April 26th to May 2nd sees the arrival of our 5th annual Digital Art Week. This gives primary school children around Ireland the opportunity to share their digital art with other children around the country and complete some fun visual arts activities. As it’s digital, over the course of the week, schools are encouraged to use digital tools, such as Twitter, in order to learn about art and to create their own pieces of work. Appropriately, Digital Art Week also coincides with Tech Week.
Started in 2011 by teachers Simon Lewis (Anseo.net), Damien Quinn (Seomra Ranga) and Fred Boss (formerely PDST now NCCA), the project aims to give children and teachers the opportunity to use technology in a simple way to learn all about art. There are various possible aspects to the project.
* A shared gallery to which all schools can upload their work (http://www.digitalartweek.com/2015/)
* An online Art Treasure Hunt
* A list of recommended web sites that children can play around with to gain an insight as to how some famous artists worked.
* Conversations about visual arts using the hashtag #artweek15 on Twitter.
Project 1: Create and Share Your Digital Art
Children create a piece of art using any app or computer programme on any type of computer. Here are some recommended free programmes that can be used:
* MS Paint (Windows) – free on all Windows Computers
* Paintbrush (Mac) – A Mac version of Paint – Download here
* Paint.net (Windows) – a more advanced version of Paint – Download here
* Art Rage (Windows, Mac, iPad) – another powerful painting program – Download here
* Paint Online (Online) – an online painting program – Visit here
* Here are 35 others if the above doesn’t suit!
Pupils can also use an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Tablet or any other device to create a piece of digital art. There are plenty of decent painting apps available in the various App Stores and there are some suggestions on the Digital Art Week website. Another possibility is to make an image and photograph it.
Go to the Digital Art Week web site, click on “Sign Up” in the top right hand corner and fill in all the details about you and your school. This will create an account on the website for you to allow you to upload your digital images.
Project 2: Twitter Art Treasure Hunt
Join schools around Ireland on Twitter to help Leo the Vole with some fiendishly difficult art puzzles. In this project, you and your class will get to explore some of the world’s most famous art pieces and learn lots about them through conversing with other schools and our hero Leo.
Set up a Twitter account for your class if you don’t have one already. You can sign up at http://www.twitter.com. We suggest you pick a username that resembles your school’s name. For example Scoil Anyplace might choose a username ScoilAnyplace. A guide to setting up a Twitter account can be found HERE.
Follow @Leo_theV and search for the following hashtag on Twitter #artweek15. All the posts relating to Digital Art Week will be here.
Throughout Digital Art Week, you’ll receive tweets from Leo the V to help you solve the Treasure Hunt. A nice idea is to download a Twitter Feed programme that can be displayed on your projected screen / Interactive Whiteboard. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Twitterfall are good tools that can be used effectively for this purpose.
Project 3: Look and Respond
You can look and respond to some great pieces of art by checking out some of the links suggested by teachers around Ireland on the Digital Art Week website. We are asking that you write posts on your class or school blog about some of the art that you are looking at and share the links to the blog posts via Twitter, using the #artweek15 hashtag, thereby starting a countrywide conversation about art.
Project 4: Visit a Gallery/Invite an Artist
If possible, during Digital Art Week get your class to visit your local art gallery to view pieces of art. Alternatively, invite an artist into your class to talk about their work as an artist. There is a list of local Arts Education Officers who may be able to help you in this regard on the Digital Art Week website HERE Again, write a blog post about your gallery visit/artist visit and share the link via Twitter, again using the hashtag #artweek15, so that we can continue the conversation about art.
Project 5: Yeats-Themed Art Work
2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the poet W.B. Yeats. This year for Digital Art Week, we thought that the poetry of W. B. Yeats could be used as an inspiration for some digital art. Some of Yeats’ early poems are especially accessible for primary school pupils. Jack B. Yeats, W.B.’s brother, is also a world-renowned artist and some of his works could also be used as inspiration for digital art.
Project 6: Vorticism
Vorticism was a type of artistic movement that was around about 100 years ago. It was inspired by the type of art going around at the time: cubism and modernism. It was started in Britain and instead of making paintings of landscapes and portraits, vorticist art was abstract and geometric in style. For more information on Vorticism, check out this Wikipedia page
Project 7: Digital Art Week Table Quiz
Organise an art-themed Table Quiz in your class/school using the Digital Art Week Table Quiz which I created for the project last year. You can download the quiz (in Powerpoint format) HERE
Digital Art Week is all about pupils having fun with Visual Arts and starting conversations about Visual Arts. It is all free and there are no charges for any of the activities. Please let your colleagues know that this project is taking place from April 26th to May 2nd and encourage them to take part. Sign up now at http://www.digitalartweek.com/2015/