This video features Mariaelis and Jenna talking about Mariaelis' honorable mention award in the Teachers Against Prejudice global art contest, their friendship, and the qualities they look for in a good friend!
Mariaelis, Alex, and Jenna! Alex joined us because she wanted to support her friends and was very happy to celebrate this special honor! 
Congratulations Mariaelis for winning honorable mention in the Teachers Against Prejudice Art Contest!

Teachers Against Prejudice (TAP) invited students to participate in an art contest.  The theme was, "Sharing Cultures".  The requirements were that the artwork must depict two or more people who are different from each other, possibly sharing customs and/or traditions. 

Mariaelis' artwork was an obvious choice for this contest.  Her piece was inspired by her friendship with her pal Jenna.  In her artist statement, Mariaelis wrote, " I made this picture for my best friend Jenna.  She inspires me a lot and tries to help me and we've known each other for a long time.  We have our ups and downs.  We are very different and have different hair color etc.  It does not matter about differences.  It matters about the care and the fun about being with the person.  This is why I picked Jenna, because we have a lot of differences but we don't care.  We are unique in our own way."  

Mariaelis, I hope you are proud of yourself for this wonderful achievement!  Your artwork and the meaning behind it support our district's character education goals and is a wonderful reminder for all to appreciate diversity!

See the results of the contest here:
Most classes were only 20 minutes today due to our early release schedule, so it was the perfect day to paint digitally like Jackson Pollock.  Go to  to make your own.  The Jackson Pollock app is available in the iTunes Store for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Kindergarten students in Mrs. Thoden's class and 2nd grade students in Ms. Castrantas' class combined their "Love Bird" drawings with a photo of a sky using the app, "Phantasy" on the iPad.  First, they drew "Love Birds" on white paper, outlined them with Sharpie markers, and then colored them with water based markers.  Using my iPhone, I took photos of their work and imported them into the Dropbox app. 

We have the Dropbox app installed on our iPad, so photos quickly appeared for students to edit.  They took turns opening the app, "Phantasy", imported their work, and applied a layer that looked like a sky with clouds.  The background that was once white in their drawings became the sky!  

Phantasy features a variety of different background options. The image of the sky worked perfectly and helped us to combine traditional and digital tools.  

See more of our digitally altered "Love Birds" in our Artsonia gallery:

Dropbox is my all time favorite app when it comes to productivity in the art room.  It allows me to take photos and wirelessly send them to all of our devices and computers in seconds.  Check out Dropbox for yourself here: 

Learn more about the app that we used, Phantasy here:

We read the book, "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister during art class and we all agreed that sharing is a very important skill to learn. We also admired the illustrations in the book, noticing the shapes and colors of the fish and sea plants. 
Students are creating a mixed media piece featuring their own rainbow fish. We had a few minutes at the end of class and students took turns drawing a collaborative rainbow fish. They remembered all of the steps! Soon, their work will be posted to their Artsonia galleries for all to see. 

The song featured in this video is titled, "Staircase". by Dan Leigh. 

Students of all ages have been popping into the art room to show off their Artsonia T-Shirts!  I am so happy to see that they wear their artwork with pride! Some students have mentioned that their parents like to order 
t-shirts that are a little larger so they will be able to wear them for a number of years to come. Another great thing to mention is that Artsonia donates 15% of all purchases back to our art program, which enables us to create more opportunities for our artists!  
David Hockney is a celebrated artist who has had his iPad artwork featured on the cover of the New Yorker several times.

The video above features many of his iPad paintings on display in his current exhibition in London. 
We have only just begun to explore digital painting on our iPads at B.A., but look forward to having more opportunities.  

See some of our artists first digital paintings here in our Artsonia gallery. 

Have you noticed that our Brunswick Acres Artsonia gallery is currently #1 in the entire state of New Jersey in total comments received?  So far 750 comments have been sent to our artists!  How does it feel to have so many people admire your work? It sure does make me feel happy to read all of the thoughtful and supportive words sent to you by your families, friends, fans, students from other schools, and even from people you may not know.  Students, please be sure to thank those who have taken the time to reach out to you on Artsonia.  

B.A. parents, thank you for supporting your young and talented artists!  They enjoy receiving positive feedback and your enthusiasm and encouragement helps to build self esteem and a greater sense of pride!  

Click this link to read the most recent comments sent to our artists

Directions on how to send a comment to your artist:
1. Click on the "Artsonia" tab at the top of this page.
2. Find a gallery that mentions your son's/daughter's teacher
3. Find your child's name/artwork
4. Click the speech bubble.
5. Click" enter web comment" and write your comment
6: Send your comment.
7. Check your email to approve the comment so that it can be publicly posted online.
8. If you have not yet registered as the parent, contact me using the form on the home page of this website or at so that I can assist you.  Please provide the name of your child, your child's grade, and homeroom teacher's name.
The Donors Choose grant that I wrote "My 21st Century Artists Need 21st Century Paintbrushes" was fully funded.  Gap Inc. and an anonymous donor generously donated money that enabled us to have four digital styluses to use with our iPads.  Donors Choose requires teachers to send thank you letters created by students to our donors, which we were happy to do of course.  Other requirements are that teachers must type an online thank you letter and upload six photos of students using the grant funded materials.  Click this link to see photos of students using our new styluses, read the grant proposal and thank you letter.  Thank you again to Donors Choose and to our anonymous donor and Gap Inc.! 
I created my first business card and it arrived in the mail a couple of days ago. 

Why do I need a business card?  I am currently preparing a presentation on iPads in the art room for the National Art Education Association Conference in March. The amazing Dryden Elementary art teacher I am presenting with, Tricia Fuglestad from Arlington Heights Illinios, informed me that many presenters distribute business cards to people who attend their workshops and presentations.  Fewer presenters are printing paper handouts these days because they are linking their content to their websites, wikis, and more.  Both Tricia and I will be linking the content to our presentation on our websites.  

Stay tuned :)