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Tableaux Vivants: ‘Living Pictures’ Performance Art

26 Oct

tableaux vivants pinable

First grade tableau vivant: Keith Haring, “Five Figures Dancing”.

Our first and second graders acted out a series of tableaux vivants (‘living pictures’ ) last week. In traditional tableaux, people dress up as the characters in an artwork. They hold a minutes-long pose in front of an elaborately painted background. We skipped the costumes and backdrops, but still had a great time interacting with the artworks.

We began with a Powerpoint and video (see below). For a warm up, we practiced posing like the Mona Lisa. After students understood the basic concept, they acted out artworks with progressively larger groups of characters.

After a few group activities, I put a bunch of art books on the tables and let students act out whatever they liked.

homer tableau vivant

First grade tableau vivant: Winslow Homer ‘Snap the Whip’.

Second grade tableau vivant: Henry Moore, "Reclining Figure"

Second grade tableau vivant: Henry Moore, “Reclining Figure”.

Second grade tableau vivant.

Second grade tableau vivant.

I love the second grade interpretation of Roy Lichtenstein’s Wham!. The little girl in the photo is acting out the explosion.

Wham! tableau vivant

Second grade tableau vivant: Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Wham!’

Resources:

‘Pagent of the Masters’ is an elaborate tableaux vivants production staged each summer here in Southern California. It has been going on since 1933, and features tableaux based on painting, sculpture, prints and more. Check out this video from CBS Sunday Morning .

Here is the Google Presentation (it’s just like a Powerpoint) I created for our lesson. It includes some fun ‘sculpture game’ activities at the end.

Tableaux vivants are a great way to interact with artworks at the museum. Check out this article from Art Museum Teaching.

Next steps:

Can you imagine the students staging their own Pagent of the Masters? They could select their own artworks, dress up, paint their own background, gather props, have a student director, an iPad photographer….how cool would that be? Maybe next term….

Enjoy!

Art Activities from MoMA

20 Jul

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I’m taking an online class from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The class is called Art & Activity: Interactive Activities for Engaging with Art. I’m learning some really good techniques that I just have to share with you.

Check out these art activities from MoMA Learning

  • Turn and Talk
  • Whip Around
  • Visual Inventory
  • Memory

The class is offered FREE via Coursera. The class is a MOOC (massive open online course): I’m taking it with 23,000 others!! Class began on July 7 and ends on August 4, 2014. You can join in late. Click here to learn more.

 

Enjoy!

Art + Cooking Camp Recipe: Japanese Cupcakes

18 Jul

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Japanese steamed cupcakes (mushi-pan) cook in the rice cooker or on the stove top.

We had so much fun at my Japanese art + cooking camp! Each day we made a different recipe. We had a lot of fun making a special type of Japanese cake called mushi-pan: steamed cakes prepared in your rice cooker or on your stove top. Mushi-pan are soft, fluffy and moist, and can be prepared in just 15 minutes from start to finish.

We made two recipes: apricot mushi-pan and frosted Nutella mushi-pan.

Apricot Steamed Cupcakes (mushi-pan)
Makes 10-12
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • 8 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. of apricot preserves

Equipment:

  • Rice cooker with steamer basket OR
  • Large frying pan with lid
  • Heat-proof Pyrex or Corning-Ware glass ramekins (I used 6 oz. Pyrex Clear Custard Cups)
  • paper cupcake liners

Instructions:

  • Fill rice cooker with water to depth of 2-3 inches. Turn on.

OR

  • Fill a large frying pan with water to 2/3 full and bring it to a boil (and turn off the heat if you are not ready yet)
  • Put a cupcake liner in each glass ramekin.
  • In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and baking powder combining well.
  • In a small bowl, combine egg, milk, sugar, and vegetable oil and whisk together.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a fork until smooth.
  • Add in the apricot preserves and stir to combine. You should still have chunks of preserved apricot visible even after stirring.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners. Fill each liner approx. 1/3 to 1/2 full. Don’t overfill as these cakes rise!
  • Place the ramekins directly in the rice cooker steamer basket or in the skillet with the boiling water. Cover and cook for 8 minutes.
  • Uncover and test a cake with a bamboo skewer. The cakes are done if the skewer comes out clean. If the cakes are not done, recover and steam for two more minutes. Don’t over cook!

CAUTION: the steam is very hot and can burn you. Parental supervision is recommended.

  • When cool, remove the cakes from the ramekins. They should pop out of the cups easily. If not, you can run a butter knife around the edges to loosen.
Kids prepare Japanese mushi-pan. Batter is spooned into paper lined glass ramekins, then steamed for 8 minutes.

Kids prepare Japanese mushi-pan. Batter is spooned into paper lined glass ramekins, then steamed for 8 minutes.

 

Frosted Nutella Steamed Cupcakes (mushi-pan)
I used the recipe from Magpies Recipe blog. . Click here for the recipe
We increased the sugar to 4 Tbsp./single batch, then frosted the cooled cupcakes with more Nutella.

 

These Nutella-flavored Japanese mushi-pan cupcakes cook in only 8 minutes on the stove top.

These Nutella-flavored Japanese mushi-pan cupcakes cook in only 8 minutes on the stove top.

Results:

The campers loved both varieties of mushi-pan cupcakes. You should try them!

Want more help? Check out this cooking lesson from the Japan Society.

Enjoy!

Do you like cooking with kids?

NEW! Free Online Class from MoMA – Great for Art Teachers

27 Jun

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Art & Activity: Interactive Strategies for Engaging with Art

New York’s Museum of Modern Art will offer it’s second FREE online art education class beginning July 7, 2014.

“Integrating works of art from the Museum’s vast collection, MoMA Education staff will demonstrate interactive strategies for exploring objects and images with people of all ages. Along the way, we’ll demonstrate how these strategies can not only push your teaching into exciting new directions, but also serve as tools for assessing student learning.”

Click here to sign up through Coursera. It’s totally free!

FYI I took another MoMA online art education class last summer – it was very informative and definitely worth my time.

I’m signed up – see you online!

Enjoy!

National Core Art Standards Now Online!

19 Jun

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Did you know the new national art standards went online in June? Go to nationalartsstandards.org and check them out.

(Pssss…Did you notice the graphics on the website look like they belong in a periodic table?)