Welcome Back – Pinwheels for Peace


A belated welcome back to everyone here on the Conant Art blog!

To get this year started, students participated again in the international art installation project known as Pinwheels for Peace.  To celebrate students in each grade designed a pinwheel with symbols of peace on one side, and words of peace on the other.  These pinwheels were then installed on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2015.

The installation went really well and all the pinwheels were out for everyone to see over the weekend.  If you didn’t get a chance to see the pinwheels outside, or would like to see more about the process, check out the photos below.

Also, stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved and make a pinwheel to help children who have had to leave Syria due to the conflict there.  Conant School is participating in the Students Rebuild: Healing Classrooms Challenge, and will be donating our pinwheels to help raise money.  I am so proud of all the students who decided to donate their pinwheels….we have almost the entire school participating!


Our student teacher, Miss LeBold taught a few Pinwheels for Peace lessons



Installing Pinwheels


Installing Pinwheels


Installing Pinwheels


Installing Pinwheels


Happy Youth Art Month!


March is Youth Art Month and Conant is celebrating with 3 shows in and around Acton! We have a show at the Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough, a show at the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, and a show at the State Transportation Building in Boston!

Congratulations to all the students whose art work was selected for display, and to everyone at Conant for all the wonderful art you make weekly in art and daily outside of art!  Starting today we will work on our school wide bulletin board to celebrate, and of course, we will continue to be makers!

Check out the work below that has been put on display in our three Youth Art Month exhibits, and be sure to check out the progress of our collaborative bulletin board.

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Catching Up – Grades 3, 4, 5, & 6 – Regular Art


It always seems that each year I get behind on sharing what is happening in the art room.  This year it hit right around the holiday’s, which I think everyone can understand…..But good news is, I’m finally catching up!

Scroll down to check out what we’ve been up to at Conant in grades 3 -6 recently!

Grade 3 has been working on their biography portraits, which are created in connection with the research they do in their classroom for their biography reports.  For more information about the unit, check out my EDCO collaborative EdTech post here.  Also, be sure to check out the finished drawings by visiting our Artsonia gallery.

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Grade 4 has been working on their nonrepresentational watercolor paintings.  They’ve learned a variety of techniques, created Explain Everything videos to share how to do those techniques, and have almost finished up their final paintings.  Be sure to check back to see the finished pieces.  They should be uploaded to Artsonia later this week!

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Grade 5 has been diligently working through a number of drawing workshops in their sketchbook to prepare for a colored pencil self portrait.  They’ve learned about contour drawing, line shading, value scales, color blending, and facial proportion.  We just started our self portraits, and should be done after February break. Be sure to check out our Artsonia gallery after the break to check out the finished drawings!

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Grade 6 has been exploring making figurative wire sculptures of people in action.  We started the unit by practicing our gesture drawing skills, which included some students posing for the classmates. Before starting our final sculptures, we did some idea sketches in our sketchbooks.  Students are really working on their problem solving skills with this unit. Check out the photos below to get a better idea of what they’ve been doing.

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Welcome Back & Pinwheels for Peace


With school starting after Labor Day this year, the art room @ Conant School has been in fast forward mode, working to get our pinwheels finished for Pinwheels for Peace.

Photo Sep 12, 10 36 57 AM Photo Sep 12, 10 36 42 AM

Students have been thinking about what peace means to them and creating pinwheels with words and designs related to peace.Photo Sep 12, 10 36 34 AM

I learned about the project at the National Art Education Conference in Boston in 2005, and have been participating with my students ever since.  “Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan,…as a way for their students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The project was quickly embraced…by millions of art teachers, teachers, parents, children and adults who desire peace in our world”

This year International Day of Peace falls on Sunday, so our pinwheels will be installed on Friday September 19, and will be removed on Monday September 22.  Be sure to stop by and check out the pinwheels flying for ‘whirled peace’.  Students in grades k-3 will find their pinwheels by the school sign by Taylor Rd, and students in grades 4-6 will find their pinwheels in the back field by Minot Rd.

Also Heidi Kupferman, the art teacher at McCarthy-Towne school is participating in Pinwheels for Peace with her students, so there will be even more pinwheels flying in Acton this weekend!

Summer Art Opportunities w/ Miss Hayes


Like previous years, I will be offering a number of art related classes through Acton Community Ed via their Escapades program. These are week long classes that run either in the am or pm for 3 hours (9-12pm or 1-4pm).  If you register your child for an am & pm class, you can also sign your child up for lunch bunch, which means they will be cared for from 9-4pm for the entire week!

