Alexa Baldwin Armenta
Latin American Boom
This project is for Ukiah High School students of Carmen Matus’ Advanced Literature class. Each student will select a piece by a writer from the “Latin American Boom” era, and represent the piece by creating a mask of various items and materials (including plaster bandages with acrylic paint, feathers, felt, fantasy jewelry, fabric, etc), which will be used in a dramatic sketch performed for other students. Artist Alexa Baldwin Armenta and photographer Jeffrey Blankfort will illustrate the Latin Boom for other Ukiahi students through a photo exhibition at the UHS Library. The project will be documented in photos and video from its inception and, as part of the evaluation, student participants will create questions for each other and complete a questionnaire about the project’s value and their experience.
The Art of Nature Journaling
With only a paper and pencil, North County students will learn to observe and record nature by both drawing and writing. They will receive instruction in pencil drawing techniques, along with a blank journal and guidance on close observation of various aspects of nature. They will learn that they can describe and express what they see and feel in nature no matter what their level of proficiency. This training in artistic articulation and nature-watching can serve students throughout life, allowing them to combine and express a love for both art and nature while honoring their own impressions and expressions.
The World Inside: Poetry in the Classroom
This project will allow North Coast students to encounter poetry under the guidance of a professional poet and writer. Students will read and gain appreciation for great poetry, and then write their own poems related to themes in their core curriculum. This will allow them to explore their own language, minds and inner lives as well as the technical aspects of poetry and language. The poems produced in this project will be read aloud by students to each other, additionally providing them valuable experience in public speaking. Selected poems will also be printed and bound into an anthology of student work.
Whale Gulch Community Choir, with “Seasons of Love” mural backdrop
Whale Gulch School students in sixth through twelfth grades, along with local community members of all ages, will meet weekly to learn basic vocal techniques, sing together in harmony, and specifically to rehearse the song “Seasons of Love” (from the musical Rent). Students and community members will also create a permanent mural that will serve as a backdrop for this and other outdoor performances. The mural creation, led by art teacher Ann McCillwain, will represent the “Seasons of Love” theme, and the Whale Gulch Community Choir will perform at the annual trade fair on May 1. The project will instill confidence in both music and art-making, experience in working together in groups, and the message that age does not matter when it comes to teaching, learning and artistic expression.
Art History for Young People
This project will teach art history to K-12 students in the Willits area through lectures and visual presentations. In this rural region, this area of study may not be readily available in-depth through schools and other local cultural resources; this project will help students prepare for a rich, expressive and engaged life through understanding artistic expression in its various historical and cultural settings. Students will gain insights into the cultural, historical and political contexts of art throughout history as well as its place in the modern world, while expanding their critical-thinking skills and cultural literacy.
Bringing Mother Goose to Life Through Dance
Mendocino Ballet’s Artistic Director Trudy McCreanor will choreograph and teach dances from “Mother Goose” nursery rhymes, to be performed by Mendocino Ballet students for elementary and middle-school students. The enriching and entertaining performances will be fully produced—incorporating theatre, music, ballet, jazz and tap dance styles, costume and makeup, lighting and set designs—in five performances held at Mendocino College’s Center Theatre. Mendocino Ballet’s website will also provide related classroom activities for teachers to share with their students before and after the performance, and information about the music composers and stories to be performed, theatre and ballet productions in general, and basic theatre etiquette for attending the performances.
Mendocino County Museum
Mendocino County Museum Road Show School Performance
This project is a performance of the Museum Road Show, bringing California history to a local level using transcribed archival material from oral histories along with various other primary-source material to create performances; in this project they will be geared toward and shared with schoolchildren throughout the county. The original source narratives are knitted together with evocative songs and stories on topics including scenes from master Pomo basketmaker Elsie Allen’s childhood, old home remedies for illnesses, the story of a young boy and a wild hog, the story of a cow, a dog and a shoe, and a sing-along of the song “Buffalo Girls” by students and performers.
Mendocino Dance Project
Mendocino Dance Project will create an environment of emotional expression and excitement about dance and movement for second- and third-graders at Mendocino K-8 School in Mendocino and second-graders at Redwood Elementary School in Fort Bragg. Two instructors will provide eight weeks of dance and movement classes, drawing from topics that students are currently studying in the classroom. Each group will create a unique final dance performance that will be presented to the full school assembly. This project will benefit children both physically and emotionally, help them learn creative ways of expressing ideas and concepts, give them direct experience in choreography and performance—and ideally inspire teachers to integrate of this kind of artistic expression and physicality into the academic school curriculum all year.
Art Synthesizing Cultural Understanding Through Creative Presentation
In line with the Point Arena Joint School District’s adoption of the “New Tech Network” approach to project-based learning, Pacific Community Charter and some Point Arena High School students will learn innovative, arts-based techniques and solutions for synthesizing and presenting various facets of their academic learning. They will use multimedia components such as blogging, audio recording, video illustration, photography, graphic art and digital collage to blend literature, oral presentation, visual representation and technology skills, preparing them (perhaps more effectively than traditional academic approaches can) for real-life situations in which knowledge is a spectrum of overlapping learning, and technology is an essential tool for using it.
Flight School—Drawing Techniques
This project is created in collaboration with the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. Trees, birds and landscapes will be the subject of drawings with vine charcoal on newsprint for sketching rough drafts. Final drawings will then be made using colored pencils on drawing paper. Techniques using Kim Nicolaides’ methods of quick gesture-and-contour sketching will be used along with guided visual steps and color theory, for a deeper understanding of the subject, the materials and the techniques used in nature drawing.
Splash, Mix & Blend—Watercolor
This project is a follow-up to last year’s watercolor lessons with artist Marie Pera. Students will experiment with watercolor paints first by creating a color wheel, then learning about blending colors and using this for reference as they create a still-life painting of vegetables. Grace Carpenter Hudson’s work will be used for inspiration and information, including a summary of her work and techniques. As time permits, pieces will be randomly selected for discussion, providing students experience in kind critique, the variety of expression, and art vocabulary.
Mosaic Mural at Brookside Elementary School, Willits
This project is for second-grade classes at Brookside School. Students will study Mendocino woodland animals living in the wild to generate concepts and images. Guided by experienced muralist Elizabeth Raybee and a novice art instructor she is mentoring, each student will create a few ceramic tiles, glaze them and attach them along with broken commercial tiles to an exterior wall of the school. Each student will gain the experience of drawing the animals, working cooperatively and contributing interest and beauty to the school facility and community at large.
Ferenc Tobak and Lilla Serlegi
“Living the Tradition” Hungarian, Croatian and other Carpathian Basin music
This project will give children a hands-on chance to learn about and play the unique instruments of Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and other Eastern and Central European countries, and learn about the folk music of this tradition. After a live music performance demonstrating these instruments and their traditional use, students will learn about music history and the development of instruments. The folk traditions of this area provide a context for broadening their understanding of culture and folklore as well as the technical aspects of sound and music.
Sea Turtle Mural at Nokomis Elementary School, Ukiah
Fourth- and fifth-grade students in the ASES Program at Nokomis Elementary School in Ukiah will study the different kinds of sea turtles found throughout the world, how they differ from land tortoises, and their importance in ocean ecosystems, as well as ways that humans can help protect them and their habitat. Students will work together to create a collective mural design, and draw their initial images on paper. They will then learn to mix and apply exterior paint to a wall, creating an underwater seascape featuring turtles for future students to enjoy and learn from for years to come.