I work in such a cool place. Did you know that? Maclay values the Arts on campus. This is evident by when you walk down the hallways and see really super artsy items hanging up on the bulletin boards or go into the classrooms to see pieces of art like these sunshines in the particular blog post. I tend to be on the 4th and 5th grade hallways a good bit as that is my route on campus to different destinations.
Mary Byrd and Peter Max’s Psychedelic Sunshines make my heart smile when I see units that tie together Arts Integration like this lesson. Lots of Elements of Art being taught in this lesson. The teachers on the hallway incorporated the theme for our Celebration of the Arts into their classroom lessons. These are some of the results. Pretty cool, right?
Here are some lessons on our blog that are tired and true with Peter Max!
Some other way cool art lessons about Peter Max on other Art Blogs / Educational Resources:
https://www.parkwestgallery.com/artist/peter-max Here you will learn all about Max’s life:

Peter Max’s story begins in Germany where he was born in 1937. He and his family fled the Nazis in 1938 and moved to Shanghai, China, where they lived for the next ten years. Max was incredibly artistic from the moment he was born, enamored by color and constantly searching for ways to draw on everything (to the detriment of his mother). For Peter, color was paired with sound – an intense synesthesia. The ripple of crayons on a steamer trunk was the first memorable experience for the artist where he truly realized his love for sound and color. Today, there are few works by Max created in silence.

Early in his life, Max fell in love with three things: comic books, movies, and jazz – all uniquely American. In China, Max’s lessons were taught in English, so when he saw his first American movie after school at the cinema and picked up his first comic book, he was able to understand them. Max’s early love for comic books hugely affected his style. The foreshortening of lines, bold colors, and the heavy black outline of the characters stayed with him.

He and his family traveled through Tibet, southern Africa, India, Italy, and Israel, exposing the young Peter to more cultures and languages than many see in a lifetime. While in Tibet, Max was struck by the monks in meditation. They were carrying their walking sticks and chanting by the waterfall at sunset—an image that Max wouldn’t forget and one that often appears in his art.. Before he left China, the pillars of Max’s style had been constructed. His love for color, spirituality, graphic lines, and music formed the foundation on which he would create his future artwork.

In 1948, they moved again, this time to Haifa, Israel. Peter learned fluent Hebrew and began delving more seriously into his art. Becoming a distraction from his classes, his parents tried to structure his creativity by enrolling him in art lessons with a Viennese Expressionist after school. Professor Hünik enlightened Peter, changing the way he thought about color. He became the professor’s protégé for the next two years and began defining himself as a colorist. When he needed more assistance with his drafting, he turned to comic books, following their foreshortened lines and vivid style.

There was another book that heavily influenced his style, though, and it was less than conventional. One summer, Max began reading the encyclopedia, beginning with the letter “A”. He got no further than astronomy. He was enamored by the subject, so much that he begged his parents to study academically. They found a way for him to audit classes at Technion, a scientific university in Haifa, where he began his thirst for space. Later in life, this deep interest in the cosmos would turn into a spiritual quest as much as it was scientific.

Before moving to America, the Max family traveled to Paris for nine months in 1953 where Peter spent time studying at the Louvre. While Max had demonstrated his interest in sweeping color and lines, almost nearing abstraction, his interest at the Louvre was actually in works by the 19th century artist, Adolphe-William Bouguereau. His nearly photo-realistic paintings were inspirational to Max, who wanted to focus more on his draftsmanship. Bouguereau was his ideal mentor to allow him to further develop his technique, but Max soon learned that while he was capable of painting in such a naturalistic style, it took much more time and patience.

His family eventually settled in Brooklyn, where Max graduated high school then studied under the realist Frank J. Reilly at the Art Students League. He spent nearly all his time at the Art Students League, taking every class possible for the next five years. He learned drafting and anatomy from Reilly, finely honing the technique he once admired of Bouguereau. Max discovered, however, that by painting so photo-realistically, he was closing off his imagination, limiting his options. Pushing toward abstraction, color fielding, and many of the styles in vogue, Max eventually found a place as a “Neo-Fauvist” and a “Neo-Expressionist,” allowing his creative spirit to blossom.

In 1961, fresh out of school, Max started a graphic design studio with friends, finding almost overnight success in the design industry. Throughout the sixties, Max developed his signature “psychedelic” style (his ongoing fusion of eastern yogi philosophy, astronomy, comic books, studies in color, and music) expressed through posters, advertising, and his graphic works. The look he achieved was sought-after by companies across the country and agencies, magazines, and national publications placed Max at the center of the youth movement. The story behind his poster for the Central Park “Be In” on Easter of 1967 was even adapted for the Academy Award-winning director Milos Forman’s film, “Hair.” Max was at the center of a cultural revolution, magnified by his unique graphic style. He was featured on The Tonight Show and on the cover of LIFE Magazine. His posters were on the walls of every college dorm-room, and he had become an iconic artist and designer.

In 1968, while working on a film in Paris, Max met Swami Satchidananda. That moment was life-changing for the artist. Introducing him to yoga and a deeper understanding of Eastern spirituality, Max invited the swami to stay with him in the United States, helping him establish the Integral Yoga Institute, spreading the teachings of yoga throughout America’s youth. With more than 70 branches in each state today, plus 21 other nations, Max helped introduce yoga to a greater portion of the world, enlightening young and creative minds.

For most of the 1970s, Max shut down his graphic workshop. Intensely focused on his getting back to the paint, he took himself off the radar for almost 18 years, only spending time painting. Park West Gallery has enjoyed a relationship with Peter Max since the 1970s and is the artist’s largest and longest-running dealer in the world. Throughout the ‘70s, even while retreating somewhat from the spotlight, Max stayed busy, the subject of an exhibition at the De Young Museum in San Francisco called “The World of Peter Max.” He was also commissioned by the U.S. Post Office to make the first ever environmental 10 cent stamp, commemorating the 1974 World’s Fair in Spokane, Washington. In 1976, he worked with Lee Iacocca of Chrysler to save the Statue of Liberty, creating a series that generated enough funding to restore the desperately worn landmark.

