Hi, I am Mr. Lees, the art teacher
Let me tell you a bit about myself. I graduated from South Lake High School in 1972. I attended Eastern Michigan Universty, majoring in painting and earning a teaching certificate. I graduated in December 1976 and began teaching at L'Anse Creuse in September of 1977. (Also earned a Masters Degree in Art Education, 1988.) I was laid off in 1982 and returned to L'Anse Creuse in 1985 and have been here ever since. I am married with two grown children. Both of them are now married and I currently have 4 grandchildren.
"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." - Picasso
" Imagination is more important than knowledge ." - Albert Einstein
Imagine a world without art. Not just a world without paintings and sculptures in nice museums or on the wall over your sofa, but a world completely without art. What would that world look like? If you've ever bought a product at the grocery store that is a generic, no-name product, you have seen an example of a world without art. It is a blank white package with some black printing on the label. That's it. No color, no pictures, no fancy lettering. Pretty boring.
Many people take art for granted. They don't really look to see the art that is all around them. They think of art as that stuff in the nice museum or, again, over the sofa. But it is so much more. Every time you sit down at breakfast and read the back of the cereal box, you're looking at art. If you're reading the newspaper, looking at a photo of the game last night, you're looking at art. Those stylish clothes you like to wear? Art. Jewelry? Art. The house you live in, the car you drive, all art. Send a greeting card and you are sending art. All of these things and more, are affected by art in one way or another.
A certain type of artist has designed what you see on the cereal box. Another type of artist has taken the picture in the newspaper. Artists have designed not only the fabric that your clothes are made from but the clothes themselves. Others have designed the jewelry, the house and just about every building you see and even the car you drive. Sure, gas mileage is important and so is dependability, but don't you look at the styling of the car first? The world around you looks the way is does largely because of artists. So if anyone ever tries to tell you that art is not important, imagine a world without art.
Links to Interesting Art Sites
Detroit Institute of Arts
The Crayola company has some cool stuff for kids, parents and teachers. Try out some of the art projects on the kids page.
Kids Art - another site with some art projects that kids can do and some ideas for parents and teachers too.
The National Gallery of Art is devoted to kids.
Haring Kids is a site presented by the estate of the late artist Keith Haring whose work tends to appeal to children.
The Mt. Clemens Art Center
Mr. Picasso Head is a site where you can create your own picasso style faces.
Jackson Pollock is a site where you can paint like Pollock, creating a "splatter" style painting. If you want to see some of his actual work, visit the Official Jackson Pollock Site
"Bridge in the Park" by Mr. Lees (2004)