Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.

My favorite classroom art was completed by last year's geometry students.   I was "babysitting" them while most of the 8th grade was taking the course three SOL.   Our art teacher even let us borrow her classroom, so we felt like real, live artists.

First, I found a couple of photographs of Mr. Cash on line that I liked.   My real, live artist boyfriend made us the patterns you see below.   We then planned out which colors would go where.  

The patterns for the collage. These were traced on poster board and cut out.
I toted in magazines for the students.   At school, we cut out bits of black, light and dark browns, skin tone, silver and fingers!   Yes, fingers!   I was on a Romare Bearden kick since I saw his collage, "Three Folk Musicians," in a Scholastic Art magazine.   You can see it by following this link.   Be sure to zoom in on the fingers!

Designated student pasters worked on different pieces of the collage.   You can really see the beauty of the technique in the guitar below.   We pieced it all together on a piece of red poster board.

The finished collage before strings, frets, tuning pegs and lamination.

When it was dry, I used a silver Sharpie to draw the guitar strings.   I then cut strips from an old map of Arkansas and Tennessee to make the frets and tuning pegs.   I made sure to include Dyess, Hendersonville and Nashville.   Then, I hauled it to Office Max to be laminated.

Mr. Cash kept watch over the back left corner of my classroom behind my desk on the side of a file cabinet.   He took on some water in my classroom when the tornado raised the roof.   The seal of the lamination didn't protect him from mold.   When I heard that the storm hit my school, I couldn't help but think of his song "Five Feet High and Rising."

Just yesterday, a parent of one of my current students sent me word of an end-of-year gift for my new classroom.   She is also a sub, so she had seen my Johnny Cash art.  

Here's what's on its way to me right now:
Johnny Cash - An American Legend Music Poster Print, 22x34

What's not to love?

Note: You certainly don't have to be an artist to facilitate such activities in your classroom.   Leaf through some Scholastic Art magazines, see the lesson plans they've created and modify them to suit your curriculum, time constraints, needs and abilities.   You won't believe the beauty that emerges.