His style changed during this 18 year retreat, adapting his technique to the paint rather than a graphic medium. His palette became softer and more diverse and his strokes became broader and more textured. Thematically, he began to develop new imagery, like The Dega Man, Zero Megalopolis, and The Umbrella Man. American icons, especially the Statue of Liberty, appeared over and over in his works and, by the time he returned to the public scene in the ‘80s, Max’s style has transformed into something dramatic and almost politically charged. He re-opened his studio, creating a 40,000 square foot space for administration, painting, production, and gallery tours, just across the street from Lincoln Center in Manhattan. From that point on, Peter Max has stayed in the public eye, using his art to express his creativity while raising awareness on environmental and humanitarian issues.

In his global causes, Max is a passionate environmentalist and defender of human and animal rights. He has done paintings and projects for Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. In 1994, Max created a “Peace Accord” painting for the White House to commemorate the historic signing.

Max has completed his fourth Grammy Award poster, redesigned NBC’s symbolic peacock, was appointed as the official artist for five Super Bowls, the World Cup USA, Woodstock, the U.S. Tennis Open, and the NHL all-star game. Recently, he created six poster images in response to the September 11th attacks. Proceeds from the sale of these works were donated to the September 11th, Twin Towers, and Survivors Relief Funds. In October 2002, Max created 356 portrait paintings of the firefighters who perished in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Each painting was presented to the surviving families of the firefighters at a ceremony at Madison Square Garden. Also in 2002, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. published a new hardcover book, “The Art of Peter Max,” written by Charles Riley III, Ph. D.

Today, Max has evolved from a visionary pop artist of the 1960s to a master of neo-expressionism. His vibrant and colorful works have become a lasting part of contemporary American culture.

Articles on the benefits of Arts Integration:
Resources for Arts Integration:
Mary Byrd is on a very creative hallway at Maclay. All of the teachers are really artsy and seem to just “get” projects that tie into their curriculum and our school environment. I always love walking down the hallway to check out their bulletin boards. Maybe they will allow me to post on the one that is going up now on Earth Day =)
So here is a SHOUT OUT to my artsy lower school teachers! I love that you allow your kiddos to get messy and learn about art in your classrooms within your curriculums! Thank you! And, to those of you dropping by to check out the blog…stay awhile! 1969
I thought these were so cool on our Lower School bulletin board. Cathy Hicks did a fabulous job with her students and this mixed media lesson. They water colored the background with a crayon resist technique to add details.

She taught a lesson on cityscapes. The students had to draw them out using foam trays and create a template to make an edition of the print on different colors of papers.

Then they had to mount them to make them stand out. Creating a super layered effect. I saw them and just had to share them with you all!

Other blogs that have similar lesson plan ideas:




Resources for Printmaking Techniques and Processes:




Who invented printmaking?
The process is believed to have been invented by Daniel Hopfer (circa 1470-1536) of Augsburg, Germany, who decorated armor in this way, and applied the method to printmaking. Etching soon came to challenge engraving as the most popular printmaking medium.
When did printmaking begin?
The most common relief prints are woodcuts. Printmaking originated in China after paper was invented around AD 105. Relief printing appeared in Europe in the 15th Century, when the process of papermaking was imported from the East.
Thanks, Cassie for the cool lesson idea and Youtube tutorial!

Thanks Cathy for letting me share your kids art!




Stik started painting unofficial, socially conscious murals in his hometown of Hackney, East London in 2001. His simple stick figures wordlessly tell the story of his community and he frequently collaborates with hospitals, charities and homeless organizations. Working from his East London studio, these projects are largely self-funded and he now creates monumental artworks with communities across the world.




  • ·    Draw with a pencil a stick figure similar to Stik, the artist’s stick figure
  • ·    No mouth, hands, or feet
  • ·    Use 12×18 Colored Construction Paper. Paint the “Stik” figure white like his work.
  • ·    Outline your stick figure when it dries with a BLACK oil pastel / paint or Marker. Yes, you can use hair dryer to dry quicker.
  • ·    Put on drying rack
  • ·    Clean up paint
  • I lead with this lesson on Street Art and follow up with a Graffiti lesson using our Character Education words
  • http://2soulsisters.blogspot.com/2016/08/character-education-and-graffiti.html

Stencil Revolution » Artists » Stik Street Artist Biography

Stik Street Artist Biography


“It’s the only thing in my life that I feel this strongly about.”

Stik makes for an odd figure in the world of street art. He creates cunningly simple lines and shapes that echo the nave drawings of children the world over. Yet the work is deceptively frank in appearance and meaning.

The artist’s painted community of stick men, women and children reside throughout London’s streetscape. Each location is carefully considered, and many are regularly revisited and maintained. These seemingly lost and forlorn figures could reflect Stik himself and his experience of homelessness. Perhaps it’s his way of making sure these characters have a home. He has stated, “My pieces are about moving through the cityscape and feeling insecure.”

The great unknown

What is known of Stik’s life would fill a very small piece of a very small wall. The English street artist was born in the mid-1980s. He claims to have always drawn, and that he found graffiti a natural evolution of his creativity. With no formal art education, he learned from other street artists, in particular Doze, Roa, Run and Zomby. Sightings of his signature stick figures in London began in 2002.

He maintains an anonymous persona, shielding his real self behind his image as a quiet and unassuming artist. There is, however, one biographical reference he emphasizes, and that is his period of homelessness. It’s a subject that his words often revisit, a theme that exists beneath the surface of his paintings.

