School Residencies

 

 

In my work with students and staff in a classroom I try to:

1) work with a variety of materials so the opportunity to explore is present

2) create open-ended projects so that everyone can be successful and the project can change if needed to best connect to, and reflect, the work being done in the classroom

3) connect to several curriculums so the visual work created is an integrated piece of the investigations of the topics the students are exploring

 

* Please note that because of Media Release provisions I do not publish student work.  I am able to provide examples of this work upon request.  As each project is unique to the context determined by the materials available, the teacher(s)' objectives, the classroom setting and most importantly the interests of the students and connections made to their work, these examples would look different outside of the environments listed below.

 

I'm on the Calgary Board of Education Artist Roster

What's up in 2019-2020

  • Whole school work with Royal Oak School

         Fall 2019

         -Grade 2 team - Developing a mixed media work using paint on canvas board and paper to represent beneficial and harmful insects present in 3 prairie crop

          environments (connecting to perspective of a Prairie Entomologist)

         -Grade 3 team - Creating a mixed media work using acrylic paint on canvas board and weaving materials to consider the work and processes used to hand-

          knot carpets in India.  Perspective of global citizenship explored in class connected to carpet-making and the use of child labour.

         Winter 2020

         -Grade 1 team - Building a table place setting of a clay bowl and place mat, made using acrylic paint on canvas, to represent student connections to their family

          including how the traditions and cultures of students are present in their family story (connecting to perspective of an Anthropologist)

         -Kindergarten - Creating snowstorms on long fabric panels using acrylic paint, paper and embellishments (connecting to perspective of a Scientist)

  • Work with Division 2 students Brentwood School

         -Grade 3 team - Creating acrylic paintings on canvas wall hangings using the textile art of Peru, India, Ukraine and Tunisia as inspiration

         -Grade 4 team - Building a mixed media work using acrylic paint and medium, with watercolour paper and organic materials, to describe the setting (Alberta

          Badlands) and character (fictional dinosaur species) developed during a previous student story writing activity

         -Grade 5 team - Developing 4 mixed media works on paper representing Canadian resources (water, organics/soil and plants, minerals and oil.)  Students

          composed each work in a way that demonstrated their opinion about whether the use of the resource being represented was allowing human and

          environmental needs to be in or out of balance

  • Work with the Kindergarten students at Alex Ferguson School - cancelled due to covid-19

  • Whole school work with Panorama Hills School - cancelled due to covid-19

  • Work with the TASC class (Teaching of Attitude, Social Skills and Communication) at Jeannie Elliot - cancelled due to covid-19

2018-2019

This represents 7 schools with 118 classes made up of 2435 students

  • Whole school work with Royal Oak School

         Fall 2018

         -Grade 2 team - Developing a mixed media work using paint and drawing tools on a variety of paper to build layers that represent growth in Calgary's

          development (connecting to perspective of a Historian)

         -Grade 3 team - Creating a mixed media work using acrylic mediums and several rock products to form strata representing layers of the earth

          (connecting to perspective of a Geologist)

         Spring 2019

         -Grade 1 team - Building natural and man-made nests and animal homes that, alongside a watercolour background, demonstrate the change in habitat

          for animals when human encroachment is present (connecting to perspective of a Conservation Biologist)

         -Kindergarten - Creating large acrylic portraits, using local artist Maya Gohill as inspiration, which are hung together on a fabric background with an

          acrylic paint textured surface (connecting to perspective of an Artist)

  • Work with the Grade 1 team at Coventry Hills School - Building clay representations of seasonal change that demonstrate how plants, animals and people adapt to winter

  • Whole school work with Acadia School - Supporting students in the painting of 15 plywood murals demonstrating math related concepts.  These murals were designed to have multiple entry points and to be a "third teacher" to be used by the student population as an on-going resource

  • Work with the Grade 1 and 2 team at Buffalo Rubbing Stone School - Building leaves (fall), snowflakes (winter) and flowers (spring and summer) using hand-building techniques.  This project helped staff develop an understanding of the kiln in the school

