Q Can I use Plaster of Paris safely in a classroom?
Plaster of Paris has been an easy-to-work with staple for creating inexpensive sculptures for centuries. However, it is important to take precautionary steps to keep students and property safe when using any plaster product.
Before purchasing, check the information provided on the product page or on the product label. Blick provides MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) for all of the plaster products sold on the Blick website. Some products known as Plaster of Paris carry an AP seal, indicating that they are free of toxins. However, these powdered products can still cause irritation to breathing pathways, so it is recommended that users wear a facemask or at least work in a well-ventilated area. Using plastic gloves to mix the product with water will keep skin from becoming irritated as well. If the product touches exposed skin, wipe it off with a paper towel.
Safety issues vary between two products, both labeled as Plaster of Paris. Some carry a CA Prop 65 or CL label, indicating that they contain a hazardous material and should not be used in the presence of children. Users of these products should take care to use proper respiratory protection, such as a facemask, and strictly avoid breathing or ingesting the powder.
Do not leave plaster on your skin, or leave hands or other body parts in liquid plaster for an extened period of time. To make skin casts, Blick recommends using plaster cloth instead.
Mix Plaster of Paris in a flexible plastic container. Plaster can be "popped out" when dry. Discard the container or only use it for mixing additional Plaster of Paris. Never pour dry or liquid plaster down a drain, as the plaster can harden and clog plumbing.
For answers to questions regarding any art materials and their uses, please contact our Product Information Experts at 800-933-2542 between8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (Central Time), Monday through Friday.
Crystal Thorns, a senior at Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort, Illinois, is the grand prize winner of the 2014 Illinois Tollway Map Cover Art Contest.
High school students in the 12 counties served by the Illinois Tollway were invited to submit original works of art based on this year's contest theme - "Work Zone Safety."
Students selected as runners-up in the contest include:
Artwork created by the grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of the Illinois Tollway 2014 map, which is distributed at no cost to more than 125,000 tollway customers. Thorns was also presented with $400 in gift certificates from Blick Art Materials and $200 in gift certificates from U.S. Equities to use at retail shops and restaurants at Illinois Tollway Oases. The runners-up received $200 in gift certificates from Blick Art Materials and $100 in gift certificates from U.S. Equities.
"I'm thrilled that my artwork will contribute to efforts to promote work zone safety on the Illinois Tollway," said contest grand-prize winner Crystal Thorns.
"We are thrilled to see the level of participation in the student art contest," said Blick Art Materials Chief Executive Officer Bob Buchsbaum. "So many innovative designs from young students makes us excited about the future."
To view all finalist artwork, visit http://www.illinoistollway.com/news-room/map-cover-art-contest
The Council for Art Education, Inc., is proud to announce the Youth Art Month Awards for 2013.
Youth Art Month (YAM) is an annual observance every March to emphasize the value of art education for all youth and to encourage support for quality art programs in schools. Youth Art Month provides a forum for acknowledging skills that are fostered through experience in the visual arts, skills that are not normally attainable through other subjects offered in the curriculum.
The Council for Art Education, Inc., was started in 1983 by the Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI). An international association of more than 22 arts, craft, and creative material manufacturers, this not-for-profit organization seeks to promote safety in art and creative products through its certification program.
The Council for Art Education's Board of Directors voted to recognize the following Youth Art Month Chairpersons for their outstanding participation in YAM 2013.
The awards will be presented at the 2014 National Art Education Association (NAEA) Convention, which is being held March 29-31, 2014, in San Diego, California. At the event, the YAM Museum and Flag Award Ceremony will be hosted in the NAEA exhibit area. Students in grades K-12 across the country participate in a national YAM flag design program, with each participating state selecting one design that represents their state and the creative spirit of YAM.
Want to get involved? Contact your YAM Chairperson by visiting www.arteducators.org. The Council for Art Education, Inc., can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Thank you to all who participate in Youth Art Month and in art education.
Commuters and visitors in Manassas, Virginia, were treated to the colorful sight of carp-shaped windsocks this spring, as 120 Koinobori swam in the breeze on poles along the train tracks. Created by students from Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory and the Community of Prince William County, the windsocks commemorated two national holidays - Japan’s Children's Day on May 4, 2013, and the U.S. National Children's Day on June 10, 2013. The project was made possible by Education Director Louise Noakes, and donations by Art Room Aid and Blick Art Materials.
For more information about Art Room Aid, click here.
For a lesson plan on creating Koinobori, click here.
A design by Shipra De of Las Vegas has been selected as the winner of the U.S Presidential Scholars 50th Anniversary logo design contest. De's logo (pictured above) will appear in all publications, audio-visual presentations, promotional materials, correspondence, online communications, and other publicity for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. As a sponsor of the contest, Blick Art Materials awarded a gift certificate to De.
De was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in 2006 while a senior at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas. She graduated from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas in 2011 with undergraduate degrees in mathematics, computer science, and economics, and continues to live and work in Las Vegas, where she is an Operations Test Analyst for JT3, LLC. In her spare time De enjoys reading, writing, and making pottery.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors, including students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts.
Florida Elementary School Helps New Jersey Art Room Recover from Hurricane Sandy Devastation
"Never underestimate the power of a child. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the compassion of my students each time we participate in Art From The Heart - Projects With A Purpose. I truly believe I get more out of the process than they do!" - SuzAnne Devine Clark, art teacher, Deerfield Beach Elementary School
Every year, art students from an elementary school in Deerfield Beach, Florida, participate in Art From The Heart — Projects with a Purpose, by creating original works of art and selling them to students, teachers, parents, and others. They then choose a worthy project to support with the proceeds.
