Thursday, August 15, 2013

How To Handle "Extra" Art Time

Still from The Painting
 Today, during Art, we've had a Percussion Performing Arts group visit to share their beats. It has been awesome, but it leaves us with only 15 minutes for each Art class.  I like for my students to work large, and to use complex materials (or at least as complex as possible for their abilities). Needless to say, 15 minutes is about enough time to get in the classroom, take attendance, get out work, put up work, and leave. Ha! We can do everything but work.

I still wanted my students to participate in something meaningful, educational, and art-based. But, I loathe showing them some dull (and, c'mon, you know they're dull) Art video/cartoon about some dead, European, White, guy. The aesthetic of the cartoons are too juvenile for my Middle School aged students, and they definitely aren't sophisticated enough, content-wise, to speak to them.


I came across this fantastic little jewel of an animated movie, The Painting. It works in character education, social justice, Art, artistic elements, and animation all into one, sweet, beautiful, work. You can rent it for three days on Amazon for $3.99 or buy a streaming version of it for $9.99. It is well worth the price. I intend to keep showing my students little snippets of it as the year progresses.

Here is the review from Fandango:
Director Jean-Fran├žois Laguionie crafted this rich, artist parable set in a world of classical paintings, where one woman's imperfections have rendered her a social outcast. In a kingdom of extraordinary color, society has been split into three castes: the Allduns, who have been completed by the Painter, dwell in sprawling mansions at the top; the Halfies, who have been left somewhat incomplete, are the commoners; and at the bottom are the wretched Sketchies -- crude charcoal scribbles that have been cast off into the cursed forest. Castigated for her love of noble Alldun Ramo, heartbroken Halfie Claire vanishes into the forest. Meanwhile, Ramo and Lola set out to find Claire, braving the dreaded Death Flowers at the edge of the forest and eventually crossing through the canvas into the Painter's abandoned studio. Now with each new painting these intrepid explorers enter, they come one step closer to understanding what the Painter had envisioned for them when he first put brush to canvas.


  1. Hi there!

    We just wanted to let you know about the animated film that would be a great fit for a classroom, “Art Story” from Disney veterans Chuck Williams and Aaron Blaise. This movie tells the tale of a young boy, Walt, and his Grandpa’s adventures when they get sucked into the imaginative world of paintings. While trapped on the other side of the canvas, the two encounter famous faces and places, giving viewers of all ages the chance to learn about art in an interactive and fun way.

    However, in order to move forward, “Art Story” needs fans like you to back the Kickstarter project and share it with your family and friends. “Art Story” is a heartwarming and memorable movie that audiences will cherish for years to come, help bring this movie to life by showing your support today!

    To back or find out more about “Art Story,” head to our Kickstarter page here:

    Team Art Story

  2. I just checked out "Art Story" It looks so cute....I want a copy of that DVD!

  3. For those odd little bits of time, I have bookmarked tons of videos at Some are obviously art videos. Some just tie in some way to our topic. Some are there when I had bus duty at the end of class and had to find ANYTHING that would entertain kids for that 15 minute process.

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