Sunday, March 22, 2015

Album Cover Art

by Mr. Kilpatrick, Art Room 100

 Project Objective: Students will be able to design  a 12" x 12" album cover for a musical artist or group of their choosing in order to apply past lessons of primary and secondary colors, complementary colors, and warm and cool colors.

In March, I brought my tabletop record player and several albums into Art Room 100 to show students the value of album cover art. Students agreed that packaging for LPs gives a musical artist a great opportunity to connect with a listener visually as well as auditorily.

First, we watched a "How Its Made" video about vinyl records.

The project took approximately 5 class periods. Every day, 5th and 6th grade students were allowed to pick different records to listen to - some old, some new. A lot of the music was weird and alien to these young scholars, but they kept an open mind. We discussed many different genres of music, touching on lessons they already covered in Ms. Gould's music class earlier in the year.  I was impressed by the vast amount of musical knowledge students had comprehended since last semester.

Guest DJs:
Ashlynn and Jordyn chose the Beatles.

Raymond chose Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong.

Jade played the sounds of Philadelphia with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.

Janeliz was very curious and excited to hear the Flaming Lips & Fwends covering the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album. She especially liked the songs Miley Cyrus sang on.

Kyria chose Philly jazz queen of the organ Shirley Scott.

Tymire soothed the class with the fragile but beautiful voice of Billie Holiday.

Some days, we would even break into short, impromptu dance parties:

Stan Kenton's "Cuban Fire"!

Rawkin' out to Philly's own Man Man!

These guys really seemed to get into Johnny Cash.

While listening, students worked really hard on album covers of their own. Here are just a few:

Sonieris' Taylor Swift album cover design

Chrystal's Ariana Grande album cover design

Gianberto's Daddy Yankee album cover design

Kathie did an alternate take on Les Claypool's Duo De Twang album cover, using mostly cool colors instead of the warm in the original.

Najia's Beyonce album cover design
Shaniah's take on a Shakira album cover design
Paula's Tyga album cover design

Monday, March 2, 2015

Wildcat Mardi Gras 2015

Since there was a snow day on Fat Tuesday this year, Memphis Street Academy's 5th and 6th Grade Mardi Gras party was pushed to the following Thursday. In Art Room 100, after learning about New Orleans and the Carnival holiday, scholars partied down to some New Orleans Dixieland and Funk music. They also created Mardi Gras masquerade masks as they ate Jambalaya and homemade King Cake.

Students had a blast learning about the culture and holidays of another city. Some even asked why we can't have Mardi Gras every week.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Philly ARTrepreneurs wins SEED Grant

post by Art Teacher Jeff Kilpatrick

This week, I showed a presentation to the Philly CORE Leaders in City Hall's City Council Caucus room. I talked about my student artists at Memphis Street Academy Charter School and did a 3-minute pitch for a program called Philly ARTrepreneurs

Philly ARTrepreneurs was grown from an idea I've had for the kids when I first started teaching at Memphis Street (back when we started the school in 2012). The kids there have grown so much. The academic and behavioral progress they have made is mind-blowing. My students are my heroes. I say it all the time. 

When I show students my own work (my t-shirt designs, comics, anthologies, and art for shows), they always ask me how they can do it too. Now with this SEED grant, I will be able to show them. In the next few months, we will be outfitting my art room with professional equipment and programs so I can show students how to design their own shirts and create their own books and prints. I will also teach students about marketing and shipping their creations. 

The proceeds from the products sold will be split three ways - 1/3 will go to a charity of the student designer's choice. 1/3 will go to the student in some form of scholarship. 1/3 will fold back into the ARTrepreneurs program to keep it moving forward for other students.

I am blessed every day to have this job and work with these kids. I can't wait to walk them through this experience of getting their work out into the world to a wide audience. Please stay tuned for updates over the next few months.

Please CLICK HERE to read the Newsworks article regarding the SEED 4.0 event.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays 2014 from Memphis Street Academy Arts!

This holiday season, our young artists not only continued their tradition of sharing the gift art with cards for kids at the Children's Crisis Treatment Center. They also made handmade holiday cards for firefighters at local firehouses.

Students also did some cooperative learning, working together to research and create posters depicting what the holiday season looks like all around the world, from Israel to the Congo to Belgium and back home here in the United States...


The posters were hung in the hallway outside the first floor art room, so all staff, faculty, and students could get a multicultural and multinational view of the holiday season. Our scholars love giving the gift of art every year, and look forward to sharing more with you when we come back to class in 2015. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2014

AMALGAMATION - An American Paradigm Art Show

On December 18, 2014, students from all American Paradigm Schools were able to attend a very special art show in the American Paradigm offices in Center City Philadelphia.

The title and theme of the show: "AMALGAMATION: the action, process, or result of uniting or combining"

This was the first of quarterly “APS Artist Showcase Series at the Bellevue”. The purpose of these shows is to celebrate American Paradigm's partnerships with local artists and to reflect the community's distinct individualities.

The show featured pieces from many students that supported the theme in many different ways. Some students achieved amalgamation by combining and mixing media. Some united in cooperative group projects.  Aside from student work, local artists Brian Alles, Shane Leddy, and Eric Remer also had work on display, making the show an amalgam of many different styles.

In the center of the exhibit, all attendees were invited to participate in a cooperative "Art Jam" using several different types of art supplies.

Jonathan, a 5th Grade Memphis Street Academy art student, was very excited about the Amalgamation art show. He proclaimed, "I've never been to anything like this before. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't a dream!"

This was truly a magical experience for all students involved. Our students look forward to being involved in future shows, and thank everyone involved with making this opportunity possible.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Art of Early Man - 6th Grade Hominid Posters

Cooperative, Cross-curricular Learning Through the Arts

The homeroom classes of 6-3 and 6-4 created posters of the first five hominid groups to help them better understand the quality of living for the earliest humans. The scholars worked in groups to draw and list the different characteristics of each hominid group. These characteristics consisted of tools, height, food,  time frame, nicknames, and homeland. Both classes worked very well together to gather information to display on the poster board. 

With the help of Mr. Kilpatrick, each scholar had the opportunity to sketch their hominid as an experienced artist and paleoanthropologist. The scholars absolutely loved the activity, and I look forward to doing this activity in future classes.

- Mr. McCarthy, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WHAT TIME IS IT?!?!?!?!?

- Post by Memphis Street Academy Art Teacher Mr. Kilpatrick

Last night, I was surprised by an awesome gift in the mail. Friend and fellow Philly cartoonist Chris McDonnell had Abrams Publishing send me an advanced copy of his gigantic new art book - "Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo"! The book is an amazing 352-page, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most strange and creative shows ever to hit the television. Kids at Memphis Street Academy have been growing up with Finn and Jake these past few years, so I brought the book into the classroom. I wanted to show them just how much art, hard work and thought goes into a show that seems so simple and silly. Students in Mrs. Miller's 5th grade class were excited to go through the book and see the evolution of their favorite characters. Advanced Art students were inspired by the show's concept art and storyboards. They loved combing over the show's collaborative creative process.

Memphis Street Academy's Art students thank Chris McDonnell and Abrams Publishing for this awesomely inspiring gift!