!My students love International Dot Day. However this year I got our teachers involved as well. I gave every adult a small square sheet of paper with the following instructions “I need your help, can you please make a dot for international dot day. These will be displayed alongside our students dots.” I gave this same assignment to my students they asked zero questions and started using paint, markers, scissors, glue, all kinds of stuff. Some of my students dots were spiky some were ovals, some were ever squares. However the teachers when asked to do this task had a hayday! They asked a lot of questions. “Well what kind of dot do you want? Does it have to be round? What colors does it have to be? Can I use paint or does it have to be markers?” It was so much fun for me to see both sides of this assignment. In the end all our educators, and students had a dot to display. We all became artists and great ones at that the week of International Dot Day!
Have you ever had that day where you go home, and you think “what just happened.” You think you have a handle on a class, but come to find out they played you like a fiddle. It's ok we have all had those days. Even when you have a great classroom management system set up in place you just sometimes have those, ‘Oh My Goodness, That did not just happen.” Kind of days. Well, to make those days a little bit easier I have my own classroom management system. I love it because I do not have to do much. My students are in charge of it. Let me explain.
I have five tasks (rules really but my kids want to break rules, so we don’t have “rules” in my classroom) that they have to do each class. Those tasks are...
I have all five of these tasks posted on the front of my room with smileys beside them. The moment one of those tasks are broken I replace it with a red sad face. If the class gets two red-faced we go to silent art for five minutes, and then if they lose three, I take their artwork away and I have a refocus form that they fill out. So they are writing about their choices, and how they are losing wonderful fun art time. But if the class keeps all the smileys I put a paintbrush in their pocket. The first class in each grade that gets 5 paintbrushes will get a trophy that goes back to their classroom. Then everyone in that grade starts over, and the next class to get five paintbrushes will go steal it from the previous classroom. Doing this type of management has helped my students a ton because they get to own their successes and mistakes visually.
My students love these art trophies. Because they are proud of them and want to have them in their classroom. However during class when a student starts to break one of the five tasks other students will redirect their behavior because they do not want to lose any points. This has been helpful for me, and I hope it can be helpful for you as well.
I am forever changed because of the impact that this class and this experience has had on me. This class is one that pushed me to my limits. You have to memorize quite a few artists, as well as artworks. So many, that it may seem impossible to remember them all. However, everything that happened within this class is one that is needed and meaningful! The content within this class is Italian Art. However, that is a broad term. Italians have changed their ideas and culture quite a few times. The first part of Roman history is pagan, and the last part is Christian. This can make it hard at times to understand what icons are being used and what they mean. This class has prepared me extremely well to understand the content within the artwork.
The experience itsself has been one that I will never forget. My time was spent between Rome and Florence. Rome and Florence are both beautiful cities. The amount of beautiful artwork and architecture cannot be matched anywhere else. Saint Peter's Basilica is one structure that every person should see. It is beautiful at night when it is all lit up. It also has a ton of historical elements to it that other churches and such just do not have. This building also houses Michelangelo's first Pieta sculpture.
In Florence there are many many wonderful things to see. The Florence Cathedral that houses the Duomo is such a beautiful structure! The engineering within the duomo is also such a fascinating site to see. Florence also has some really cool graffiti that you can follow along the streets, and see multiple artist’s works. None of Banksy works are here in Florence, but displays many others who are very talented. This was neat to explore because you can see what the people of Florence cared about. Believe it or not, a few times these artists were putting their own spin on art works that are important to art history. This was neat to observe, and walk through the city trying to find.
Even though the graffiti experience I had was wonderful, the experience that spoke to me the most was the Academia Gallery. This gallery is one that houses Michelangelo's David sculpture. it also houses his Slave sculptures. Seeing the Slave sculptures was the exact experience I thought it would be. After writing many papers about these sculptures, and studying them in a few different classes, it was so wonderful to finally see them in person. These sculptures are ones that many people debate about, whether they were finished, or incomplete. That conclusion is one that you can decide yourself, but regardless of your choice, seeing these sculptures was one that is wonderful!!
This trip has been great!! I have learned a lot, and I now understand a little bit better the ideas behind the Italian history, and Italian Art. The impact that this class has had on my way of thinking and knowledge of art will go on to influence the students that I will teach, as well as the community that I will be involved in as well.
This sculpture was one that I was so looking forward to seeing. However this setting for this sculpture is one that is not ideal. It is part of a tomb for a former pope. This tomb is setting within a small church called San Pietro in Vincoli, meaning Peter in chains. St. Peters chains that he was freed from are located within this church as well.