Stik became homeless some time around the year 2000, the circumstances of which remain unexplained. He endured destitution for a period lasting approximately 10 years. He regularly relied on the generosity of friends for a place to stay, sofa-jumping day by day, but he also spent many nights in abandoned buildings. Stik lived through a lot of violence on the streets, and he recalls many times when he felt his life was in danger and he expected to die.

The winter of 2009 proved a turning point for Stik when a drop-in center helped him relocate to St. Mungo’s hostel in Hackney. His life at St. Mungo’s turned into a productive period for his street work. He acknowledges that the pursuit of art gave him the purpose and focus that pulled him of out homelessness.

Stik has kept a low profile as his recognition has increased, both for himself and his work (fans include Elton John, Bono and the Duke of Kent). He volunteers his time to art workshops and often gives back through donations of his work and time.

The artist originally used the name in reference to his drawn characters until people started to call him by it. After a while, the tag just seemed to “stick.”

The art of street art

“Art is free unless you’re selling it.”

Stik’s approach to public spaces is careful and considered. His view is to fit in with the immediate architecture and location, and he’ll never bomb a street or community ” he professes no interest in owning a street. Part of his work ethic includes returning to every painting as often as he can in order to clean it up from dirt and tagging. On more than one occasion, he’s said that he spends more time cleaning graffiti from his graffiti than he does making graffiti.

Stik’s beliefs concerning the nature of graffiti and art reflect a traditional, romantic ideology of the street. “Artistic statements should be free from censorship,” he says. “Sometimes you have to justify a price tag, but you shouldn’t have to justify art itself.”

Stik hasn’t exactly termed contemporary advertising a plague, but he’s by no means a fan. It’s a multi-faceted issue for him, revolving around ideas of art and commercialism. He considers it a matter of rights, a matter of who owns the streets. Balled up in the midst of the debate, he thinks graffiti is essential to urban life. He has talked about graffiti being less about breaking laws and more about changing laws.

“Street art is really an important medium because it’s completely uncensored. It’s an environmental medium. Actually, you are using your environment. You are using the city as your medium. The street art scene is dialogue. It’s more than dialogue; it’s a whole forum for a discussion. And it has feedback. It’s the blueprint that social networking was based on ” writing on your wall.”

About those stick figures

“I’ve been drawing these characters forever.”

Stik quietly confronts his audience with the most unassuming imagery possible. The heads are round. The eyes are dots. Bodies are rectangles and simple lines become arms, hands and legs. An arc here, a lean there, a chosen curve of a line ” this is all he relies upon to convey emotion. “Body language is really like a direct language,” Stik observes. “Transitioning that to lines on a page or on a wall strikes directly to your heart.”

But they’re not merely stick figures. As Stik explains, his characters become a type of emotional shorthand to reflect how he feels. They’re silent and therefore have no mouths, and are meant only to observe. Part of Stik’s artistic principle is a conscious response to work that proclaims “look at me” ” he wants to create art that looks at back its audience.

Stik’s work appears at times so spare and bleak that its character and posture seems to convey a sense of questioning or longing, sometimes even despair. “A lot of my work is loaded with a kind of melancholy,” he admits, “but I do try to put a positive or a light bit of gravitas in it so people can actually relate to it and it feels like something human.”

Stik smiles whenever he talks about his graffiti pulling him out of his homeless nightmare. He’s obviously proud of his accomplishments, and at the same time humbled by the attention and his success. Nonetheless, one question commonly comes at him time and again: how long can you keep doing these characters?

“I think,” Stik grins widely, “there’s enough diversity in stick figures to keep me happy for another 10 years.”
Other Links About Stik:
Thanks for dropping by…1969

I just love the rich watercolor in the background. For full details on how to create this lesson see link below.

http://2soulsisters.blogspot.com/2017/03/how-to-draw-3d-valentine-hearts.html Have posted on this earlier this month. The lesson was such a success that I wanted to share all of the hearts that I could on the blog for everyone to see!

I hope you feel inspired by these hearts because I know I was =) 1969

The Faculty Excellence Grant was created in 2014 to enhance the quality of the liberal arts program at Maclay School in a meaningful and substantial way. Stipends are offered to faculty or staff members who have the potential and desire to make a meaningful impact and sustain the excellence of the Maclay academic program. Any employee of the school may apply, but preference is given to applications in the areas of differentiation, technology integration, or innovation. Grants were awarded for those proposals leading to significant curricular innovation beyond the normal annual revision or growth. A committee reviewed the submitted proposals and the following grants were awarded for that particular school year.

What do Artists, Mathematicians, Engineers, and Nurses all have in common? They want to make the community a better place.  Just like the Maclay Visual Arts teachers; Kim Daniel, Cathy Hicks, Kyle Maurey and Kaitlyn Dressel, want to raise awareness of empathy on our campus through the visual arts. They are all working together to be positive instigators on and off of our Maclay School campus. This grant model will be an innovative hand crafted project that unites our school directly with the community. The big idea is to take the “friendship bracelet” concept to help mentor our students in the understandings of the 5 pillars of Character Education: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, and Citizenship. With this art lesson, they want our students to create and give these Maclay Artlets to others as a reminder of how they can help others feel through being cared for by a random act of kindness. They are promoting this project and calling it Maclay Artlets with the #maclaycares in order to teach empathy within our school. Each Malcay Artlet will serve as a as a beautiful and simple reminder that you are loved and we care. (Character Education Implementation through empathy and art education) It is through the creative arts that we experience each other’s hearts. It is a pay it forward towards other human beings by being creative, and imagining how crafting that connection with other people will make you and them feel.
*If you want to volunteer to help, please contact one of the art teachers listed above via email.

