Third graders are learning a bit about line, a bit about architecture and a bit about contemporary artists today.
The first artist we are learning about is Marz Jr, a LA-based New York raised artist that focuses on pop culture and illustration. His illustrations of buildings are particularly eye-catching with their black and white buildings contrasted against the bright, often one color backgrounds. I was turned onto his work due to my family history of architecture and building, as well as a college friend linking him on Facebook.
My third graders love connecting with today’s things so learning about an artist that is a live, let alone one that we could contact ourselves, was exciting.
We started with a quick Prezi about Marz’s work and talked about what we saw in the work. All the detail comes from his use of lines; no coloring in or shading. The focal point is nearly always in 100% black and white and on a bright background usually one color or two tones of the same color. The students noted that many of the buildings were large or tall, like skyscrapers. We will be making work inspired by him but wanted to give our brains an exercises so after a discussion on different details we can find in architecture (windows, doors, ledges, roofs, brick, stories, etc), we started with crayon and designed some new buildings. Why crayon? Why not pencil to help them practice? Our final project will involve permanent marker – because of this I wanted students to practice working with a medium that can’t erase. If they made a mistake they were encouraged to turn it into something more for their building. They enjoyed this.
Afterwards, we tweeted out about our first day of studying Marz Jr and emailed him a couple questions. We are hoping to hear back but I guess we will have to wait and see. Next time, we will finalize our drawings and start working with the simple medium of black ink.