Local author Johanna Hartford stopped by the fashion design class at Burlington High School this year to talk about her new young adult fantasy novel, "The Ivory Rite," which tells the tale of Queen Diem.
"QUEEN DIEM HAS A DEADLY SECRET—ONE THAT SHE NEVER ASKED FOR, AND ONE THAT COULD COST HER EVERYTHING. AS SHE STRUGGLES TO DECIDE WHO IS WORTHY OF HER TRUST, AN OMINOUS PROPHECY AND THE RESURRECTION OF A GHOST FROM HER PAST WILL CAUSE HER TO QUESTION EVERYTHING SHE THOUGHT SHE KNEW."
Johanna and I thought working with the fashion class would make for a great collaboration. We tasked the fashion class with creating the iconic fashions from the novel. Johanna gave the students detailed descriptions taken from the text and students interpreted the excerpts to create these designs. This was the students' final project and was heavily weighted on their final grade. Ms. Hartford was thrilled when presented these designs by the class! Students took time to describe their designs and discuss how they made their artistic decisions. Johanna will be using some of the images below on social media to give readers a sense of the imagery from the book.
I have known Johanna for about 20 years and have seen her grow as an author. She has been featured in sites like Cosmopolitan, Mogul, and Huffington Post for her riveting commentaries. The Ivory Rite is her debut novel.
The Ivory Rite is now out! You can order it here on Amazon.
This summer students entering grades 6-8 for the 2017/2018 school year can enjoy time to create art and have some fun at the Burlington High School Art Department.
The art camp will consist of time to create, design, and explore art techniques. This includes drawing and painting. Students will use their imagination and observation skills to create one of-a-kind masterpieces. They will work collaboratively in a fun and relaxed atmosphere with many opportunities for self-expression.
Dates: Monday- Thursday, July 17-20, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Instructor: Christina Chang
Location: Burlington High School
Transportation: Arranged by parents
To enroll your child please complete the Information Form and tuition payment to Burlington Public Schools 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA 01803. Attention: Rosemary DeSousa
Space is limited - please register as soon as possible.
Most of us know animated gifs because we've seen them on Buzzfeed articles or they're used on Facebook to show our "Monday struggles", but they can be used for fine art! In past years I have had students create advertisements, but this year I thought we should do something a little more fun.
We analyzed the purposes of animated gifs in advertising and how they can be used to sell a product.
Students were tasked with creating a storyboard on paper. We looked at and talked about animation storyboards like Pixar and Disney. We also talked about famous stop motion films like The Nightmare Before Christmas.
From there they had to open up Adobe Illustrator and create multiple artboards, much like a flipbook is created. Students exported the files as pngs. Then, in Photoshop, students imported their png files and created a video timeline, showing a new layer for each animation frame (take a look at the screenshot below).
Finally, students exported their files as gifs (File>Save for Web) and voila!
Students in Fashion Design 2 here at Burlington High School wanted to do something to make a difference. A few years ago, the BHS Fashion class created adaptive coats for student who are in wheelchairs in our preschool. This made a lasting impression on our students and the new batch of students also wanted to sew for a charity.
I researched a few sewing charities and Little Dresses for Africa came up in my search. Fashion Design 2 students took initiative by making a school announcement, creating posters, and putting a donation box in the main office. The dresses were made by sewing cotton pillowcases and many teachers and parents donated pillowcases to create these beautiful designs. After everyone finished sewing, we looked at fabric treatments and added our own sewn flowers, bows, beads, and lace to make them a bit more fun! When all was said and done, fashion design 1 & 2 sewed about 50 dresses to send to Africa!
Thank you to those who donated!
The annual BHS Art & Fashion Show was on Thursday, March 17, 2017 in the lower library at Burlington High School. The event was a hit! Every year our hardworking students learn and grow in our art courses here at BHS. We are very lucky to have such a diverse offering of courses here at BHS.
Thank you to everyone who came!
BHS Alumna Kristy Lyons was kind enough to come visit the Burlington High School Fashion & Design class to speak about her Instagram and blog presence. Kristy runs Style Blueprint, a fashion presence where she posts fashion and lifestyle posts, garnering likes and reposts.
Students came up with some great questions for Kristy, asking her how she gets her clothes, to how she times the publishing of her posts on Instagram. Kristy spoke about her time here at Burlington and related the courses she took to her present day work. She spoke about how she networks with other bloggers to photograph her outfits, and then uses Photoshop to edit the imagery.
Thank you so much Kristy for coming to talk to our students about not only fashion, but also business, advertising, and marketing!
