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CLaes Oldenburg - Meet The Masters


From: Hillmer, Jan (hillmjan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Feb 04 2002 - 12:55:28 PST

This day was such a success that I thought I'd pass it along.

Three times a year, we have a special program for the 2nd - 5th grades
called Meet the Masters. We've revamped a program that used to take all
the art classes for a week and squeezed it into one day with art, drama
and music sharing their class time.
  At the beginning of the year three artists are picked as our 'artists
of interest'. A parent volunteer group gathers to learn about the
upcoming chosen artist (our 3 this year were/are Toulouse-Latrec,
Oldenburg, and Miro).A parent presents this information to the other
volunteers. During this meeting,the parents also brainstorm ideas and
offer suggestions for the ideas already offered by the Fine Arts
teachers - art, music and drama. The groundwork is then developed - we
try to fold drama in, often as parents playing the parts of the artist
and his/her wife, friend, associate, etc. This supplies the information
about the artist and their work. We then find music of the artist's
time and country - either somehow related to him/her or related to their
art in some way. Finally, we find a mini art project that relates to
the artist's work. Supplies are gathered, at least 2 parents are
assigned to work in each area.
(a few weeks pass )
Claes Oldenburg has arrived! Three classes rotate through these three
areas, each starting with the 'special' they are regularly assigned to
that day.
In the Drama room, 'Claes' shows pictures of and explains some of his
works, how he got the ideas, 'Coosje' also does some explaing of how she
is a part of the creative team. This takes approx. 20 minutes.
In the Music room, the improvisation music of Harry Parch is played -
he's from the 60's and created his own instruments to create his music.
Jimi Hendrix's 'Star Spangled Banner' is also played. Then the children
are divided into small groups and shown enlarged photos of some of
Oldenburg's sculptures. Students are then invited to recreate the
sculpture using their bodies. They rotate to various photos to create
that sculpture. This takes approx. 20 min.
Art - Teachers were instructed earlier to bring their students to a
large school courtyard. A few weeks before, parents had cut and
painted burlap, styrofoam and small beach balls to represent various
ingredients of a salad. These items were laid out off to the side.
After a small introduction, the class was divided in half, one group to
hold the 'bowl' (parachute), the other group to throw in the
ingredients. Then we counted to three and tossed the veggies up in the
air. We did this in various ways, talking about how we might have
included other ingredients and materials. The kids loved this
'performance' art.
As art teacher, I oversaw this in a general fashion and primarily stayed
with the art group although I did visit the drama and music areas as
The best part was that the 4th grade teachers assigned the students to
photograph and report about this fun day.
Please visit "Meet the Masters" and enjoy.