We are still coming up with a brand: What if we called them “eM” bracelets… for eMpathy and Marauders? It also spells “me” backwards which could translate as putting others before yourself. Let me keep thinking!!

How did the Maclay Visual Arts Team approach this idea? We took some time to brainstorm and prepare. We wanted an idea that would encompass the whole school and others in our community. Doing this at the same time as we try to build excitement for our new ceramics class in the Upper School. Below is our proposal.

Character Education
Learning about Empathy
Artistic Attitudes in the art room
You CARE and so do we

Proposing Committee: Maclay Visual Arts Teachers
Kim Daniel, Cathy Hicks, Kyle Maurey and Katilyn Dressel

In the area of innovation, the committee values proposals that establish new programs which will open up new avenues of learning and experience to our students: The Maclay Visual Arts Department wants to become a POSITIVE INSTIGATOR! We often associate the word “instigator” with someone “causing problems” when in reality instigators are simply those who rebel against the “status quo” that has been established or in this case allowed to persist or exist. Our society and country was founded on such enthusiastic instigators for change and if you feel as strongly about the improvement of the moral fabric of our society / “Maclay Culture” – that is why we want to become an instigator for positive change within our school community on and off of our campus. This small act of kindness might evolve into something much bigger. This may lead to larger initiatives down the road and instigating a change within our school, our area and our community. We want to promote opportunities for demonstrating Empathy.

How about a Community Crafts Project? Yes, we mean our community off and on our campus…
How did this idea come to fruition? Last year, MS Art had a student that was in a DIS class with her. She took the wheel twice for Visual Arts. She was mentored by US Art class the second time as she was being taught in the TAB method. TAB, is teaching for artistic behavior. TAB or Choice Based Art Education fosters imagination. Teachers all across the country are discovering a new way to motivate children through the method of instruction known as Choice Based Art Education – See more at: http://www.incredibleart.org/links/toolbox/TAB-CHOICE.htm#sthash.vxDlrdgw.dpuf
This student last year made a bracelet with extra time in class for a friend’s birthday gift. It was blogged about and placed on Pinterest. http://2soulsisters.blogspot.com/2016/05/groovy-braceletsclay-cord-and-beads.html?spref=pi

It has now been pinned over 1.5K times. It is simple yet very compassionate. All 4 art teachers were brainstorming on an idea to grow our 3D ceramics program. We pondered how we need to educate others on campus in our endeavors and spread some artistic cheer in the process. This is our idea which will be explained in more detail as this proposal is read.
  • We want K-12 art students to make 2 clay bracelets (1 to keep and 1 to donate) *Demonstrating Empathy
  • Would like to incorporate Random Acts of Kindness and the Character Education words / program to help build empathy in our students. As we lead by example, we want the bracelets to be donated to different programs. (Words can be on bracelet or card) Example ideas listed below:
    • ·       Nurses that work with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients
    • ·       Parents of children at Shands (maybe work with Dance Marathon)
    • ·       Employees at nursing homes
    • ·       Police Officer (wives)
    • ·       Basically people who make a difference in our community
    • ·       TMH NICU
    • ·       *Each grade can have the power to choose where theirs goes / or group up based on choice. This will give the students more ownership in the process. Plus they might have thought of something that we didn’t.
    • ·       We are open to suggestions on where to donate the bracelets. This can be an evolving process as the needs of our school community might deter where we donate and reach out.
    • We feel like this is taking an idea that is old like a “friendship” bracelet and giving it a face lift to help mentor our students on the 6 pillars of Character Education: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. As we create in class, these are topics that will be relevant on why we are doing this particular project.
    • We will have an art student design a card that the bracelet will be attached to.
      • We would like to deliver 25 to each venue that we see fit
  • Card design will have a specific #hashtag and a Maclay Visual Arts Logo. #maclaycares 

Address the purpose of the project, project goals, implementation, and management.

·       Project: Making a clay bracelet to donate for a community crafts project

·       Project Goal: To grow our ceramics program and raise awareness of empathy on campus

·       Implementation: During Art class. We can tap into Advisory meeting and US grade level meetings. We can create a power point to show kids, faculty and board our intentions

·       Management: Make sure an art teacher is at each event to help facilitate the process.

Describe how your project will promote one or more of these priorities.

The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people! At the same time, we will be discussing Character Education in our classrooms.

Character Education Words:Honor, Leadership, Gratefulness, Kindness, Compassion, Responsibility, Determination, Courage, Confidence, Enthusiasm

  • We spoke with Guidance Department on our idea and are willing to collaborate with them on this endeavor.
  • We are willing to work with other clubs on campus in this effort to create a Positive Instigation Movement.
  • ***Goal: Spending time looking for ways to express unconditional love towards other human beings by being creative, and imagining how crafting that connection with other souls will make you and them feel. As Elvis put it – “Walk a mile in my shoes before you criticize and abuse.” We want to promote opportunities for demonstrating Empathy.

Include a brief description of the desired outcomes.