  • Work with the Kindergarten team at Coventry Hills School - Creating mixed media environments on canvas boards representing the seasonal changes of plants (bulbs) and animals (ladybugs)

  • Work with the Grade 1 team at Falconridge School - Painting plywood murals demonstrating human/animal interactions.  These murals will be used to animate an unused outdoor space

  • Work with the Grade 1 team at Acadia School -  Using the three hand-building techniques to make flowers using clay and finishing with paint and decorative items

  • Whole school work with Colonel J Fred Scott School

        -Kindergarten - Creating papier mache penguins and the distinct environments (beach, ice and rain forest) they live in

        -Grades 1 and 2 - Building a triangular lantern with each surface representing a diverse Canadian community (Acadian, Prairie and Inuit)

        -Grades 3 and 4 - Creating layered cut paper images on painted canvas board (using the book "Prairie Dog Song" as our inspiration) to represent the six Alberta

          regions

        -Grades 5 and 6 - Developing "before and after" representations of wetland and forest environments relating to human impact.  Clay and acrylic paint on

          watercolour paper were used to compare and contrast this impact on the environments

  • Whole school work with Bridlewood School- Creating artwork for installation on community surfaces (utility boxes). The book "What Do You Do With A Chance?" is the inspiration for the pencil/watercolour work that connects to the schools year long inquiry of this question

  • Work with the Kindergarten team at Acadia School - Building an acrylic painting of a monarch butterfly on watercolour paper using wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques with student cut decals used to mask the surface for design creation

 

2017-2018

This represents 6 schools with 84 classes made up of 1850 students

  • Whole school work with Royal Oak School

         Fall 2017

         -Grade 2 team -Developing a mixed media work using drawing, watercolour, acrylic paint and collage to construct a changing wetland environment

         -Grade 3 team - Creating papier mache masks of animals in the Weaslehead Natural Area which will be used to understand/develop "voice" of these animals

           for dramatic/storytelling situations

         Spring 2018

        -Grade 1 team - Creating 14 stretched fabric panels by collaboratively drawing and painting on canvas as part of the investigation of the Royal Oak                       Community (Social studies).  These panels were later displayed at the Rocky Ridge YMCA

        -Kindergarten - Providing a concrete story map for story retelling using clay, watercolour painting and 3-D sculptural components

"I’ve had the privilege of working with a number of artists over the last few years and I have to say you were one of the best! The students had a clear direction, used their prior knowledge and learned some new techniques. The finished work is theirs and they take pride in the process and the finished product. You also worked very well with us teachers, building off of our ideas and using our inquiry as a jumping off point. Thank you for taking on something new. I really enjoyed working with and learning from you."
Kim Cook     Learning Leader, Royal Oak School

  • Grades 6 and 7 art class - Building a functional clay project (plate and small bowl) using coil, slab and pinch pot handbuilding techniques - Robert Warren School

      Grades 6 and 7/ 8 and 9 art class - Building Surrealist inspired sculptural clay figures and creating a watercolour background - Robert Warren School

  • Whole school work with Hidden Valley - Canada 150 Legacy project - Creation of a Canada Flag using small tiles painted with acrylic embedded with materials related to the geographic region of Canada as positioned on a map (coast to coast to coast - BC to Newfoundland to northern territories)

  • Whole school work with Colonel Fred Scott School

        -Kindergarten - Building a mixed media visual alphabet for the classroom using acrylic paint on canvas boards and attaching student alphabet object collections

        -Grades 1 and 2 -Using all three handbuilding techniques to build a clay landscape (based on Nose Hill) to inspire oral and written storytelling about place

        -Grades 3 and 4 - Building papier mache masks of animals from Tunisa, Peru, Ukraine and India (Social Studies) for use with story writing and performance

        -Grades 5 and 6 - Creating a triptych using different drawing materials on a variety of paper to represent 3 perspectives on a major Canadian event (ie. building

         of the railway)

