Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eco-Artist, John Dahlsen

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"7 Brown Foam Totems" by John Dahlsen

I noticed I had a post saved back in August that I never made public.
I decided to go ahead and put this on my blog today
as it shows some of my students' work and...

I am firm believer that
art needs to be seen!

My Master's research question focused on authentic assessment, which is
finding ways to assess student work by connecting the classroom to
real world experiences. My research questions was as follows:

"Does displaying student artwork in a public setting increase
student motivation and the quality of their artwork?"

I planned a two week unit (which ended up taking three weeks) that
focused on eco-art. My students learned about different artists who use
recycled materials as their choice of medium and then worked in
small groups to create their own eco-art.

All of the artworks are posted on my blog, except for the one that is below.
These pieces were created by students who finished early as
supplemental work. Therefore, these pieces were not originally planned
for the student art show - but I am glad they were added.

All of the works were on display at Cleveland's City Hall.
With the help of Erin Dorsey, the Mayor's public relations coordinator,
the work was show-cased with two professional artists.
We had a wonderful art opening with the mayor in attendance.
Needless to say, my students loved it!

The work below features three assemblage totems made from plastic Coke bottles,
soda cans and recycled styrofoam.

This artwork was inspired by Australian artist, John Dahlen.
Dahlsen transforms discarded items (aka litter) that he
finds on beaches into beautiful works of art.
He is one of my favorite eco-artists.

You can view more of his work at:

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"Coke Totems" by John Dahlsen

"Primary Totems" by John Dahlsen
"Primary Totems" by John Dahlsen

Students preparing totems

Totems on display at Cleveland's City Hall

If you're curious what the answer was to my research question,
the answer was equivably, "Yes!"

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