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Welcome to Alison's Art Class

Alison HoffmanWelcome to the colorful world of art!

Dear families,
One of my absolute favorite things is to watch and experience the creative process with all of my students. The excitement they feel while seeing their ideas come to life is truly contagious! I will be sharing some of these experiences throughout the year, so check back to see what is going on in the world of art!
Alison Hoffman


“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso


Alison Hoffman, Art

B.A. Northern Michigan University, Art Education
The Children's House experience (2007- present):
Classroom Support and Substitute
Summer Art Program

March 23, 2017

We have been learning and working on some fun and crazy things in Art Land these past few weeks! Upper El is learning about Op (optical illusion) Art and how to shade and bend lines to make their drawings look more 3-D. The drawings are taking much time and patience, but are turning out truly amazing!!

Lower El is also working on learning how to bend lines for a more 3-D effect with the hot air balloons that they are designing to float in their Surrealistic dream world collage. We have discussed two Surrealism artists, Salvador Dali and Marc Chagall and viewed many of their dream-like works of art. We then discussed what a horizon line was and looked at examples of what that is and how it can be in different places, depending on the environment and landscape. The students then began to design the "dream world" that their hot air balloon would be floating through. The concept of collage was discussed and examples viewed. It has been a tad challenging for them not to pick up a pencil and draw the world they are thinking of, but it has been wonderful to watch them open and expand their minds to a this new concept! I have thrown many ideas and techniques at them through this one project, and I'm so impressed with how they have been able to understand and run with them! So when these crazy collages come home...be prepared for an extensive description on these surrealistic worlds!

February 23, 2017

Each year I gather the 6th year students that are headed to MMUN in NYC and give them the opportunity to enter a t-shirt contest that is offered to those students that will be in attendance. Students that choose to participate are asked to "create a logo" for the conference that illustrates Maria Montessori’s vision of having children collaborate in finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, and how that can contribute or lead us to achieve world peace." This year I worked with 7 students, helping them develop their ideas into designs. I am so proud of these students and was amazed at not only the comprehension and knowledge they shared with me on their MMUN research, but also the passion and concern they exhibited as well. And then came the artwork! Each student's design is unique and different and, in my opinion, stunning!
Here are our submissions for this year...


January 26, 2017

While painting faces at our carnival last week, I was reminded of how wonderful it is to work at this school. One of my first clients that sat down in the chair in front of me, so excited to get his face painted, was a little guy with thick dark curls and the cutest dimples EVER! He decided that he wanted a tiger, not just painted on his cheek, but on his whole face. I set a mirror down so he could watch me and I proceeded to cover his whole face in bright orange paint. We then discussed the details that we needed to add to make it very “tiger-like.” We put white around the eyes, a black nose and whiskers and then moved on to the stripes. As I was adding the stripes and watching the dimples that kept popping out in delight, I heard this small voice say…”I see that you are very talented at this.” It stopped me in my tracks! Such an eloquent thing to say from such a small person! I thanked him and told him that I was very happy that he was enjoying his experience. Statements like that remind me of the Grace and Courtesy philosophy that we try and instill in our students here and what an amazing thing it is to see not just in our oldest students, but in the younger ones as well.

December 1, 2016

This week in art class we are beginning to create our visuals for the festival of lights studies in both lower elementary classes. This is a great annual tradition that both Jill and Nadine do in their classrooms where the children research other holidays and festivals from around the world. When the research has been done, we then begin our construction of beautiful and colorful visual supports. The range and variety of these contain crowns, floating candles, piñatas, menorahs, 3D stars, Christmas crackers and many many more! So be on the look out for these to come home, they are as excited to make these projects as they are to share their knowledge.

November 10, 2016

As we are finally finishing our placemat creations in both upper and lower elementary classes, it is time to move on to our next art project.  To save myself as the art teacher some sanity when it comes to Gala/Research Fair time, we are going directly into our Gala projects! I was told the Gala theme early this year and decided to try and coordinate our art projects to reflect that theme.  I will not divulge what that theme is, but I will share some pictures with you on what we have started to work on to gain some excited interest!



September 29, 2016

Hello from the paint covered world of art! Oh yes…It’s placemat time again. For those unaware, all of the elementary students get the chance to paint a new canvas placemat each year. And though it may not seem so, this is some serious business! I remind them (mostly the boys) that blood, guts and gore are not things that they, nor others seated around them, really should be looking at during lunch. These students take a lot of pride in their placemats and it is a great way for me to get to know those new first year characters! So...if any of you are in the art room area, please feel free to swing through and see the colorful, messy, creativity flowing!

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5363 N Long Lake Rd. | Traverse City, MI | 49685 (p) 231.929.9325 | (f) 231.929.9384 | email: learn@traversechildrenshouse.org