  • Whole school work with Briar Hill School

        - Kindergarten - Creating clay (with mixed media finishes) and pencil drawing self portraits

        - Grade 1 - Building a Canadian animal of clay and painting a background to represent its habitat (Needs of plants and animals)

        - Grades 2 and 3 - Using different drawing tools on watercolour paper to observe three stages of the mealsworm's life cycle (Animal life cycles)

        - Grades 4 and 5 - Building 3D plants of the Weaslehead using paint, watercolour paper, wire and found objects (Wetland ecosystems)

        -Grades 5 and 6 - Creating a mixed media work on a canvas board representing a region in Canada (Social Studies: The Land, Histories and Stories)

        -Room 1 - Painting a bench and creating signage to invite positive interactions in the school.  The bench was moved around the school anonymously with the            different invitations displayed that were appropriate to the location

  • Grade one team - Building clay flowers and finishing with paint and decorative items - Acadia School

  • Kindergarten - Creating a mixed media work on canvas board of a butterfly - Acadia School

2016-2017

  • Whole school work with Scenic Acres School - Investigating the statement "We are all children of the world; it is our stories that make us unique."

      Through 3 projects, spread over the year, we explored the universal and specific with 1) the creation of masks  2) a material exploration and 3) a collaborative

      mural involving every student in the school

  • Whole school work with Acadia School - Celebrating Canadian artists for our 150th birthday.  Each classroom created acrylic paintings inspired by a Canadian artist(s) connecting with curricular links.  These paintings were transferred to vinyl wraps that were installed on posts to create Peace Poles that were placed in the school courtyard

  • Grade One team - Building and painting a clay work integrating fall seasonal objects and colours - Coventry Hills School

  • Grade Three team - Creating a mixed media landscape using paint, fabric and yarn (Peruvian arpillera inspired) - Coventry Hills School

  • Grade Four team - Using a design thinking process, creating sculptures out of biodegradable materials (Waste in Our World) - Bridlewood School

  • Grade One team - Building and painting a clay work integrating herbs (Needs of Plants and Animals/Senses/ Seasonal Change) - West Springs School

  • Kindergarten team - Creating a garden environment incorporating the life cycle of a butterfly using mixed media materials - Coventry Hills School

 

2015-2016

  • Grade One team – Creating fall and spring mixed media work of ladybug habitats (Needs of Plants and Animals/Seasons) - Coventry Hills School

  • Kindergarten team – Building a mixed media sculpture of a robin in a nest (Cross curricular)  - Coventry Hills School

  • Grade One team - Building 3D environments using clay and mixed media (Needs of Plants and Animals/Seasons/Colour Mixing) - Acadia School

  • Grade Two team - Creating a mixed media work using wire sculpture (Small flying and crawling Animals) - Coventry Hills School

  • K team - Creating seasonally relevant works using student painted paper and available coloured papers (with literature connections) - University School

 

"It was amazing for us as teachers to work with an artist who understood kindergarten children's learning and the need to iterate and spend time in the process."

University School Kindergarten teachers, from article in the Calgary Board of Education Early Learning Newsletter/June 2016

 

2014-2015

  • Grade One team – Creating a mixed media 3D garden (Needs of Plants and Animals) - Acadia School

  • Kindergarten team – Creating a mixed media picture of Nose Hill Park in anticipation of an upcoming field trip - Coventry Hills School

  • Grade Three team - Building 3D environments on canvas boards (Animal Life Cycles and the Rainforest) - Acadia School

  • Grade One team - Creating a mixed media work connecting to the naturalized school area (Needs of Plants and Animals) - Coventry Hills School

 

2013-2014 

Douglas Harkness

Whole school projects connected to the year-long inquiry exploration of "Who Are We as a Community"

  • Collaborative Canvas Collage - Using 50 small canvases to create a large visual work, the students passed the canvases from grade to grade and added a layer of material to the previous student work.This process involved the negotiation with, and respect of, the work already on the canvas.These canvases could be organized vertically or horizontally so they were moved around on the wall to further examine the relationships between each student work, each individual canvas and the larger piece as a whole.