However this sculpture is part of a tomb, and it is roped off to where you cannot get very close to the tomb. Also the lighting that the church has set up for this tomb is one that is not ideal. It creates a harsh light that just allows the sculpture to get lost within all the other marble. It was not the experience that I was hoping for. The church seemed to not like visitors coming into the church just to see the sculpture. I understand how frustrating it can be having tourist come into a church, and ruin a wonderful experience that someone might be having with their creator. However the tourist that are coming to experience this maculate sculpture want to have a spiritual experience. At least I do. Especially this sculpture is one that is very important to the christian, and jewish faiths. So I want to be able to go into a church and see a sculpture in its natural setting, and let it do what it was intended to do. This sculpture might have been created out of greed from a controversial Pope, however now it is used as a memory to what is taught in the old testament. It is one that is suppose to remind us christians that Moses stood in front of God, and when he came off the mountain he had a heavenly ora. Its suppose to remind us that the Israelites were traveling through the dessert for a very long time, and that these people God's people were resilient, and faithful. They had little bumps along the way, but they mad it to the promised land. This sculpture is suppose to encompass the idea of a manly leader that was not going to put up with any thing that was not God's plan for these people. This sculpture would do that, if it was in a little different setting. All in all I love this sculpture, just not the location, or the tomb that it is attached too.
Details can make or break any situation, object, or building. Creating a very detailed schedule while you are on vacation can be troublesome. However, details when packing for a ten day trek through the woods can mean the difference in survival or not. The same goes for artwork; too many details and a piece can be over loaded, not enough detail, and a piece is bland and boring. However, this Sacrifice of Isaac piece that was done by Donatello, and ________ is one that has just enough detail. The detail is not over baring, and it is not too bland without the details.
Within this work there are many different Biblical details that you might not understand unless you have read the Bible story. These being that Moses is looking over his shoulder. This is the point in the story in which God provided a lamb, or ram to sacrifice instead of Isaac. This is most likely what Moses is looking at. Isaac is looking away towards the ground. Isaac is probably looking away out of fear, and not understanding what is happening. The next Biblical detail that has been added is the wood next to Isaac. This is important because this altar that Moses built was on top of a mountain. Usually the animal that is being sacrificed would carry the wood up the mountain, but in this case there was no animal. So Isaac carried the wood to the top of the mountain just like the animal that would have been sacrificed would have done.
The details within the art work are spectacular. The first that I noticed was that one of Moses's sleeves is rolled up. It is super subtle, but kind of neat. The next detail I noticed was that the fabric in Moses's clothes is one that is wonderful and flowy. This cloth does not look like hard marble, but looks instead like soft fabric. The next detail is the one of Isaacs torso. While I was looking in the museum I thought it was one that somewhat resembled Donatello's David sculpture. However, referring back to that sculpture, there are a few similarities, but not a ton. This work is one that I enjoyed looking at in depth.
You know that feeling that you get as a child on Christmas morning, and you just cannot wait any longer, and you just want to bust into your Christmas presents? This is the feeling I got at the Academia Gallery yesterday. This gallery houses Michelangelo’s David Sculpture, but it also has Michelangelo’s slave sculptures. Michelangelo is such a magnificent artist that his work is still debated about today! These slave sculptures split the art world in half! Some people say they are complete and some people think the are not. Regardless if they are or aren’t, if these sculptures do not move you, than you have not looked at them long enough!
There are four slave sculptures, and a sculpture of Pieta and Jesus. The two that I found the most influential were the one of the slaves and the Pietra. The Pieta sculpture is one that Jesus is finished. Therefore, he has been buffed out, and has less, if not any chisel marks on him. However, the two Mary sculptures in the background are both not nearly as refined. It is just such a wonderful way to show the feeling that the two Mary’s might have been feeling, even though they knew that Jesus was there to save them! Also the sentiment for Jesus to be fully refunded, and close to glowing around the two women, is just a wonderful sight to see. Especially as a Christian!
After the Academia Gallery, we walked through Brunesllesci's perfect Renaissance Piazza. After that, we went to the Bargello Gallery, and saw a few more of Michelangelo's sculptures. However Donatello's David sculptures, and Vecchio's David sculptures, where both within this Gallery as well. At the end of the day we got to experience the Santa Croce Basilica, and Museum. In all it was a wonderful day, except for it being a little rainy!
Have you ever seen on TV about the Black Friday accidents that happen? Crowds so demanding, and impatience that is willing to literally plow over another human being to get to the item that is on sale. Sometimes in museums this is how it may feel. Especially if you are in the Vatican! With this being said, there are many other disadvantages to seeing art within a museum. Those being the tour groups take up a ton of space, and they think they own the place. Also, there are so many people that you cannot truly enjoy the artwork, especially if it is tough to make your way to the front to see the artwork up close. With all this being in mind, there are also many advantages to artwork being in one place. Simply the fact that it is convenient to have a lot of great works all in one place. It would be hard to find a lot of these works in one location where they were intended to be.
Although, sometimes I think that it is an injustice to move artwork out of its original location. Because location dictates what can be done with an artwork. Location controls how large a work can be, and it controls if there is a way to hang it on the wall or if it needs to be hung from the ceiling. There are so many factors that go into an artwork before the artist even starts to artwork.
Also moving an artwork changes the meaning of it as well. For instance seeing Giotto's altar piece in the Uffitzi was so wonderful! However, if this altar piece would have still been in the church that it was created for, it would have been a totally different experience. You could see how the people appreciated the work instead of just how tour guides, and other patrons appreciated the work.