News from the Art Cafe, 1st Grade

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Dear AJA Parents,

I am SO excited to have the opportunity to spend quality time exploring your children’s creative energy in Art at the Austin Jewish Academy and look forward to spending many precious hours with them.

Starting off the year we consider Marcel Duchamp (1887 –1968), one of the first artists to take “readymade objects” out of their natural environment and place it in an environment of the Gallery – thus creating an “art-piece”. One would ask: “Is this Art?” Well, that’s a discussion for another time.

In the meantime, your children are on the verge of exploration and discovery – Give them a chance to investigate the meaning of ”Art” by donating all your “trash/recyclables” to the Art Room Treasure Box found in Room 230 (The Art Room).

Please donate:

Magazines, newspapers, plastic bottles (all sizes), toilet and pare towels cardboard rolls, plastic containers (Small and large Yogurt/Dan Active), lids of jars/bottles, baby food jars, soda/beer bottle caps, wine bottle corks, soda can openers, puzzles (all sizes) pieces, washers, shaped pieces of wood, broken toy parts (party favors, doll parts), old keys, computer parts, brown paper shopping bags, small plastic containers (contact lens, pill box containers), old toothbrushes, dental floss, styrofoam trays, packaging peanuts, small cardboard boxes, small wooden boxes, shoes boxes, etc.


Glass jars or bottles as glass is not safe for the children.

If you are not sure that your budding artists can use particular items – please bring them anyway and I will recycle what we don’t use.

Please bring all recyclables to the Art room #230.

Thank you so much,

Ms. Slom

(Susan Slomowitz, AJA Art Specialist)

The art curriculum at the AJA is based on the elements and principles of Art.

In 1st grade the first Principle of Art that we are learning is “Emphasis”. This principle indicates the most important element in the art work because it attracts the viewer’s attention first.

We started off by taking a look at apple still life paintings by Matisse (1869-1954) Cezanne (1839-1906) and Renoir (1841-1919). The final slide we saw showed a bird’s eye still life of a plate of apples that the student’s used as the visual reference for their own work.

First, they traced around a foam plate on paper to make their own plate. Then the students used tempera paints and paintbrushes to paint the background one solid color of their choice. We let these dry. Then we painted the off-white/butter-cream color of the plate, and worked on the solid background with oil pastels to create patterns on the table cloth around the plate. Once the plate was dry we painted green and red apples onto the plate, added highlights to the apples in orange and yellow and added the letter “C” around the plate and apples to create a shadow to the fruit and plate.

The students were very happy with the results of this painting.