Chantilly Notecards: Carle-Inspired, Charlotte-Flavored

Lisa Roden's class of 1st-3rd graders at Chantilly Montessori School was studying the work of artist and author Eric Carle when we embarked upon our art project for the school's annual Gallery Crawl. 

We discussed the style, process and patterns in Carle's art, and the children broke into seven groups of 3-4 students, each creating their own collage.  In order to create a themed series, each group chose a Charlotte landmark for their subject.

Sister, Chantilly Parent, and Fine Artist Michelle Sutton helped me guide the groups through their art making, sketching the framework for each collage, demonstrating painting techniques, and helping the children assemble their painted collage materials into finished works.

To emulate the style of Eric Carle, we first painted abstract strokes on transparent tracing paper.  We used a limited palette to ensure the series works would be cohesive (and to simplify the cleaning of brushes!)

The following week, we cut those our painted papers up into small strips and, using Michelle's sketches of the selected photographs, pieced the strips into colorful collages.

Artist Michelle Sutton demonstrates the proces of taking a photo of Charlotte's Imaginon building from photo to sketch to collage.

When the art was completed, I guided each group through the layout of their notecard in professional graphic design software.  They placed and rotated their scanned images, discussing orientation and scale, titled their works, helped write the copy for the back of card, learned about copyright protection for artists, and typed their names in the credits.

As a group, we also discussed the pricing of the notecards, using our multiplication skills to determine the printing costs and project potential earnings. The class voted to donate proceeds to the Humane Society.

Once the cards had been professionally printed, the children worked diligently to fold and package their product, and to create signage to market their cards.  Hand-drawn signs with phrases like "Help the Animals. Buy Our Cards.", and others that explained their pricing and inspiration, were prepared to display around the school and at their merchandise table.

The class succeeded in selling over 60 packs of notecards (twice what they'd projected) and earning over $300 for the Humane Society.   They're a proud bunch of kids and I am proud to have helped them with such a lucrative and rewarding project!

And here are the impressive works of art the class created --

Cool, huh?