Ms. Lebiszczak shared her "The Benefit of Plants" weebly assignment with me (you can access her blog here). Some of her students will be researching the positive impact of plants in public spaces and Art 30 students will help to create some prototypes. Eventually Ms. Lebiszczak's students will be pitching the idea of creating a green space in Warman High School to Mr. Broughton.
In other plant news, I started germinating some chia seeds last night because I want to see if they can grow on clay (or on recycled kitchen cabinets). Here are some pictures of the process. #1 chia seeds before I added water, #2 a couple hours after I added water, and #3 12 hours after I added water. I plan to try mixing the chia into the moss mixture in addition to just applying the chia alone to various surfaces, to see how it does. I touched it this morning, and it feels a bit like gelatin.
After seeing a few online tutorials (like this one), I realized that I could turn my smartphone into a digital microscope for the small cost of $1. I ordered 30 for $30 from Aixiz (you can get them here) and attached the lens over my phone's camera lens with blue sticky tack. Here are some of the results of zooming in on moss (from the moss project) and biology slides. I'm currently reading the book The Hidden Life of Trees (you can view the trailer below) and plan to craft an art assignment that meshes information from the book with the technology of the microscope...
Thanks to some local moss donors, today after school we began experimenting with moss paint. We whipped up several variations and painted them onto an up-cycled wood cabinet and will begin spraying them several times a week to see if we can generate some growth. I've read more about moss paint and I'm cautiously optimistic, since some bloggers note that it can take upwards of 2 months to grow moss. We also discovered that chia seed requires little soil to grow, and so we are going to experiment with wall/clay art and chia seed as well (like this person’s instructables).
Ms. Lebiszczak suggested to me that we partner to create a moss art installation. My mind is buzzing with ideas. Neither of us has ever done this before, so there is lots of experimenting to do. First we need to find some moss. Then Ms. Lebiszczak is going to get her class to test out ways to cultivate moss and then my class will create paint out of it using a recipe like this apply it to recycled wooden cabinets.
Sarah Gerrard teaches Visual Arts 9-12 at Warman High School. She recently received a grant from the Prairie Spirit Schools Foundation to infuse her courses with STEAM.