Funds from the CAP grant funded three artist residencies between Think 360 Artists and NCAS High School teachers. Our goal was to choose classrooms and teachers who had not yet experienced a Think 360 artist residency and also to cover students across many content areas and grade levels at NCAS. Teachers were able to view the artist roster and select an artistic medium or artist they were interested in working with. Ultimately the following pairs were established: Brenda Secosky (Geometry) + Nicole Banowetz (inflatable sculpture), Elza Picasso-Hobin (Honors Biology) + Jo Fitsell (visual art), and Troy Valentine (US History) + Gwylym Cano (Digital Arts). A narrative of each teacher’s individual residency is included below:
Troy Valentine/Gwlym Cano
This collaboration included use of digital media/film making to learn more about Chicano studies, a subject both Mr. Valentine and Gwylym were passionate about. Students learned about specific events in Chicano history and then created short films in which they acted out scenes as if they were involved in the movement they studied. Students used historical images and film to create artwork that put themselves and their classmates back in time during the era of the Chicano movement. Students learned more about the “Forum Theatre” strategy and developed skills in film editing.
Brenda Secosky/Nicole Banowetz
This project involved use of geometric nets to make 3-D inflatable objects. Students created individual inflatable objects that all combined to make one larger class sculpture. The students learned about how to break apart 3-dimensional shapes into flat 2 dimensional pieces and also about surface area of irregular shapes- all through their work with a new artistic medium. Ultimately this project was really successful at supporting student mastery of geometry standards like using volume formulas to solve problems and also visualizing relationships between 2 and 3-D objects. As students moved through later units in the semester it was clear their work creating sculpture made their learning more impressionable and long-lasting.
Elza Picasso-Hobin/Jo Fitsell
Our third residency was an exciting combination of genetics and visual art. NCAS Honor’s Biology teacher, Elza Picasso-Hobin, was thrilled to work with Jo Fitsell after participating in several workshops with her at the Institute for Creative Teaching in 2014. Jo and Elza planned 4 days of workshops for students that spanned a variety of techniques including marbling, combining wax and fabrics, and stamping/print making. Ultimately students made connections between patterns in nature and art- and patterns in genetics over time.