Artist in Residence Recap: Tamie Nakamura

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Wow time is flying by! Can’t believe it’s almost time to wrap up for the year and get all those final pieces of artwork finished.

Thank you to Artist in Residence Tamie Nakamura for helping Grade 1 and Prep students to create stunning mosaic pieces for the outdoor Lower School playground!

Working with tiles to create animals and plants from the natural world was both challenging and rewarding for little hands. Our library makerspace was full of bright, colourful pieces as students carefully created their individual works, which were then placed into larger mosaic jungle and ocean scenes. It’s hard to believe how beautiful and well-crafted the final result looks!

Tamie originates from Japan but has spent many years living in Hong Kong and Mauritius. Her background is in textile and fabric design and her work is influenced by her family and young son. Tamie’s large scale works with young students are wonderful and whimsical, and we can’t wait to have her back again!

Prep: Printmaking

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It’s that time of the year again! Prep gets messy in the art room with printmaking. As part of our Where We Are in Place and Time unit we think about how books are made and copies are printed. How were these first made before we had printing machines and photocopiers? Imagine how long it would take if all our books were hand-printed!

Students etched out their own patterns and designs and used brayer and ink to create a patterned artwork. The results are lovely!

Grade 1 Puppet Spotlights A Success!

What a fantastic Grade 1 spotlight!! Congratulations to all Grade 1 students for all their hard work in Performing and Visual Arts leading up to this performance. I was so impressed by the agency of students in choosing their performance part, creating their props and bringing the important message of Amrita’s Tree to the CDNIS community. Wow!! To watch the performances please check out Ms. Benusa’s blog post here.
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Grade 1: Sharing the Planet

Amrita’s Tree

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Bringing the story of Amrita’s Tree to life with Ms. Benusa and Grade 1 teachers as our book characters. Big round of applause to Ms. McNally as Amrita, Mr. Thomas as the Maharaja and Mr. Brown as our tree!

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Learning about the tradition of shadow puppetry around the world with a focus on Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. How does our body movements, distance, quality of paper and lighting all affect how our story is told? How can we express feeling and emotion through an inanimate puppet?

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Getting in touch with nature! While we continue to learn more about bold Indian patterns and intricate shadow puppet design it’s important that we don’t lose track of why we are telling this story in the first place. Students took to the Green Roof for a bit of animal yoga, gesture drawing and nature observational drawings to think about our connection to nature and why natural resources such as trees should be conserved, respected and used in a sustainable fashion.

Transdisciplinary Theme: Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: The earth has limited resources that living things depend on

  • How living things use Earth’s resources
  • How needs and wants impact Earth’s resources
  • The choices people make to sustain Earth’s resources

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Cathy Hunt iPad artist @ CDNIS

It has been a great privilege to work with Apple Distinguished Educator Cathy Hunt, who spent a very busy week at CDNIS working with Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students and teachers before the Christmas break. Cathy is an award-winning educational consultant, presenter and experienced iPad and Visual Arts teacher from Australia. During her time with us as faculty in residence we learned about hands-on, tactile and collaborative ways of working with iPads and were introduced to loads of great resources as an outlet for expressing ourselves. We hope to see you again soon Cathy!

Learn more about Cathy’s work on her website.


Grade 2: How We Express Ourselves

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Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Images and language are used to convey ideas and engage an audience

Where does language come from? In the art room we are exploring the history of pictographs – pictures and images representing an idea (for example in ancient Chinese characters). These are a bit different from phonetic languages such as the English alphabet or Egyptian Hieroglyphics, which represent sounds.

How can we create our own symbols to represent our ideas while at the same time allowing a viewer/reader to understand our thoughts? Grade 2 students are creatively brainstorming ways to move from the literal to the symbolic. Give it a try! What kind of symbols could you create to represent earth, nature, cold, light? How about more abstract concepts like love, worry, care or understand?

To connect with these artists/writers from the past we are also learning about the creation of paint through natural pigments. As colour scientists, students are grinding up natural materials such as charcoal, limestone, chalk and clay into earthy ochre tones as well as using coffee as a natural dye.

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Lascaux cave painting (Paleolithic approx 17,300 years old)