  • ·       Our overall theme for the Visual Arts in 2017-2018 can be Positive Instigators through the Arts
  • ·       Generate Positive Energy throughout the community on and off campus
  • ·       Lead by example
  • ·       Reach out to others on campus, Guidance, Anchor Club, Key Clubs
  • ·       We will be implementing our 3 Pillars of Education on campus: Visual arts being involved, teaching each individual kid and helping them be accountable citizens.
  • ·       We will work together in vertical and horizontal alignment with our curriculums
  • ·       Grow our ceramics program
·       The article below describes this project very well:
Have you ever stopped to think about what random acts of kindness really do? I mean, sure, they make you feel pretty good about yourself and make somebody else feel pretty good, too, but have you ever considered their impact on an energetic level? It might surprise you to learn that the small gesture you made toward someone this morning actually had a far-reaching, powerful, lasting effect on the planet. How, you say? Well, here are three big ways you just changed the world:
1) Perception of Life
When you participate in a random act of kindness, what you are doing, in essence, is giving and receiving love… Unconditional love, no strings attached, no feeling of obligation. When you are giving, you acknowledge the goodness in your life and the spiritual presence that is always at work, encouraging you to continue to connect with others, to give love and compassion without need of reward or recognition.
When we do something on behalf of another, we can think of ourselves as being half of it. That means we do not sacrifice or hurt ourselves to help another. It means we become part of the help and receive help in the process. An elevation takes place in your vibration and in your spirit when you think of how you are able to contribute to another person’s well-being. The focus is taken off of you and any challenges you may be having and is placed on that which you can do on behalf of another dear soul. As you act on those thoughts with the purest of intentions, life becomes a new and hopeful experience to embrace in faith and joy. Giving to others is never about doing without. It is about making greater room within to receive. You may not have much to give at this time in your life, but what makes the act of giving so special is showing that you do the best you can with what you have… maybe it’s just a smile or opening the door for someone. A quality life does not depend on how much you have. It depends on how much you have given of your heart.
2) Universal Shift
Random acts of kindness are feedback loops of positive energy creation. Helping others not only raises your vibration, but also, the vibrations of those you help and that of the entire human collective. Creating something unexpected and wonderful in someone else’s life, no matter how small, sets into motion a dramatic shift in a positive direction that can profoundly change lives. You can never really know how deep of an impact you’ve made in someone’s life…what you consider a little bit of kindness may just turn a person’s life completely around and give them hope for the future. The universe responds to these shifts by bringing more and more abundance to you, them, and everyone on the planet. Changing another’s reality through your actions has a ripple effect which changes the world.
3) Humanity’s Evolution
Performing random acts of kindness makes you an example of what is possible. You become an inspiration, opening the awareness of others to their own potential. Most of us want our lives to inspire love in others. So for instance, when our children witness us doing good in the world, they are taught gratitude, compassion, love, and unity. Generations of individuals can learn from this that happiness is a choice, but you have to be open to it and take action to help spread it around. The world is evolving in such a way that requires each of us to take responsibility to create and grow positive energy any way we can. We are transforming the old ways into newer, lighter, more loving ways of being and living. The most important thing is to send your love out into the world no matter what form it takes.
A simple random act of kindness could very easily be life-giving to both the giver and receiver. When one is coming from a place of generosity, of giving and kindness that is pure and without any expectation or reward in return, what is occurring is the manifestation of a deeper reality, a deeper meaning and knowing that you are not so alone, that you are united and connected to more than you may have everrealized…
Donna Labermeier Author, “The Healers Trilogy”
Outline and estimated budget:

·       Clay                                                                                         $500.00
·       Glass Beads                                                                             $300.00
·       Cord                                                                                         $300.00
·       Pasta (alphabet)                                                                       $  20.00
·       4 sets for storage containers (1 per art teacher)                      $  30.00
·       Over & Under Glaze                                                               $400.00
·       Kiln Stilts                                                                                $  50.00
·       Kiln Wash                                                                                $  50.00
·       Ice Picks                                                                                  $  10.00
·       M charms (1,000)                                                                   $100.00’ish
·       Shipment costs: envelopes, stamps, etc.                                 $ *Depends on our outreach
·       Printing cost of Cards                                                             $ In House 0 cost
·       Cardstock                                                                                $  50.00
·       Plastic Cellophane                                                                  $  20.00
                                                                              Total:              $1,930.00
Rounded :       $2,000.00                         