Check out below to see the classes I will be offering, and be sure to click through to register if you are interested.  Classes with low enrollment will be cancelled about a week before they run, so it’s important to register if you are interested!

Passport Around the World – June 30 – July 3 – 9am – 12pm – For students entering grades 1 and 2 (though exceptions can be made)

Learn all about the many different people, animals, and places on planet Earth.  Students will be provided with a passport for their travels and get a stamp after each country we visit!  Using stories and artwork, students will learn about and explore many different countries.  As a group we will learn about how these countries are different from our own, and how they are the same.  It is suggested that students bring water and a snack, as we will take a break during our travels!


Design and Make Your Own Stamps and Stationary – July 7 – 11 – 9am – 12pm – For students entering grades 4 through 8 (though exceptions can be made)

Learn about and explore a variety of printmaking techniques to create beautiful rubber stamps.  You will learn some of the history of printmaking while working in this interesting medium.  Specifically, you will learn about linoleum printing and how it differs from other types of printmaking.  Using these new skills, you will be able to create your own stamps.

Jewelry Design – July 7 – 11 – 1pm – 4pm – For students entering grades 4 through 8 (though exceptions can be made)

If jewelry is something that you love, this is the class for you!  Learn a variety of jewelry making techniques to make your very own unique jewelry.  You will use paper, clay, plastic, wire, and other materials to make your own jewelry components.  These components will then be used to make a variety of jewelry.  Express your individual style with handmade jewelry.


Yarn Play – July 14 -18 – 9am – 12pm – For students entering grades 4 through 7 (though exceptions can be made)

Whether you know how to knit or crochet, or you are brand new to these crafts, this is the class for you! If you are a new student, you will choose between either knitting or crocheting. Using your preferred fiber technique, you will learn to make a variety of projects. Depending on how quickly you pick it up, this could include scarves, bags, and hats. If you already know how to knit or crochet, come to learn more advanced techniques, like learning how to read and follow patterns, and how to change colors in your work. Since the class size is small, you will be able to receive individual attention and help with the projects you have chosen.  This will help you to master either technique.

Functional Art – July 14 -18 – 1pm – 4pm – For students entering grades 4 through 8 (though exceptions can be made)

Enjoy exploring a variety of arts and crafts during this functional art class.   Functional art means that it is not only something that is pleasing to look at but it serves a purpose.  Some examples of functional art are handmade books and ceramics.  Using a variety of materials and techniques, you will craft decorative books, tie-dye t-shirts, weave containers, create your own jewelry, and many other things.


Painting From Observation – July 21 – 25 – 9am – 12pm 

Practice your painting skills with the material of your choice in this painting from observation class.  You will choose from a variety of objects in class for your subject matter.  You will also be given the opportunity to bring in special items from home to use as inspiration.  You will learn about and use color theory, along with other tips and tricks for painting with acrylic paint.  Students will also have the chance to paint on canvas, like many painting Masters before them!

Stop Motion Animation – July 21 – 25 – 1pm – 4pm – For students entering grades 5 through 9 (though exceptions can be made)

Learn the history and basics of stop-motion animation and then learn what you need to know to create your own stop-motion animation.  Students will create or source all the components for their stop-motion animations.  Using iPads and apps on the iPads students will build, record, and edit their animations, and share them on YouTube or Vimeo.

Grade 6 – Inspired Paintings


The work above was inspired by Paul Klee & Winslow Homer

Six graders are all most finished their Inspired Paintings, which is good, since it’s almost the end of the year!!!

I am so proud of the thought, time, and effort they’ve put into these pieces.  Check out a sample of these paintings below, and be sure to click through to check out the Artsonia gallery.

Vang Gogh & Kahlo

Vang Gogh & Kahlo

Van Gogh, Warhol, Lichtenstein

Van Gogh, Warhol, Lichtenstein

Pissarro & O'Keeffe

Pissarro & O’Keeffe

Grade 6 – Painting Inspiration


This word cloud was created using the list of artists 6 graders chose as their inspiration and the web app tagxedo

Six graders have started their paintings inspired by an artist of their choice.  To prepare for this unit, students reviewed this Google presentation, and then either read a Getting to Know book or a Scholastic Art magazine about their artist.  They learned more about their artist, and his/her style, and made a choice about how they wanted to use that in their own work.  Students could be inspired by the subject matter, paint application, color scheme, etc.

Check out the photos below to see students in action, working on their paintings.

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