Fine Arts @ DGN Mission

North High School endeavors to provide an enriching, vibrant, multidisciplinary environment for the study, creation, and presentation of the Fine Arts.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

@DGNFineArts Stealing Like Artists #WeAreDGN #99Learns @Dist_99

Today the DGN Fine Arts Department faculty worked collaboratively in all curricular Music and Visual Art courses to make connections to Austin Kleon's "Steal Like An Artist," which is DGN's One-Book-One-School selection for the 2016-17 academic year.

In Band and Orchestra courses, students learned about the use of "temp music" as movies are created, and studied specific examples of film soundtracks where composers were deliberately influenced by the temp music that a film's director used early in the creative process. Mr. Miller, Ms. Mullen and Mr. Teague concluded the class by sharing a YouTube video highlighting the prevalence of "Music Plagiarism" in popular music.

In Drawing and Painting 1 classes, students explored the idea of an artistic genealogy. Mr. Voelker shared his artwork from earliest youth up to the present, along with examples of the artists who have influenced him, hoping to create connections between inspiration, appropriation and transformation in the artist process.

DGN Choirs
In Choir courses, Mrs. O'Riordan and Dr. Piekarz had students use the North High Alma Mater as the "newspaper" and applied it to Austin Kleon's idea of a "newspaper blackout" piece. Students started with a printed copy of the score and had the freedom to reinvent the piece into a new/unique adaptation.  Students then performed their small-group compositions for one another in class.

Michael Markowski, Composer of "City Trees"
DGN Wind Ensemble students met composer Michael Markowski in a video "Google Hangout." Mr. Teague, serving as moderator, engaged the composer and the students in a collaborative conversation about musical influences and the experiences that were formative for Mr. Markowski as he wrote the piece "City Trees," which the band is preparing for a November 1, 2016 concert. Students, who had submitted questions for the composer in advance of today's lesson, used their Chromebooks during class and contributed to a "live" list of follow-up questions as the interview unfolded.

In Painting 2, Drawing 2 and 3, AP Studio Art and Drawing and Painting Studio, students had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas that are a related to "Black Out Poetry". First, students looked through newspapers, searching for a title to a work that has yet to be created. They had the choice to visually adapt a headline in its entirety, truncate it, or combine multiple headlines into a new "title". The title then directed the students as they planned what subject matter and composition would be included in the visual. Next, students looked through newspapers for a minimum of three different photos that could be combined as reference for a new visual composition. A simple example would be to find three faces, and combine them, perhaps taking the eyes of one, the nose and mouth of another, and the hair of a third, to create a new "portrait."

In AP Music Theory, Dr. Piekarz shared a video showing chord progressions are often recycled by composers working in a wide range of musical styles.  This particular video started out with the chord progression to an early Baroque composition, Pachelbel's "Canon in D," and showed how the same chord progression has been used in dozens (and implies hundreds) of familiar songs over the years.  Students then had the chance to use that same chord progression to build their own melody over the top of it.

Mrs. Miller's Jewelry students have been working through the text in small groups for the past two weeks, connecting their work to the ideas presented in Kleon's text.  This week's topics included "Plan and be Productive," "Limitations = Freedon," and "Inspiration: Tape inspiration to desk tops."  

Earlier this year Mrs. Bernard's Ceramics classes created a piece of art after looking through magazines, creating a collage, and blacking out certain areas with a sharpie marker.  Students then lay the paper on a piece of clay, and transferred the design to their ceramic piece. Today in class students revisited that earlier lesson, looking at the fired pieces and doing a reflective writing assignment to connect the work to a broader artistic process.

Mr. Miller's Digital Music class watched a video about the history of Copyright, the origin of the law, the changes in the law over the years, and and engaged in a dialogue about the impact the law has on artists.  The class debated the impact the law has on encouraging or stifling artistic creativity.