  • Grade group explorations of the inquiry question that were combined to create 3 four by four foot mixed media panels

    EDC and Kindergarten - We are explorers of Identity: self portrait work using photography, pencil drawing and clay sculpture

    Grade One - We are seekers of beauty: photographing and composing images of what is beautiful to us

    Grade Two - We are observers of this place: observational drawings of things in the school environment using pencil, marker and watercolour paint

    Grades Three and Four - We are discoverers of our history: mixed media 3 dimensional visual stories of family/Alberta history using image transfer, paint, pencil, coloured pencil, and collage

    Grades Five and Six - We are considerers of our communities: mixed media representation of appreciated aspects of the Pineridge, Douglas Harkness School, and classroom communities using image transfer, paint, pencil, coloured pencil, and collage (including text)

     

Acadia

  • Grade Two - Mixed media visual representation of a prairie landscape using paint, paper collage, textured paint and organic materials

     

    "This spring, we were lucky enough to have Sharon Fortowsky create a multi-media art project with our Grade Two students. Her intimate knowledge of children and the social studies curriculum were so apparent every step of the way.  We especially appreciated Sharon’s expertise as a talented artist and an experienced teacher. The children were fully engaged, excited and confident of the tasks they were asked to do, mainly because Sharon was so well prepared for each of the three lessons."

    Grade Two teachers, Acadia School 

     

Patrick Airlie

  • Whole school exploration of paint and expressive brush work using Emily Carr work as the inspiration

    ECS - landscapes using tempra paint on canvas board

    Grades One and Two - creating textured paper using a variety of brushstrokes and using this paper to build collage images on painted canvas board backgrounds

    Grades Three and Four - life cycle of a tree using acrylic paint and organic materials on canvas

    Grades Five and Six - landscape of a planet using acrylic paint, textured paint and sand on canvas

     

Twelve Mile Coulee

  • Supporting Grade 8 students in the creation of visual representations in response to the cross-curricular inquiry question of "What is Viral?"Materials were gathered to allow individual or small groups to use items that met student needs for personalized visual work.One-on-one and small group technical support provided

 

Deer Run

  • Whole school exploration of grade appropriate curriculum topics and/or idea of "What is Your Spark?"

    ECS - creation of cardboard, clay and wire nests to display "beautiful stuff" from Reggio inspired book by the same name

    Grade One - seasonal landscapes using paint (with variety of colour mixing), paper, wire and cotton fibre

    Grade Two - triptych of Deer Run community in the past, present and future using charcoal, marker and watercolour, and paper collage

    Grade Three - 3 dimensional shadow box of rainforest environment using paint, pastel, and paper and cardboard sculpture

    Grade Four - trunks to hold primary and secondary documents representing immigration stories using papier mache, paint and mixed media design

    Grade Five - pen, pencil, coloured pencil, paint and pastel work on multiple layers of transparent, semi-transparent and opaque paper using art elements such as line quality and colour to represent unique personal qualities of self and others 

    Grade Six - mixed media work representing elements of day and night on fabric using clay, paint, and embellishments

     

2007-2008

Coventry Hills School

  • Supported a yearlong inquiry project with two grade 3 and 4 classrooms investigating the role of art and culture in Calgary and in 4 other countries around the world.This work included two weeks off-site at the Open Minds City Hall School

  • Facilitated the creation of clay tiles for the school’s Legacy Tile Project with students throughout the school.I had been involved in the planning stages of this project as a teacher at this school and during this year I realized the creation of the tile work that is a lasting artifact of the beginnings of this school

Harold Panabaker School

  • Facilitated the creation of masks using a variety of art materials to be used by grade 7 drama students

Ethel M Johnson School

  • Supported grade 1 students in their investigation of the question “What is a strong shape?” integrating math and art curriculum concepts

 

© 2020 Sharon Fortowsky