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Art - Middle School

Middle School Art Spotlight – by Brinda Pumphrey –

This is my 7th year teaching middle school art at RMAE and I love it!  A few words that describe middle school art are: challenging, fun, creative, and exciting. My goal is for students to find and develop their own artistic “voice”.   The last thing I want is to end up with 30 artworks that look the same. For some students this is really challenging because I don’t tell them exactly what to do. I generally give them a few required elements and the students must figure out how to incorporate these elements into their final artworks. Planning and process are as important as the final product when finding a personal style. Students spend time thinking and brainstorming ideas, practicing the skills, and then make numerous thumbnail sketches in their sketchbooks before continuing on to the final product. With this process making art takes time, sometimes the front end takes longer than the final project. Most students end up loving the freedom to be creative in finding their own solutions to the visual problems I present them with.MS Art Work

We have some exciting things going on in art right now. Students are designing and decorating their sketchbooks with illuminations, Zen Doodles, and either graffiti or independent designs. A group of enthusiastic 8th graders are planning and will soon start implementing a mural in the library. This will be a long process that will take most of the school year. Eventually every 8th grader will have an opportunity to work on the mural. Check out the four murals in the lower level of building, one done by 8th graders in years past. Some of the projects that middle school students can look forward to this year are Dr. Seuss inspired sculptures, Surrealism, Picasso style characters, morphing their names, creative color wheels, imaginary gardens, imaginary views of space, observational drawings, grid drawings, scratch art, abstract art based on NASA photos, bookmaking, one point perspective drawings, and more. At the end of the school year we will have our 7th annual artist trading card swap. In addition to all of this we will be creating cooperative artworks for an auction to be held at Night of the Arts and will be learning about art history following the Core Knowledge art curriculum. We will be very busy!

MS Art Work

Draw a Creature Step by Step – 7th and 8th grade students followed a series of steps that were open to interpretation to draw a creature.  They never knew what would be next, so they had to improvise.  Even though every student followed the same steps each creature came out different because we all have unique ideas.  MS Art Work



One of my favorite quotes is by Meister Eckhart, “An artist is not a special kind of person. Rather every person is a special kind of artist.” I look forwards to seeing each student become their own special kind of artist!

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