Art History

    The last artist for this year is George Caleb Bingham, born in Virginia in 1811. As a young boy he moved with his family to what was then the new territory of Missouri. He grew up in a town along the banks of the Missouri River. His father died when he was 12 and he had to labored on the farm which he would escape from on the river. He began his career as a self-taught portraitist. Bingham always styled himself as a frontier person, although he lived in Washington, D.C. in the early 1840s and traveled in the northeastern United States during this time. His fame as an artist was spread in part by his association with the American Art Union which exhibited his pictures and distributed them in lotteries. His painting The Jolly Flatboatmen, which is similar to Boatmen on the Missouri, was made into a print by The American Art Union and sold throughout the United States. In Bingham's second career as a politician, he ran for the Missouri State Legislature several times and was elected to serve a term in 1848; he was appointed state treasurer from 1862 to 1865.

The Jolly Floatmen
“The Jolly Floatmen”
George Caleb Bingham
     Scott Joplin was one of the first African Americans to become famous and successful composer of popular music. He is known as the King of Ragtime. Scott Joplin was born around 1867 or 1868 in Texas. He was the second of six children. His father, Jiles, was a farm laborer and his mother, Florence, worked as a domestic. His family was a musical one: Jiles Joplin played the violin, and Florence played the banjo and sang. Around 1871 the family moved to Texarkana, Texas, where young Scott was given access to a piano in a house where his mother worked. He began to learn to play on his own, until his talent came to the attention of a German-American music teacher, Julius Weiss, who provided Scott with further training in classical music forms. By 1882, Scott's mother had purchased a piano for him to practice on at home. In the 1880s Scott lived for a time in Sedalia, Missouri, attending a Black high school. He went on to St. Louis, possibly to begin his career in music. John Stark, a Sedalia publisher and music store owner, published Joplin's most famous piece, the Map/e Leaf Rag, in 1899. The style of music he wrote was extremely popular, and was played in every bar and nightclub around the country, either by live pianists or on mechanical "player pianos" which played songs recorded on piano rolls.


     The kindergarten - second grade finished their mixed media compositions about the circus, then used line and shape making a colorful Easter egg. We then did a study of enlargement using tempera, painting a tree that our shoe bird will sit in. Lastly we will complete the year with a watercolor painting learning the effects of distance.

    Some in the 3rd-5th grade finished their raindrop learning techniques of color pencils, while others continued on their mosaics. They are just finishing up their 3 dimensional line patterned fish unit. Next we will be working on an Indian motif using negative and positive space, line, and shape.

     Middle School students have been working on paper mache fruit and a fruit bowl learning 3 dimensional methods, painted motifs and textures. Now they have begun working on a one point perspective drawing by using block letters, horizon line and a vanishing point. They will then use the design principles they have learned throughout the year to decorate it.

     High school was and is still working on finishing the perspective drawing unit along with relief sculpture. Relief sculpture is working with an oil based clay using negative and positive space to create the image of their choice. Plaster is poured into the negative space making a positive. They will be painted using acrylics paint. Thank you for a wonderful year and blessing me to teach your precious children!

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