Describe the initial and ongoing mechanisms and systems required to ensure this work will make a sustained impact on the Maclay academic program.
·       We are growing our 3D ceramics program PK-12
·       We can do a Professional Development for our Faculty
·       Reaching out to the community
·       Teaching Character Education Traits in a hands on method
·       Connecting with others using something handmade
·       Promoting Positivity
·       Vertical and Horizontal curriculum alignment with the same project teaching the Elements and Principles of Art
·       Learning clay techniques
o   Learning clay vocabulary
o   Learning how the kiln works
o   Learning how to (load and unload) the kiln
o   Learning glazing techniques
·       Graphic Design Lesson in creating the card for the bracelet
Building Empathy in Classrooms and Schools
By Brianna Crowley & Barry Saide
Empathy is a complex concept and a difficult skill. It’s time for educators to recognize the strength it takes to create, balance, and sustain an empathic mindset in a culture that doesn’t always value it.
Empathy in education is often deemed a “soft skill.” Sometimes we equate empathy to coddling, weakness, or even label it as a gender-specific trait. It is none of these things. We’re neither born with it, predisposed to it, or incapable of it. Empathy doesn’t happen because we do a few icebreakers in the beginning of the school year.
As educators, many of us begin each school year by celebrating individuals’ uniqueness, striving to understand differences, and setting goals for embracing the cultures of all learners. Then, the academic rush starts. Lesson plans are due. Grades pile up. Parent conferences begin. Student behavior disrupts our lessons and strains our patience. IEP, PLC, and faculty meetings fill our calendars.
With a full plate every day, what do we often dismiss first? Empathy—for our students, our colleagues, and ourselves. But without empathy, we cannot understand the diverse students and communities we serve. That lack of understanding may limit our focus to generalizations and assumptions. A mindset without intentional empathy narrows focus, and prevents us from accurately identifying the barriers to learning for our students. In turn, students come to be viewed as academic producers rather than social-emotional beings.
Content knowledge and concrete skills can be assessed with answer keys and rubrics, yet empathy can be difficult to measure. Despite all of this, empathy should and must remain a priority in our classrooms and in our schools, even if additional programs and initiatives are secondary or eliminated.
So what does empathy in a classroom look like? And how can teachers cultivate it? Here are some ideas.
Modeling Empathy: It’s Difficult, But Essential
Teachers’ own behaviors and actions are the culture and the climate control in the room once the bell rings. This means if we treat students as respected co-learners, we are modeling our belief about how all people should be treated. If, or when, that modeling is not reciprocated by a student, that’s a second opportunity for us to model and reaffirm a positive, empathic response for all students. The more often we remain consistent in our pro-actions and reactions, the more times we are reaffirming to our students ‘this is who I am.’ This creates the accepting atmosphere that embraces all our learners, regardless of the baggage they (or we) bring in each day.
When a student seems upset, teachers should take the time, no matter how inconvenient, to demonstrate empathy by making eye contact, taking the student aside to speak privately, and maintaining respect in words and actions during conversation. In working with a student who is in an emotional state, we should remember that as adults, we usually have the coping mechanisms and experience to recognize and handle these emotions. Students may not, and we cannot expect that from them unless we expressly teach them these strategies.
Sustaining this mindset can be difficult. Teachers pour hours into creative lessons and activities; it is hard to not take it personally when a student behaves rudely or disrupts a lesson or activity. However, educators’ empathic responses need to be as intentional as lesson-planning time, not as impulsive as student behavior. When a student is upset, disengaged, or reactive, we as teachers should remember that he or she may now be battling a similar internal strife as we once endured as younger students. The response we would have wanted when we were in this emotional place is the same one we should embody to students.
That response will look different depending on student age, student-teacher comfort level, specific knowledge of student need, and the level and type of disruption. However, in every case, an empathic response does NOT seek to embarrass, belittle, or punish the student. Instead, an empathic response seeks to protect the learning environment at all times for all students, and address the disruption with attention to the context and the emotions of individual students.
Owning our mistakes publicly, especially the more educationally embarrassing ones, demonstrates to students that it’s OK for them to take risks, too. When we call attention to, or are corrected by a student for a spelling mistake or other careless error, how we respond sets the tone for the empathic culture we’re trying to create. Defusing with humor and humility reminds students that empathy also means accepting yourself, flaws and all.
Putting Empathy in the Curriculum
Take a poll in your classroom tomorrow: How many students can define “empathy?” How many can provide an example of empathy? You may be surprised by the lack of knowledge students have about empathy as an idea, a skill, or a mindset. If educators believe empathy is important, we need to find ways to explicitly discuss it with students. In the pressure-cooker of curriculum maps, testing regimes, and pacing guides, adding one more thing can feel overwhelming. To diffuse that feeling, here are a few ways empathy can pair with and deepen lessons or skills teachers already teach in the classroom:
  • Language Arts: Define empathy as a class. Then ask students to identify characters in stories, novels, or plays that demonstrated empathy or could be described as empathic. Compare and contrast empathic levels across characters or thematic units.
  • STEM classes: Introduce the design-thinking model for approaching a problem. Ask students to identify the “user” of the problem or product. Then, ask them to empathize with that user by identifying their thoughts, feelings, values, and worries. (See this resource and this one for a start!)
  • Public Speaking: Any time you require a presentation, ask students to spend time empathizing with their audience. Who are they? What interests them? Then, ask students to use their skill of empathizing with the audience as they strategize the presentation, and develop the introductory hook to connect the topic to the audience.
  • Behavior Management: When introducing behavioral expectations to students at the beginning of the year, define empathy and ask students to role-play different scenarios that can occur in the classroom. Ask them to brainstorm how empathy could change or shape those hypothetical scenarios to sustain a culture of caring, respect, and significance in the classroom.
Take Action, Be Intentional
The ultimate goal is to create the atmosphere that enables teachers to meet the needs of all students. If teachers don’t take time to know students, how can we expect to reach them? If a student comes in hungry or tired from a challenging day-to-day environment, he or she may not be in the best position to succeed. How we act and react will determine whether we reach that student and their peers who may need a safe space. If teachers create that environment and personify that culture, we will reduce the empathic mindset gap that currently exists between teachers and students.
To build an empathic mindset, here are a few concrete actions every teacher can take:
  • Read stories from the perspective of characters similar to your students. Ask your students to share their favorite literature, whether it aligns to the current curriculum, or not. This can remind teachers of the thoughts, perspectives, and worries influencing students every day. Middle and high school teachers: Read Young Adult literature. Elementary teachers: Read the books your students love from the classroom library. Be intentional about choosing diverse literature that reflects the diversity of your classroom.
  • Follow a student schedule for a day. Or, if administration isn’t supportive of this, simply ask a student to list all the assignments they’ve completed before arriving in your classroom and what his or her schedule looks like after school. We must keep in mind that this applies to all students. Students in 2nd grade can be overwhelmed just as readily as high school students. Read what one adult learned when she dared to take this challenge.
  • Survey students frequently. These surveys can use technology or not. Post-it notes and exit slips can be as informative as their digitized counterparts, Padlet and Google Forms. One of the most powerful questions a teacher can ask a student is this: “What’s one thing teachers should know about students?” or “What’s the most important thing I should know about you?” Either question can provide data to drive instruction with an empathic mindset. Whether we use high-tech or low-tech, other questions to survey students may include: What are your passions? What brings you anxiety in school? Whom do you admire? Teachers, keep these answers on file to reference when having a particularly trying time with students. Keep these answers private (unless the answers wander into mandated reporter territory), but reference them to help adopt a mindset of empathy for students. Here’s an example of a Google Forms survey for high school students at the beginning of the year.
Empathy Includes Our Adult Interactions
Students watch teachers constantly, and our actions can unintentionally model unempathetic behavior. An eye-roll after a fellow teacher makes a comment, or dismissing what a peer says in earshot of student’s models a mindset that lacks empathy. In doing so, teachers are tacitly demonstrating these behaviors as acceptable. If teachers don’t want students to make a face, roll their eyes, or respond sarcastically to a serious comment, then they must model how to respond differently when interacting with other adults.
By modeling the citizenship we want students to embody we can create the culture and climate that validates all, excludes none. This can be modeled by offering a solutions-based perspective, instead of joining in or validating complaints students have about other teachers. Ask students how they can think about the situation empathetically: “What do you think that teacher is trying to show you with that assignment? How could you approach him with a question that may provide your perspective, but also show you want to understand?”
In our educational roles, it is vitally important that we model how empathy has power to influence a variety of contexts and interactions. Investing in the well-being of both our students and our colleagues promotes a positive, empathic culture that makes classrooms and school a safe haven. If we want to make a lasting impact on our students and prepare them to for success in college, career, and citizenship, we must prioritize empathy as an essential mindset.
We are updating the friendship bracelet to include
A friendship bracelet is a bracelet given by one person to another as a symbol of friendship. Friendship bracelets are often handmade, usually of embroidery floss or thread and are a type of macrame. There are various styles and patterns, but most are based on the same simple half-hitch knot.
Meaning of Friendship Bracelets
Updated on June 25, 2012
Most people wear friendship bracelets not knowing what they’re about and where they come from. Their name has significance. They’re typically homespun items with little if any rules for wearing them. And they became most popular in the United States and around the world at a certain time in history. If you wear or have worn a friendship bracelet (who hasn’t?), then knowing what these enigmatic little trinkets mean and where they come from could be a fun eye-opener that could be part of the story the next time you get one tied around your wrist.
First, what’s the significance of friendship bracelets? Well, theoretically, a friendship bracelet is a cloth bracelet given from one friend to another. It’s tied at the wrist in a knot that is often difficult to untie afterwards, since the bracelet is often left on until it wears out. Because this “knot jewelry” is difficult to both tie and untie by the wearer alone, it requires a “friend” to tie and untie: hence “friendship bracelet”.
Friendship bracelets are typically homemade and vary in patterns. The patterns themselves often have little to no significance, other than adornment. Letters and symbols, chevrons, diagonal stripes, hearts, staircases, zigzags, etc., are all common patterns found on these cloth bracelets. They’re often worn many at a time, and traditions for wearing them are non-existent. There are even “bracelets” worn as anklets and others made to be necklaces.
All of this is in keeping with the friendship bracelet’s rise in popularity in the United States. The art form first became widespread in the 1970s as a by-product of the youth movements of the 1960s and the hippie era. By decade’s end, the friendship bracelet had become the part of the uniform of the typical American teenager. The string bracelet became extremely popular throughout the world as well, especially Western Europe. Today, friendship bracelets are as popular as ever, seen now as an American classic.
And that should do it for friendship bracelets, their meaning, and their history. They’re meant to signify a friendship with a friend who tied it around the wearer’s wrist. They’re typically worn anywhere from the wrist to the ankle. They came of age with young wearers in the United State in the 1970s. So next time you see one, remember their meaning and you’ll smile to yourself, maybe remembering a friend.

