Document 27402

 The Art of Creative Lettering: Graffiti 10-­‐15 hours of instruction Grades 9-­‐12 (can be adapted to other grade levels) Overview: The word “graffiti” originally meant to scribe or scratch on a wall for public view. The term has since evolved over the last 50 years from its urban and street context of signatures and tags into a term that more generally describes certain styles and ways of drawing letters. But graffiti has always been associated with subversive activity. This is its attraction to young people who see in it a way to assert themselves on their environment in anonymous, exciting ways. How do we take that subversive energy and harness it in the studio to create thought-­‐
provoking, interesting graffiti art while building students’ technical and creative skills? Translating the street art aspect of graffiti to the studio art classroom allows students to focus on the aesthetics and technical skills required to make text—the heart and soul of graffiti—
come alive using color and design elements. This unit teaches students the basics of creative lettering, a foundation of making and understanding graffiti as an art form. Creative lettering in graffiti art pushes the idea of “normal” by allowing artists to experiment with abstracted letter forms in conjunction with legible text and a variety of mediums and materials. This aspect of ongoing experimentation keeps the art form continually fresh and interesting to its makers and its audience. By learning to draw letters, specifically, the letters of their name, students will build not just technical skills in drawing but also gain insight into how they draw the letters of their name—
the weight and clarity of the line they use, for example—communicates to a viewer their spirit and what kind of person they are. In graffiti, one’s signature is like a fingerprint: it is a unique and distinctive identifier. As they develop their drawing techniques students will gain greater awareness and recognition of the art of original, hand-­‐drawn letters and its richness as a visual art form in its own right. Graffiti is not just about the meaning and message of the language itself but about the energy of what the letter design communicates: exuberance, calm, anger, violence, political and social awareness, a sense of community, individual self-­‐discovery, etc. Students will create and experiment with drawing styles in pencil by bending, twisting and distorting letters into sometimes illegible formats. Depending on the residency, they will use these letter sketches to create larger pieces in paint on canvas or on paper using cut-­‐out collage techniques. In some residencies students will also learn about controlling aerosol paint, or what is referred to as “can control.” Students will use spray paint techniques on portable practice walls and may have an opportunity to create a large-­‐scale mural. created by Peyton Scott Russell – 2013. Copyright
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© 2014 Forecast Public Art, St. Paul, Minnesota. All1 Unit Learning Goals: A. Students will learn and apply basic skills in creative lettering and general art principles and elements of design such as rhythm (flow), balance (weight), unity, perspective, composition, emphasis, variety, pattern, and contrast, line, color, value, intensity, form, space, texture and shape. B. Students will learn, apply and be able to identify basic graffiti styles such as: block letters, straight letter (funk), bar style, bubble or softie, organic and wild style, in addition to typical New York styles, West Coast and Midwest styles. C. Students will learn, apply and be able to identify various graffiti design elements such as: arrows, breaks, bevels, melds, cracks, through lines, overlaps, bits, slice, bubbles, clouds, fades (blends), drips, outlines, in-­‐lines, force field (gel or glow), 3D, drop shadow, highlight, low light, shines, glare, blowouts, etc. D. Students will create individual and/or group graffiti-­‐inspired pieces that show the application of color theory in expressive ways including their knowledge of monochromatic, analogous, and complementary color combinations. E. Students will learn how to express in their own work a specific emotional and aesthetic intent and also be able to identify and articulate the expressive characteristics of the work of their peers. Corresponding Evidence of Learning: what does success look like in achieving these goals? A. Students’ lettering is characterized by quality lines, that is, the lines are controlled, steady, sharp, deliberate, and not loose or scratchy-­‐looking unless that was an intentional decision. Their names are mostly legible (unless illegibility was their intention) and the letters are in proportion to each other and their overall composition achieves a kind of balance. B. Individual student pieces incorporate at least one recognizable graffiti style; the work of the class overall includes a range of graffiti styles. C. Individual student pieces incorporate at least one recognizable graffiti design element; the work of the class overall includes a variety of design elements. D. Students’ individual or group final pieces look finished: in acrylic and aerosol paintings there is a healthy coat of paint and more than one layer; the embellishments (decoration, bubbles, clouds, cracks, fades, blends, hard line, shines, highlights, shadows, glares, glows) of a letter become part of the letter, that is, there is no separation between the letter and the embellishments. In paper collage, the letters are unified in style and color choices and students have used multiple layers in their final composition. E. Students finished pieces are original and interesting and communicate a specific idea, intent, energy, and/or identifiable emotion. When responding to the work of their peers, students are able to describe both how the work conveys meaning (what styles and techniques did the artist use?) and how effectively these techniques were used. created by Peyton Scott Russell – 2013. Copyright
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© 2014 Forecast Public Art, St. Paul, Minnesota. All2 MN Academic Standards addressed in this unit VISUAL ARTS Strand 1. Artistic Foundations Standard 2. Demonstrate knowledge and use of the technical skills of the art form, integrating technology when applicable. 9.1.2.5.1 Integrate the characteristics of the tools, materials and techniques of a selected media in original artworks to support artistic purposes. Strand 2. Artistic Process: Create or Make Standard 1. Create or make in a variety of contexts in the arts area using the artistic foundations. 9.2.1.5.1 Create a single, complex artwork or multiple artworks to express ideas. 9.2.1.5.2 Revise artworks based on artistic intent and using multiple sources of critique and feedback. created by Peyton Scott Russell – 2013. Copyright
rights reserved.
© 2014 Forecast Public Art, St. Paul, Minnesota. All3 
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