Monday, January 4, 2016

Check out the STEAM blog I create on an on-going basis for my Geraldine R. Dodge funded Art (STEAM) Professor in Residence work in Paterson, NH. I also co-write the posts with Dodge grant co-ordinator, Dina Scacchetti...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Radial Symmetry and Origami Square Creations at SOIT

At the School of Information Technology, students in Mrs. Simon's art classes studied radial symmetry, color theory, and origami to create original art works from folded paper.

First students observed the use of radial symmetry and color in contemporary art, viewing works by Portia Munson who creates dazzling photographs of flowers using radial symmetry and a skillful use of composition and color theory. 
Above:  Photographs by Contemporary Artist Portia Munson

Origami Lotus Flower LINK
Students learned about Origami (折り紙,) from ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper”: the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture.  They learned that in origami, the goal is to transform a flat square of paper into a finished sculpture through precisely planned and executed folding techniques. Next, Ms. Simon's students researched the differences between formal balance, symmetrical balance, informal balance, and radial symmetry. Finally, they were ready to begin their art creations.  They were challenged to work within certain parameters:  they had to use 3 inch by 3 inch squares, and they could only use white and three colors.

Students developed their own folding methods and their own compositions, as in the examples at the right and below.  As in Portia Munson's works, students used a completely black background to add dramatic contrast to the other colors.
The cumulative effect of the students' work was magnificent!

In the course of this lesson students acquired an extensive new vocabulary: origami, formal balance, symmetrical balance, informal balance, radial symmetry, bilateral symmetry, fulcrum, space, pattern, aesthetics, contemporary art.