Friday, November 4, 2011


WOW... Yesterday we went to Omaha to the Joslyn Art Museum for their Celebrate Creativity Day.  It was AWESOME!  The Orchestra teacher and I worked together to take 50 students.  They spent the morning touring the museum and completing different sessions and after lunch they listened to the Omaha Symphony play.  For my first time ever doing a field trip, it rocked!
photo courtesy of
Favorite Sessions...
     Sweet Beats: the students learned about different percussion instruments from around the world and how to use them.
     Art of the States: students created a work of art that reflected a state without using representational material.
     Put Your Face On:  students were introduced to theatrical make-up. 
(I honestly thought a bus had wrecked when the first group came back with bleeding head wounds)
    Snapshots: Students were introduced to photography by a professional photographer.
    Mmmmm Bop: Students worked on the art of vocal percussion.
    Animate:  Students explored the art of animation.
    Just Dance:  Students read a work of poetry and then created an interpretive dance that reflected the story.

Favorite Gallery Tours...
    This completely depended on the Docent.  I followed one group where the docent was expecting college level discussion of art.  I followed another group where the docent did an AMAZING job of teaching the students the stories behind the art and making them ask questions and interact with the art.  The tours were European Art, American Landscape: Contemporary Photographs of the West, American Art and Then and Now: Modern to Contemporary Art.

The Concert...
      I was nervous that my art students who are not in orchestra may not enjoy this but the Joslyn did an AMAZING job of tying the art and music together.  They started by thanking the kids for committing to creating art throughout their lives. The first piece of music featured a brother sister duo from Omaha, who are still in high school, playing an unbelievable duet. 
      The second thing they did was discuss line.  They talked about line in art, line in music and line in dance.  They illustrated their point by looking at artwork, listening to and looking at music and watching ballet dancers.  They then played music while showing artwork that had the same kind of lines.  Next they used a really neat computer program that took the music the orchestra was playing (Beethoven's 5th Symphony, 1st Movement) and turned it into a line (or lines) of light on the screen.  When the music was calm, the line was small and straight.  As the music grew in intensity, the lines grew in size and began to dance all over the screen. 
      The finale was a performance of The Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker.  They had a group of performers from the Omaha Ballet come and perform to the music.  It was wonderful and the kids couldn't believe it when it was over.  They wanted more. 

All in all it was an amazing (can I use that word a few more times in this post) day.  We are going to really try to do it again next year... but with funding.  This year the kids paid for the trip BY THEMSELVES!  What a wonderful commitment from them. 

To follow this up, I am going to try to host monthly art classes for those who went on the trip.  We will create artwork that reflects the images we saw yesterday... think Degas' Little Dancer, Sandy Skoglund, Helen Frankenthaler, George Segal, Animation, European "story art."  Oh my mind is racing with ideas!

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