We are currenlty in the process of branding out innovative grant.
We will post again for you to see how all of this will unfold.
As of now, we are in the process of branding, and working on our logo and hashtag
Our name is Maclay Artlets

Check out our planning stages on Pinterest
Kim Daniel

Teaching Empathy through Art. Handmade Ceramic bracelets. Friendship Bracelets.
Project Instigator: Maclay Visual Arts Team (FLYER)
Update: The bracelet that was featured on our original proposal has now been pinned 1.5K times
Presented by: Kim, Kyle, Cathy & Kaitlyn            (3/9/2017 at 3:00 pm)
Have you ever heard this line, “I feel like I am flying a plane and building it at the same time?” So many things get thrown at art teachers throughout the year on any given day with the climate and culture of the school. We feel like this is a great lesson to introduce many of those ideas and encompass them into a simple but powerful art lesson that has the potential to go global.
What is trending these days? 2 post from Twitter / hearts & people = empathy
What do we want our students to remember from this when they are 40?
·        If someone dies, bake a casserole for the family (Thoughtful)
·        If someone is experiencing a rough time just listen. Life can be messy, but with love, we can help each other survive even the toughest times. (Care & Advocacy)
Essential Questions: How can local actions create global impacts?
Big Idea: What do Artists, Mathematicians, Engineers, Nurses all have in common? Want to make the community a better place. *student input is key here, because if they put their heart into this and not their brain they will remember it for years to come.
Defining empathy skills: Viewing the world through a different lens is often the easiest definition of empathy. Rather than sympathy, which can often mean maintaining outsider status while judging another, empathy requires active and integrated interaction with the values and experiences of someone different from themselves. http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/news/teaching-radical-empathy

We can all relate to music, How about a little – Elvis? WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES
If I could be you, if you could be me
For just one hour
If we could find a way to get inside
Each other’s mind
If you could see you through my eyes
Instead of your ego
I believe you’d be, I believe you’d be surprised to see
That you’ve been blind
Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize, and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes…..
Purpose: To create and give these bracelets is a beautiful and simple reminder that you are loved and we care. (Character Education Implementation)


