Lauri McNeill, owner of McNeill Design Architects/Artistry, shares her passion for the arts as she teaches our middle school art elective. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Masters in Architecture and a focus in Art History. Her lessons are designed to use art history and a variety of artistic elements, while encouraging students to develop their creative thinking skills.
Lauri explains her teaching philosophy: “Becoming an artist is truly about observation. Learning to draw is about engaging the right brain activity so we learn to ‘draw what we see’ and not what we ‘think’ we see… or a memory bank of images stored in our left brain. I believe students can be taught to draw, if they can learn to see and have the desire to practice it regularly.”
As a self proclaimed “art history freak,” she incorporates a famous artist in every project. Recent examples include a hands-on unit inspired by Matisse’s two dimensional paper cutout forms and Segal’s three dimensional plaster casting art techniques. The students had a blast creating a casting of their hand and then used amorphic forms to create their names or a personal expression. The exercise explored color and composition by using their hand as a canvas versus a flat piece of paper.
Artwork produced by the current art class was featured in the program for this years’ Christmas Celebration. All of these selections and other art projects can be viewed in the slideshow.
Mrs. McNeill also teaches a middle school architecture class, ArKIDtecture. Look for a future article about this interesting elective.