Thursday, November 5, 2015

Grades 3, 4 & 5: Op Art

We enjoyed exploring Op Art as our first project this school year in these three classic projects. We viewed the work of Victor Vasserly (the 'Father' of the Op Art movement) and the mesmerizing designs by Bridget Riley. 

The kids were really into it and we could have viewed images on the Epson for much longer. 
Speaking of the Epson. This past summer, the art room changed drastically. The wall space that housed the SmartBoard that I have been fortunate to have for all these years was finally replaced, at my request a couple years ago, with an Epson projector and new dry erase board. The span of white board space now spans over 15 feet. The once cumbersome SmartBoard and wasteful wall space that it took up is now a clean and fantastic wall of instructional space that we use every single class period of every single day. We have always utilized the carpet space and SmartBoard but not to this degree. It's fantastic. Everything looks brighter.

Back to the Op Art. So we are viewing these incredible illusions and the kids could feel immediately what I was saying about Op artists trying to irritate their viewers eyes. Some of the illusions of the high contrast designs gave us headaches! In all of them we saw lines and patterns used to show movement and dimension. 

On the left of the white board I keep samples related to grade 3,4,5 projects and to the right are grades k,1,2. Closer to the door I have another board that has all of our current projects hanging along with objectives(not viewable in this picture taken in Sept, will post in the future). The kids see what Op art projects are planned for the other grades and ask if they can try the other illusions. 
So basically, 4th and 5th graders chose between the converging cones and the checkered spheres and grade 3 did hands and a few requested to try out the spheres. 

I am really proud of the results. The hands ended up being the most difficult of all. Each project required the use of a ruler, patterns, precision and planning. The STEM classes enjoyed these projects for their mathematical connections. 

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