-size canvases. Their new life makes us reconsider things we might regard as trash; here, they show a spectacular use of upcycling.
Since 2010, Single Fare has brought together artists from New York City and beyond. Working from the same format, they each tackle the challenge of creating something unique. Often, the semi-glossy card is covered with gesso or paint to completely obscure its utilitarian past—the words MetroCard are erased. The only visual markers left are the ticket shape and the tiny hole that’s punched in the bottom.
Now in its fourth iteration, Single Fare 4 is currently accepting submissions until August 23, 2017. Those selected will appear at Highline Stages starting Saturday, September 16.
Artists are transforming New York City MetroCards from items of discard into miniature paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
The ‘Alternate dimensions’ room in ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ looks at the realms beyond Earth traversed by Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Through artwork, costumes, props and film sequences, their adventures into the Quantum Realm (Ant-Man 2015), Astral and Mirror Dimensions (Doctor Strange 2016), and other galaxies (Guardians of the Galaxy 2014) are explored.
This room also highlights the role of the Infinity Stones, found throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Holding immense power, the six gems are sought after by the super-villain Thanos in his quest for galactic domination. Five of the stones have been depicted to date: the Space Stone is located within the Tesseract (Captain America: The First Avenger 2011, Marvel’s The Avengers 2012); the Power Stone is within the Orb (Guardians of the Galaxy 2014); the Reality Stone is suspended in the Aether (Thor: The Dark World 2013); the Mind Stone is in the forehead of Vision (removed from Loki’s sceptre in Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015); and the Time Stone is found in the Eye of Agamotto (Doctor Strange 2016). The location of the sixth gem, the Soul Stone, has yet to be revealed.
Alternate dimensions room
Loki’s sceptre with stand
The Infinity Stones are ancient cosmic artefacts, each commanding a facet of existence. These stones are sought out by ambitious individuals, including the Collector Taneleer Tivan, who hoards a vast trove of interstellar oddities in his museum on the mining colony of Knowhere.
The blue Space Stone
The purple Power Stone
The red Reality Stone
The yellow Mind Stone
the green time stone
DELVE DEEPER INTO THE EXHIBITION AND THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.
Journalist Saima Mir posted to Twitter this “map of Pakistan showing the embroidery techniques of its regions.” And, sure enough, it led to someone surfacing a corresponding map of Pakistan’s neighbor, India. The underlying message of the maps? It’s to show, as @AlmostLived noted, “how diverse elements come together to make beautiful things.” The map above was originally produced by Generation, a Pakistani fashion company. We’re not clear on the origin of the India map, unfortunately.
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Annatomix, a self-taught painter from Birmingham UK, creates geometric, origami-inspired animals on everyday materials of all sizes. Bumblebees and rabbits take shape on small surfaces like discarded paper bags and wood scraps, while foxes and peregrine falcons scale the sides of buildings. Crafted in acrylic and spray paint, pastels, graphite, and ink, her animal renderings balance a fantastical element while also responding to the environment they are painted into.
The artist’s lifelong interest in science, history, religion and philosophy have lead to her current body of work, which is “centered on nature of science and its connection with spirituality. I am using sacred geometry as the starting point to explore a broad range of themes that include; the creation of the universe, evolution and extinction, repetition and cycles in history, the illusion of reality,” as she describes on her website.
Annatomix’s newest murals will go up this week in Sweden as a part of the street art Artscape Festival and you can see recent in-progress and finished work on her Instagram. Many of her smaller pieces are also for sale on her website.
Situated at the foot of a mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, House Sealion was designed by Greg Wright Architects for entertainment with large open spaces that lead out to the pool. The plot of land proved challenging as the mountains are on one side and the ocean is on the other, making it both views an important part of the plan.
Privacy was another focus, as the neighbors were in close proximity, which meant dividing the main volumes with the help of internal courtyards.
The main staircase is housed in a double volume space with large glass windows that continue onto the ceiling for mountain views.
Laser cut screens offer privacy for the homeowners while becoming an artistic focal point on the exterior.
Just past the staircase is a private courtyard with a water feature and lots of greenery.
The main living space opens up to the swimming pool that overlooks the ocean.
The second floor master bedroom has its own private terrace with views of both the mountains and ocean.
Japanese brand United Arrows & Sons partnered with Italian design group SearchNDesign to launch a brand new sneaker with a split toe. The Bifida was inspired by traditional Japanese socks, called ‘tabi’, that date back 1200 years ago during the Heian period. Merging modern Japanese street culture while respecting the past, these white leather tennis shoes mark a new concept in contemporary fashion.
The collaboration began last year when United Arrows & Sons’ iconic Creative Director Poggy met up with SearchNDesign’s team in Florence, resulting in a fashion fusion of Japanese and Italian cultures.
The shoe is made by hand in Italy in white leather with a contrasting heel tab and will be available by the end of August in United Arrow & Sons stores throughout Japan and online at SearchNDesign’s store.