Thursday, May 30, 2013

spinning round with mr. moore.

Testing time!

This week I’m happy to give our 3rd graders (and their teachers)J a break from the stress from the testing cycle they are in.

We are looking at the work of Matt W. Moore, who wears many creative hats as an artist based out of Portland, Maine. Most of Matt’s work falls into the abstract realm. I love his use of bold colors and hard edged shapes in his striking visual compositions. Many of his pieces have an electricity about them, due to his play with the visual elements of line, shape, and color.

After sharing the range of Matt’s work with the students by checking out his website, we narrow our focus on one mural in particular. Upon viewing this one together, I have students share with me what they see- circles, designs, patterns, colors. I also have them share what makes the circles different from one another in the overall design- the size of them, different patterns, different colors, and so forth.

I also introduce them to the concept of radial symmetry. I talk about how this type is when things radiate or revolve around a central point, like the spokes on a bike wheel or a pizza sliced up.

I explain that each of the students will make a circular design that has a variety of patterns and that is an example of radial symmetry. I also share that their piece will be included in a larger mural type installation inspired by Matt’s mural composition.

When building their pieces students start out with a extra small (3x3)and small (6x6)piece of paper. They draw a circle on each, cut them out, and glue the smaller onto the larger. Once this is done they add patterns to the two pieces. I show them that they can split the circles into smaller bands, or they can leave them alone and create larger patterns.

When that part is complete, students get a medium (9x9)size piece and repeat the process. Finally, they get the large (12x12) piece and repeat as well.

For students that finish early, they may help construct an even larger circle design with others that finish early. These larger ones have not completed in class, so the next class’s early finishers contribute to them as well. Students also have the option of creating a smaller, mini version of the circle design, either by themselves or with a partner.

Below are a couple ideas for installation, along with photos of individual student designs. I’m thinking I would like to have at least 3 large scale compositions to hang as a large installation, or as individual hangings that would be spread out through our annual art show, which is only 4 weeks away!

The family and I are headed back to Portland this summer to visit my in-laws, so I’m looking forward to tracking down his local mural spots and seeing some of Matt’s work in personJ


  1. Really wonderful--ideas to do with my grands!

  2. Fantastic! Can't wait to see final installations.

  3. Great collaborative project. I'm heading over to Matt's website to check him out!!

  4. Love this artist's circles and your responding project.

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