1. The classrooms belong to the students, not the teachers
Here in America, I have my own classroom, where students come to me every day. I really love having my own classroom because it is my space that I can personalize, decorate the walls, and create a safe space for all students. In Italy, teachers travel to students' classrooms so they run around between classes. One pro to that was that all teachers gather in a common area in between classes, which creates a rich sense of community and camaraderie among the teachers.
2. Their lunches are much longer than ours!
Oh what a dream it was to have a lunch longer than 22 minutes! In Italy, lunch is the biggest meal to be eaten socially whereas here in America we eat large dinners. Most shops and stores close for lunch so that people may go out to eat. There is no cafeteria in the high school and therefore, students and teachers go to local restaurants and cafes. They usually have at least an hour for lunch.
3. The government controls where the teachers are sent
Here in public schools in Massachusetts, teachers are given professional status after 3 or 4 years (depending on the district). As long as teachers prove that they are competent, good teachers, they will be given professional status once they meet the 3/4 year mark. In Italy, the term "professional status teacher" is replaced with "permanent teacher," and the principal and the government decide where the teacher is placed. Each year a teacher fills out his/her top choices for district and then the government places his/her where they see fit. Usually, the principal has the power to choose who he/she wants to stay, but ultimately, the choice is made by the Italian government. This makes it difficult to settle down because a teacher could potentially move schools each year.
4. The school day and week are structured differently
In Cles, Italy, students go to school Monday-Saturday. Most days students go to school from 7:50am-12:20 pm and then are free to leave. Then on Thursday or Friday evening, students have an additional class that they must attend. Additionally, students go to high school for 5 years rather than 4 years, graduating at 19 years old. When you think about it, the amount of time is probably about the same, even though we go to school 5 days for 4 years and they go to school 6 days for 5 years. Speaking to my students though, the days are much less stressful and busy, so many of them would welcome this change.
5. Their rules are stricter than ours in some ways, but more lax in others
Cell phones are completely banned in Istituto Pilati, both for teachers and students. Here at BHS, we have an open policy on technology (cell phones, tablets, and laptops). Also, in Italy, many more students smoke and drink alcohol. I was very surprised at the amount of students who smoked, but I think that's more a part of the European culture. Here in America, alcohol and cigarettes are taboo for teenagers. I even saw some students and teachers sporting alcohol related gym clothing.
6. Sports are huge here in America
I received lots of questions about sports in America (the concept of cheerleaders was very new to Italian students). American movies and television really rule the entertainment culture of Italy, and many Italian students see what American schools are like in pop culture. Here in America students join sports teams for after school competitions. In Italy, that doesn't exist in public schools; students must pay to join private sports teams.
7. Students choose their "major" before they enter high school
8. Italian students use public transportation
There are no school busses in Italy! For me, a school bus is a symbol of education. Luisa was so surprised and excited to see American students using school buses. The large bright yellow vehicles are such an anomaly to those outside of America. In Cles, the school is very close to public transportation and most students use trains to get to school and home. Teenagers do not get their licenses until they turn 18 years old.
9. Prom is an American thing
Luisa was so excited to ask my fashion design students about prom. She had never been to prom because it really is an American thing. She was wowed by the amount of energy, time, and money spent on planning prom. She had seen what prom is like in movies and tv shows, but I don't think she was prepared to understand how important prom is to high school students.
10. High school students are pretty much the same
They're the same everywhere. Hormones, angst, emotions, and every other amazing thing that makes a teenager a teenager is the same in Italy. They just speak another language! They remind me why I became a high school teacher in the first place.
A final note...
I had such an amazing experience living life (and eating!) as a true Italian. My time there was life-changing; I was able to think and reflect not only about myself as an educator, but I was also able to practice mindfulness, meditation, and self-reflection. And to be honest, I don't think I could leave Burlington and move to Italy! Burlington really is a holistic community that involves so many parts that make up a whole. Between teachers, parents, students, and the rest of the community, the Burlington school district is my home.
Burlington High School is holding the annual Art & Fashion Show in the Lower Library on Thursday, March 16th at 6:30 pm. The show will feature artwork by students in grades 9-12 in all art classes at BHS. Architecture, Drawing & Painting, Photography
Additionally, there will be a Fashion Show starting at 7pm in the lower library. The show will feature designs by the students in the fashion class here at BHS. They've been working hard to construct original garments since September.
Take a look at just a taste of some of the amazing artwork created in my classes here at BHS! There are hundreds of other works that will be put into the show, so come to the opening on March 16th at 6:30 pm.
I teach art at Burlington High School in Burlington, Massachusetts. My goals include teaching my students to live and thrive with 21st century learning skills while helping them to learn valuable creative artistic thinking and technical skill.