This year, the Deerfield Beach Elementary School students made sand dollars and jewelry to raise money for the Bay Head Elementary School in New Jersey, which lost all of its art supplies when storm waters from Hurricane Sandy flooded the school's first-floor art room. The Deerfield Beach students and Parent Teacher Association wanted to raise enough money to replace the Bay Head School's art supplies so the students there could get back to creating art.
"Participating in this annual community service project is a wonderful way for our students to exhibit positive character education traits," said SuzAnne Devine Clark, art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School. "They will see how their own artwork has a voice and can directly impact another child’s life."
In addition to the $500 raised from selling their artwork, the Deerfield Beach students wrote letters and created an additional 175 pendants for the Bay Head students because they wanted to send something personal to help heal the students' hearts. The idea for the pendants came from Blick's Sole Pendants lesson plan, which Clark had shared with her students. Donated children's shoes from a local Stride Rite® store were used to impress textured patterns onto small balls of clay to create the pendants. The students called them "Soles For Souls."
Emilio Hernandez, a Deerfield Beach 5th grade student, was inspired to help even more after seeing television coverage of homes being destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. So he donated an additional $20 from money he earned doing chores. "I want to help people's hearts come back to life," Hernandez said.
"Never underestimate the power of a child," said Clark. "I am constantly amazed and inspired by the compassion of my students each time we participate in Art From The Heart - Projects With a Purpose. I truly believe I get more out of the process than they do!"
As a Presenting Sponsor of The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Blick Art Materials congratulates the program's 2013 award winners. A long-time supporter of the visual arts and art education, Blick is proud to continue its support of the country's oldest and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teenagers. This support includes:
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers presents more than $250,000 annually in awards and scholarships to top winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and their teachers. High school seniors who are National Award winners and Medalists qualify to receive scholarships from art institutes, colleges, and universities that are Alliance Scholarship Partners.
Students who win at the regional level have their work showcased in more than 70 art exhibitions in museums and galleries across the country. More than 350 works of art and writing created by the National Award winners will be included in the ART.WRITE.NOW NYC national exhibition in New York City in June 2013, coinciding with the national awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall on May 31, 2013.
To date, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program has encouraged more than 13 million students, recognized more than nine million young artists, writers, and filmmakers, and made available more than $25 million in awards and scholarships. Past award winners includes such notables as Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, and Truman Capote. For a list of the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Award Winners, visit: http://www.artandwriting.org.
To learn more about the Alliance for Young Artist & Writers and to visit galleries featuring award-winning artwork, visit http://www.artandwriting.org.
Roslyn Tam, a recent graduate of the University of Washington political science program and an advocate of creativity in education has recently published this article addressing the relationship of creativity and innovation to traditional notions of intelligence, and the apparent decline in creativity in the public school system. Tam points to Educational Support Organizations as a possible solution to the problem.
To view the entire article, please visit the Educational Leadership website: www.educationalleadership.com/the-creativity-conundrum-in-public-education-leadership
Check out the 14 new Blick Lesson plans for K-12 educators. You'll find something for all ages, skill levels, and budgets. Request a free copy by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to type "Fall Lesson Plan Brochure Request" in the subject line, and provide your name and complete mailing address in the body of the message. To download free PDFs of individual lesson plans from the new brochure, click here.
The A+ method of arts-infused education, being promoted by the Thea Foundation in North Little Rock, puts the art in math, the drama in literature, the song in history, and has a proven record of raising test scores, improving discipline and heightening student and teacher satisfaction. It has been modeled after the A+ programs in North Carolina and Oklahoma, where it has successfully developed an effective whole school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to how teachers teach and students learn in all subjects.
A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts - dance, drama, music and visual arts – continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning. This teaching method recognizes that students learn in different ways and this understanding helps teachers to better engage each child in the learning process.
A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts – dance, drama, music and visual arts - continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning. This teaching method recognizes that students learn in different ways and this understanding helps teachers to better engage each child in the learning process.
Extensive university research in A+ Schools reveals dramatic improvements, including:
For more information about the Thea Foundation in Arkansas click here: www.theafoundation.org Also, see how the A+ Schools Programs have been changing the course of education in in North Carolina aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov and in Oklahoma www.okaplus.org.
Recognizing that many educators are struggling to keep art supplies on hand, Blick is pleased to announce two new economical alternatives for younger artists.
Blick Essentials Tempera is brilliant, rich, and cleans up easily with soap and water. Try the fluorescent tempera colors to make artwork pop and the metallic tempera colors to make artwork glow.Formulated with safety in mind, Blick Essentials Tempera is AP certified non-toxic and contains no latex, dairy, casein, soy, egg, gluten, peanuts, or tree nuts. It is made in the USA.
Blick Essentials Colored Pencils have break-resistant 3.3mm cores that assure great color laydown for drawing, coloring and blending. Quality pigments result in bold colors that young artists love.
Blick’s 2013 Resources for Art Educators catalog offers 648 pages of products for students of all ages and skill levels. Inside, you’ll find the largest selection of art and craft supplies available, plus classroom furniture, studio supplies, free lesson plans and much more - all designed to make your teaching experience better and your budget stretch further.
Blick’s 2013 Classroom Art catalog offers 192 pages of art and craft supplies for teachers and parents of pre-K through 6th grade children. Loaded with classroom essentials, furniture and free lesson plans, you’ll also find class packs, quantity pricing and Blick brand products. All designed to bring you the best combination of quality and value.