Respectfully submitted by the Maclay Visual Arts Team 2/27/2017


 Fifth Grade looked at Salvador Dali and his Surrealism.  We have posted on Salvador Dali in the past.  Click HERE for previous posts.
Have a look at the Surreal clock by Dali.
I had seen these cool clocks made of clay on Pinterest.  I always wanted to give it a try, so I did.
My fifth grade class is quite talented.  I knew that they would be up for the challenge.  I took pictures along the way to help art teachers have a detailed description of the project.  I hope this is helpful!
I decided that we would paint the clocks.  Why?  Well, I did one myself.  I did it a very sensible size.  Then, I cut an oval for the students’ clocks and I did not compare the ovals.  Well the oval was huge and the kids’ clocks came out very LARGE.  I had to bring in 5 extra tables to hold the clocks.  This is just another stellar moment in the life of Karen Ray, art teacher.  Oh Boy!
Have a look-
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock
What song goes with this post?  Well, there were hints all along the post.  See the word “Rock” around the clocks? 😉😉😉😉😉😉
Here’s Bill Haley & his Comets!
Third Graders sprung into Spring using tissue paper and black paint!
I did a little prep work by cutting tissue paper into squares.
Then, the kids used Modge Podge to attach the tissue paper to 13 x 13 paper square.
The following week, the kids used black tempera and painted butterflies on their tissue paper works of art.
Let your eyes fly over these pretty butterflies!
Isabelle?  Hey, she has the art thing going on.  You art teachers know what I am talking about.
Check out June and Johnny singing “I’ll Fly Away”
When you have a best teacher friend that follows your blog and gets inspired to do some of the ideas in her own classroom….ahhhh that is quite a good feeling! This was one of those post that my friend, Renee, chose to use as a tool in her classroom too. I think her kiddos did a great job. They thought Kristina Kuzmic’s video was on point! Crazy how something so simple can be that powerful.
My daughter had Renee as a 3rd grade teacher. She was just awesome. She had her pulse on many items in her classroom. The kids flourished in that environment. You see Renee is that teacher that is still teaching my daughter. They had a special connection and as we were applying to college and getting all of that jazz lined up…who was there to proof our college essay? Yes, Renee! (and, Jeff too)
2 weeks ago I wrote a post on this topic. I contacted Kristina via Facebook. She shared our post on her Facebook page. Do you know how many of you have visited that particular blog post? Guess… Well, as I am typing we are at 13,200! Yes, in a 2 week span. Can you believe that? Here is the link below:
I think with that much traffic coming our way on this blog that it must mean that their is a need to discuss topics like bullying, mean girls and character education. What do you think? Well, Renee does a great job on integrating art into all of her lessons. It is such a smooth transition that the kids don’t have any idea they are learning. They think they are having fun. Now, if you can pull that off in the classroom in this day in time you have a true calling for teaching.
Have you ever watched Kristina Kuzmic’s videos on YouTube? If not, check them out. They will make you giggle. she has the true gift of gab and I love to see it.

Have you ever watched this video? Oh my….love that these boys stood up for what was right!

This one I just had to share…It will make you laugh. As a 26 year veteran teacher, I laughed really hard at this video. Sarcasm at it’s best! If you want to watch the original “You Are The BBQ Sauce” video see my post link above.
Thanks, Renee for sharing your kids art with me. I am sure the Kuzmic family would be impressed to  know just how many families lives they are touching and making a difference with just that catch phrase of “You Are The BBQ Sauce!” – Enjoy, 1969
These were super fun to create with my classes and they were able to eat their subjects. Ha! You gotta love that added bonus. Cassie Stephens did a fabulous job on her video that she shared on YouTube. We watched it and then got to work on our own 3D hearts.
We used 12 x 18 white drawing paper, water color, baby oil, Qtips & oil pastels. Watch the video. It is great and will help to explain the details to your kiddos.
I got tickled at some of the words that the kids chose to write on their hearts.
Some didn’t want to write words and that was OK too!
Sax Liquid Watercolor in the bottles gave a rich feeling to the backgrounds.
Baby Oil was really cool in blending the oil pastels.
This lesson was a huge success for all involved.

Thanks for dropping by…And a huge thank you to Cassie for posting such a great video!
Cassie, if you are reading this…we are trying to get our act together and make a Soul Sister Road trip to Art Scouts this summer! to be continued…. 1969

Watercolor grids are awesome, but very hard for my 6th grade class.  I ran across this activity from A Faithful Attempt Click HERE to see post.  The post was super with great directions!  Thank you, A Faithful Attempt for an awesome project!
Okay, so here was my main problem.  I gave the kids a choice of what to draw.  I explained to the students that they needed to pick a fairly simple design.  I showed them my example.  I highly discouraged several very complicated drawings.  I had explained the many problems with a complicated drawing.  Some refused to take the easier route on this project.  They were heck, bent, and determined to make it work.  As you may surmise, most of the kids that chose the more complicated and detailed designs had more trouble completing the task.  I tell you, sometimes you just got to let them figure stuff out.  
The four below have good art sense.  They know their limitations and they are planners.  Wow, look how their art smarts worked in their favor.  LOVE!
Day 1-Make a 1 inch by 1 inch grid on your sheet of paper; Measure the lines with a ruler in one direction.  Then measure out the lines with the ruler in the other direction.  You should have a nice straight grid.

Day 2-Draw a design on top- I encourage fairly simple shapes (or a shape) that filled the paper nicely.

Day 3 and Day 4-Do you want to use warm colors for the background or cool colors for the background?
Do you want to use warm colors for the drawing or cool colors for the drawing?
*Hints:  Make sure you add lots of water when using watercolors.
Move around on the paper.  Do not work on squares side-by-side as you run the risk of colors bleeding into each other and making brown (yuck)

I heard this band, Kaleo, singing “Way Down We Go” while the kids were doing this project.  I kinda feel like the song sums up the feeling of some kids feelings while trying to push through and finish the project.  As I have said before, the devil is in the details.  Hey, watch out for the details!
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