News from the Art Room

January 4th - 8th

Happy New Year!

Hello, Riverview Family!

It's odd to think that the longest break of the school year is already behind us, but such is the case. As the new year is rung in we have all kinds of new learning opportunities for the students planned. It's exciting to look at an empty art room and wonder what new thoughts and experiences will come from students as they create in this space.

An update on the Art Studio:

This year is a transitional year for the Art Studio as we move away from all teacher-led artwork to more student-led creating. Grades K-3 are still and will continue to be teacher-led, while 4th and 5th grade are moving more toward students creating independently. This shift may appear a small one, but in actuality it's a massive change for both students and their teacher. As we make this transition both students and their teacher are learning quite a bit. One area that we'll be introducing in the coming weeks is a Clay Station (in addition to our Drawing Station, Painting Station, and Sculpture Station). As the students are learning to create in a more independent way, their teacher is learning all of the things not to do when implementing such changes! By the end of the year my hope is to have our Clay Station, our Inspiration Station, and our Digital Art station fully operational. Additionally, I hope to have all students in grades 3-5 uploading all of their practice work and their finished artwork to their Art Portfolios on Google Drive by the end of the year.

Sketchbook Challenge - Tints & Shades Edition

It's been awhile since the last sketchbook challenge. Quick recap: you do not need a sketchbook to participate in the sketchbook challenges. And YOU are welcome to participate, too--we love seeing what parents come up with along with their kiddos!

This week's sketchbook challenge is a simple one: create a work of art using a single color and only tints & shades of that color. The example shown here is by our friend Pablo Picasso and was painted during his aptly named blue period. His color of choice? Blue. Lots of it. Light blues (tints), dark blues (shades), and everything in-between.

Give it a shot! What could you create from a single color and its tints and shades? Email me a snapshot of the results!

Riverview Art at Dunn Bro's!

Dunn Bro's in Farmington is once again hosting a collection of student artwork from Riverview. If you find yourself at Dunn Bro's (as you should!) take a gander at the paintings and drawings hanging up in the main seating area. Each were made by 5th graders at Riverview! They'll be hanging up for just a couple more weeks before they're taken down--check them out while you can!

New Year's Resolutions???

If your New Year's Resolution is to get rid of all of that junk in the basement, then I have some good news for you: We'll take it! ...assuming it is on the list below! :)

With more than 800 students using the art studio we're always accepting donations of all kinds of odds 'n' ends and knick-knacks and flim-flams (I made that one up). Below is a list of some of the materials we're always looking for:

  • Yarn
  • Fabric
  • Cardboard
  • Chalk/Pastels/Charcoal
  • Watercolors/Paint-by-Numbers
  • Coloring books
  • Ribbon
  • Beads
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic flowers
  • Patterned paper
  • Tongue depressors/Popcycle sticks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Wooden knick-knacks
  • Glue sticks
  • Hair dryers
  • Easels
  • Empty storage bins (tupperware/rubbermaid)
  • Ice cream buckets
  • Paint brushes
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Old calendars
  • Magazines (school appropriate; used for collage/cutting out)
  • Old books
  • Anything. Anything else. I can only make this list so long--I'm sure there're things out there that I'd never think of but you very well might be sitting on nonetheless. If you think it's something that the students could put to good use, send it our way!

Donations can be dropped off at the front office or can be sent to the art studio with a student. Thank you!

Minecraft Club Registration is Open!

The next session of Riverview's Minecraft Club begins the first week in February and runs right up to Spring Break. We meet once a week for seven weeks and we meet until 5:00pm.

Minecraft Club is for any and all students in 2nd through 5th grade. Each session we have students join who've mastered all that is Minecraft as well as students who have never touched it. We have space for 30 2nd & 3rd graders on Wednesday nights and space for 30 4th & 5th graders on Thursday nights.

The cost is $57 ($4.07/hour for you number crunchers) and registration is handled through Farmington Community Ed. Click the button below to register!

Why do you offer a videogame club at an academic institution?

This question is asked with great frequency and, I imagine, it is wondered with even greater frequency. Minecraft is not a videogame in the traditional sense that there's a start and an end to it. It is not linear, it is experiential. Because its focus is on creation, it could be argued that Minecraft is every bit a learning tool as much as it is a "game".

In Minecraft Club students will start to learn the basics of coding through the ComputerCraft mod, will practice converting different units of measurement, will enhance their spatial awareness and understanding of surface and volume, will create written narratives, all while having the opportunity to see what's just over the next hill with their friends.


The kindergarteners have some collage-penguins to finish up, and once we do we will be learning about Pop artist Andy Warhol and the printing process in January as they return to art class. We'll begin by reading Uncle Andy's by James Warhola and will then be creating collages with images printed in repetition. You'll hear all about it the day students use brayers to paint their hands with!

First Grade

The first graders are finishing up learning about Tints and Shades through a winter wonderland painting including a special splatter-painted snowy sky. Students mixed their own tints and shades for their paintings and even contrasted their cool colors with warm ones for the windows in their cozy homes. Look for these to come home soon if they haven't already!

Next up for the first graders is learning about the original splatter artist himself: Jackson Pollock. If Mr. Stanley seems frazzled throughout January, just remember that he's spending at least an hour each day teaching 6 year olds to splatter paint!

2nd Grade

The second graders created snow-people just before break and had a chance to design some outer-wear for them using our fabric bins. The thrill of using actual fabric to make their snow-peoples' clothes was almost too much for them!

As we start up again in January we'll be learning about M.C. Escher (the only rapper in art. Get it? MC? Hilarious.) and his amazing tessellations. Tessellations are unique in their usefulness for teaching positive and negative space and fun in that students never quite know what their art will look like until it's done. Students will be working with a handful of materials to create their own original tessellations.

3rd Grade

The 3rd graders were learning about creating contrast through their choice of colors before break and we'll be finishing those paintings this week before moving on. Students learned that colors have opposites and that when opposite colors are used around each other they create contrast--the pizz-azz that attracts the eye.

Next on the 3rd graders' agendas is learning all about clay and its 5 stages, as well as learning to compare and contrast two-dimensional art and three-dimensional art. Big concepts for 3rd graders! Between creating, drying, firing, and glazing, students' clay works will likely not be ready for take-home until later in the Winter.

4th & 5th Grades

The 4th & 5th graders are continuing their work on the "Art Cycle" (the name we have given for the independent-creation process in the Art Studio). The "Art Cycle" has five steps to it and each step builds upon the last until the cycle repeats. Here's the short version:

Step 1: Dream up an idea for what you would like to create.

Step 2: Create a plan for how you could make your art. This is what we call our "sloppy copy" or "rough draft". This includes a practice drawing and a list of materials that will be needed.

Step 3: Conference with Mr. Stanley! Once students have created a plan for their art they have to show it to me and conference briefly before getting their materials.

Step 4: Create! Create! Create!

Step 5: Record a video of the artist reflecting on their creation and upload it to Google Drive.

And rinse and repeat. To follow up on what your daughter or son is doing in art, simply ask them to see their Art Portfolio on Google Drive! Each project a student completes should have three files in their Art Portfolio:

File 1 - A picture of their plan.

File 2 - A picture of the finished artwork.

File 3 - A video of the student reflecting on their artwork.

Register for Minecraft Club here!

Click the button to visit the Farmington Community Ed. registration page.