We have had a busy start to the year in the art room! Our students have completed their first few rotations of the year, and they have learned and accomplished so much already!

Grade 1:

Over the past several weeks, the Grade 1 students have been applying their understanding that “creations come together to make new creations” in the art room. They participated in several experiential art-making experiences, including making their own felt from raw wool (roving). Students attached different colours of roving together by layering one on top of the other and encouraging the natural hooks and barbs to attach by rubbing them gently with soapy water. The result is their own beautiful new creation!

Then, students used a miraculous product that comes from the earth, clay, to create a chanukkiyah. They applied their understanding of patterning to sculpt a beautiful backdrop for the candles to stand against. The chanukkiyot were glazed on Tuesday and the students will be able to bring home their creations in time for Chanukkah!

Grade 2:

Over the past few months, the grade 2 students participated in 3 rotations of art so far. They first began their “Days of Creation” artwork, an iterative work of art that mimics God’s creation of the earth. Students experimented with different watercolour washes before they separated the sky from the water which occurred on Day 2. Then, on Day 3 when the land emerged from the water, the students used masking tape to create areas of land on their page. The students added grass, earth, and sand to represent the land. When they removed their tape, students painted different vegetation, including a variety of trees, fruit trees, and vegetables. Then finally they added the sun, moon, and stars, animals that live in the air and water, and mammals.

Grade 3:

The Grade 3 students participated in experiential artmaking in our Heschel Garden after seeing temporal works of art by Andy Goldsworthy. They worked individually and in chaveruta to look carefully at the garden, collect different items they found on the ground, sort them into categories, and create a work of art. Then, students learned the art of perspective drawing to learn to draw landscapes. The students will apply this skill later in the year when they create a drawing of Avram and Lot dividing their land.

Next, students studied ecosystems and their interconnected elements. They used wool donated by Topsy Farms on Amherst Island, Ontario, to create their own tapestries that reflect an ecosystem. Students considered which colour would reflect each element of their system, and wove intricate, beautiful artworks to reflect the interconnected nature of our environment.

Grade 4:

The Grade 4 artists learned the art of still life drawing which culminated in each student drawing a still-life artwork of a Shofar. The students began by ‘hearing’ the colours of the Shofar; each student visualized the colour they ‘saw’ when they imagined hearing the Shofar and again after hearing it. Students were introduced to their Artists-in-Residence for this unit, Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse, highly influential still-life artists. Over the course of the rotation, students learned several still-life drawing techniques, further developed their ability to associate colour with sound, and created their own works of art to express the sound of the Shofar.

Grade 5

Over the first few weeks of school, the Grade 5 students have focused on expressing their experience of having all ‘been’ together at Har Sinai. They began the year by creating a group mural of our shared experience at Har Sinai. Then, each student received a piece of the puzzle, onto which they drew their own perspective of what they saw/felt/experienced.

They participated in in-depth colour theory lessons in which students used the primary colours (red, yellow, blue) to mix as many variations of secondary colours (green, orange, purple), which we learned are called tertiary colours, as they could. They learned to create a greyscale by adding small amounts of white to black, and vice versa, and how to mix a wide variety of tints (adding white to a colour) and shades (adding black to a colour).

Students then visualized, read, and analysed the text of Sefer Shemot, Perek 19, 16-19. They selected words that resonated with their experience and created paintings to reflect how they felt at Har Sinai. The students stretched their colour-mixing skills and learned how to apply paint in innovative ways. Their artwork reflects their risk-taking, creativity, and dedication to their learning.

Grade 6:

Over the past three weeks, the grade six students have become architects! They practiced creating spaces using a kit-of-parts, and photographed their models as if they were in the spaces. Then, drawing on their knowledge of architecture as well as seeing precedents of innovative sukkah designs, students embarked on creating sukkot in chaveruta. Each student considered the scale, the number of people their sukkah would hold, where it would be located, and what it would be constructed of. They learned to use model-making tools such as a glue gun and x-acto knife and worked collaboratively to execute their design. Next rotation, the students will be presenting their sukkot to two guest architects!

About This Column

The Heschel Gallery is a Heschel Hive column that appears at the end of every rotation throughout the year. It features students’ artwork with an explanation of the project by Morah Lisa for context. This is a wonderful way to appreciate the diversity and beauty of the students’ creations!

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