Art Show Puts Creativity on Display

The hallways became an art gallery at the annual Live Oak Art Show.
Various projects from the year were on display throughout the building as students were eager to invite their families to enjoy all the hard work and creativity at every turn. 

“We were impressed to see a variety of skills and resilience from each artist that participated in the show,” said Lower School Art Teacher Jose Trujillo. “We were proud to get as much work out this year as possible and fill the walls with lots of colors. We were happy to see lots of smiles, laughter, and excitement. Their reactions were well worth it. It was great seeing all the projects together in a gallery setting which displayed a range of abilities and creativity.”

The pieces ranged from sketches, to sculptures, gigantic versions of everyday objects, and so much more. Students learned techniques and history of a range of notable artists from around the world, putting their own unique spin on their work. Below is an overview of the different projects each grade worked on and the inspiration behind them.

Lower School

Aquarium Paintings: As part of the water unit, kindergartners created their own aquariums. For this exercise we learned more about how to draw cubes, spheres, and cylinders, while playing with a technique called oil-resist.

Hand/Texture Sculptures: While discovering the concept of texture with their hands (one of the ‘theories of art’ we learn about), kindergartners then created texture in a clay slab, an object that they can now see and feel texture from. Hands were traced into a slab, with their own identity shown in the color they chose for their skin.

First Grade 
Cardboard Sculptures: Sculptor Phyllida Barlow uses lots of everyday materials for her sculptures. She uses things from the house like wood and carpet, as well as things you might use to do DIY, like foam, concrete, and polystyrene. Phyllida also often takes her sculptures apart and reuses the pieces to make something new. Taking inspiration from her work, first grade designed and engineered their own cardboard sculptures. 

Clay Self-Portraits: Building on the concepts of clay work, first grade rolled out slabs, scratched, and attached their own clay self-portraits. After firing up their work in the kiln, first grade glazed their portraits in many different ways. Some chose for their portraits to look as realistic as possible and some wanted to experiment with different colors. Take in all the detail on the background and on the faces themselves.

Puff Paint Findings: First graders practiced the fine art of tracing by using their fine motor skills to create a composition of everyday objects. Afterward, they outlined it with black puff paint and filled it in with watercolor. In these textural masterpieces, you will find overlapping shapes, an explosion of color, and some shimmer.

Super Bloom or Flower Power: Second grade looked at national flowers from around the world and to draw inspiration. They sketched a composition depicting three variations of their flower. Then, they transferred their drawing onto a styrofoam printing plate. Using a printing press and burnishing techniques they printed their styrofoam plate.

Second Grade 
Terra Cotta Coil Vases: Inspired by a book called, The Pot That Juan Built, this project focused on learning about artist and potter Juan Quezada from Tutuaca, Mexico. A region of Mexico that was well known for pottery and adobe work. As a result, each artist built a coil pot or chalice using terra cotta clay and glazed it to decorate patterns and designs. This inaugural project welcomes the use of terracotta clay in Lower School art. 

Self-Centered Collages: Second grade artists dove deep and were guided using the prompt: “Exploring me in a world of we.”  At the center of these collages sits an adorned mixed media piece of things that are important to the individual artist. Surrounding that is a collaged border made up of clippings from newspapers and magazines. These pieces remind us to center ourselves and take space to know what is really essential. 

Third Grade
Fernando Llort-inspired Paintings:Inspired by a field trip to Balmy Alley, third grade explored the colorful world of Fernando Llort. The artists rendered a self portrait in Llort’s style celebrating joy, community, and San Francisco landmarks. Llort, dubbed El Salvador’s national artist, continues to inspire us all to paint our dreams and plant seeds of love and hope wherever we go. 

DÍa de Los Muertos Paper Mache Masks: Third grade decided to exhibit their masks because they spent more time learning about this pre-colonial ancient holiday. They researched how it’s celebrated across Latin America (Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y más). They used paper mache techniques to construct their mold and later painted them with acrylic paint. They finished by making a background made from papel picado, a traditional decorative craft made by cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper.

Fourth Grade 
Biomorphic Sculptures: Fourth grade built 3D sculptures inspired by their biomorphic shapes drawings. They used a wood base and wire to shape their sculpture and covered it with a “stocking.” Then it was painted with gesso and decorated with acrylic paint. The final touches were done with paint markers.

Toy Drawings: Fourth grade sketched a composition inspired by vintage and new toys. They took inspiration from these toys to create black-and-white sketches, using charcoal and graphite techniques learned in previous projects.

Fifth Grade
Clay Monster Jars: Our fabulous in-house artist Mario, showcased their whimsical sculptures to our fifth-grade artists. In return, they were inspired to design their own monster jars. They began by sketching ideas and building prototypes using recycled clay. Later each artist brought to life their monster using coil, slab, and slip-casting techniques.  

Graphite Murals: Using rendering and blending techniques they created an illusion that will make you feel dizzy. This project focused on making a grid-like drawing that conveyed depth and movement. They used only pencils to create this collaborative installation. 

A Close-Up Of My Shoes: Have you ever paid attention to your shoes? Fifth graders looked closely at their shoes and were asked to draw one of their shoes using sketching techniques learned in the Graphite Mural project. They were all surprised that we chose to unexpectantly ask them to remove their shoe and draw it as is. Then they cropped and enlarged a section of their shoe and re-designed it using posca markers, sharpies, and pastels.
Middle School
Thiebaud/Oldenburg-inspired Clay Foods: Clay, slab-construction sculpture inspired by Potrero Hill artist Wayne Thiebaud’s (tee–bo) and Claus Oldenburg’s work of all things sweet and yummy.

Oldenburg/vanBruggen-inspired Oversized Common Objects: The married team of Coosje vanBruggen and Claes Oldenburg created giant objects like Cupid’s Span (bow and arrow) on the Embarcadero and Safety Pin at the deYoung. Using power tools, hot glue, and acrylic paint, artists made 3D objects come to life. 

Favorite Object Drawings: Annually, our artists are asked to render a favorite object brought from home, while keeping in mind that it is easier to draw “what you see, rather than what you think you see.” Perspective, foreshortening, highlight/shadow and shades of grey, and strategies for drawing accurate texture and 3D shape were carefully observed.

Abstracted POP Paintings: Using Lichtenstein as inspiration, eighth graders abstracted a comics panel by using a viewfinder and proportional enlargement grid to see an unusual composition. Themes discussed were bold primary colors, graphic/stylized shapes, and how POP compares to Abstract Expressionism.


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