The students looked at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Cow Skull With Calico Roses painted in 1931. They learned that O’Keeffe lived much of her life out west in New Mexico and enjoyed the plains and desert scenery there. She would often find skulls on her nature walks and use them in her paintings. And her colors often reflect the western tones that surrounded her. The students painted backgrounds in sandy tones. They created their skulls by writing their names on a folded paper and then cutting around the name and adding horns from the scraps. In the next class they painted their skulls, tore their paintings, mounted them on a background paper, glued down the skull and made paper flowers. All this creates a unique version of the O’Keeffe masterpiece hanging in The Art Institute of Chicago.
The Fifth Graders Studied the Pop Art of Frank Stella. They learned how he wanted his paintings to look dimensional and eventually created sculptures working with corrugated steel. He composed some dynamic relief pieces with unusual shapes and bright colors. Inspired by those sculptures, the students drew concentric shapes on corrugated cardboard. The shapes were cut and painted solid and then patterned. Additional patterns were added with craypas, then the pieces were assembled with spacers to create more depth and finally the students collaged all sorts of fun items on top. This project has many layers and steps and the 3D sculptures are fascinating to see.