Wednesday, April 3, 2024

'We All Belong At Bacich’ Flag Art Installation is an inclusive school-wide art project designed and directed by Bacich art teacher Mrs. Libby. TK- 4th grade students had the opportunity to study the art of flag design, implementing basic design principles, to create personal flags. Students were introduced to age appropriate printmaking methods such as collagraph and foam carving to print multiples of their designs onto paper and nylon flags. 

The culminating outdoor installation of 540 flags in rainbow colors representing grade levels gives students an opportunity to be part of a large art display. The flags will be affixed to the fence next to the Bacich art room. The grand reveal of this stunning installation will be April4, 2024 Bacich Open House and will be up for viewing through June 2024. 

A warm thank you to KSPTA and KiK for supporting enrichment programs at our schools.

What is printmaking?

Printmaking is an artistic process based on the principle of transferring images from a matrix onto another surface, most often paper or fabric. Traditional printmaking techniques include collagraph, woodcut, etching, engraving, and lithography, while modern artists have expanded available techniques to include screen printing. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

January 2024


TK/K: The Skin You Live In: Self Portrait 

How Many Colors Are There in the Human Rainbow?

Visual arts are a wonderful, organic way to engage our students in conversation about skin colors, self love, respect for others, race and diversity. Students engaged in a self-study about their skin color and the skin of their peers, family and community. The culminating end product was a self-portrait featuring student’s personal skin colors. 


The book "The Skin You Live In" written by Michael Tyler, illustrated by David Lee Csicsko was a great introduction for students to share observations about their skin. After the read- aloud, students painted with watercolors creating color recipe charts to mix their own skin tones and used creative words to name and describe their skin colors. Students painted one entire page with their skin tone and wrote their creative names of their skin color on the page.


Students continued the study of their skin by contemplating the question: “How many colors are there in the human rainbow?”  By artist  Angélica Dass’ count, at least 4,000. Since 2012, the Brazilian artist has been photographing people of every color and matching each subject’s skin tone to hues from the Pantone printing color chart to codify a unique chromatic inventory.

Dass’s project, titled “Humanæ,” has traveled the world and is featured in National Geographic. The project focuses on the idea of race as a social construct, rather than a biological one. 


Inspired by Dass’ work students drew and layered their self-portraits on top of their skin color paper. Students studied basic facial proportions and facial features leaving room for personal expression and details. Students used art media of their choice such as watercolor, marker, color pencil and crayons to paint hair, eye and lip colors.

1st GRADE: Nōtan Black and White Compositions

Nōtan (pronounced no-tan) is a Japanese term that means 'light and dark harmony/balance.' It's a design concept that looks at how light and dark elements of a composition interact only using black and white.

First grade students were introduced to the achromatic shades and tints; black and white. Practicing scissor cutting skills students enjoyed the process of placing light and dark elements next to the other creating stunning imagery and compositions. 

2nd GRADE: Family Portrait inspired by Todd Parr 

Students were introduced to the local author and illustrator Todd Parr. He is the author and illustrator of more than 60 books for children, including the New York Times bestselling The I Love You Book, The Earth Book, and The Thankful Book. He has inspired, empowered, and entertained millions of children around the world with his bold images, unique sense of humor, and inclusive storytelling.

Second grade students read The Family Book and shared their connections with the book. Some families look alike, some families like to eat different things, some families like to hug each other, some families have two moms or two dads, some families are noisy, some are quiet. 

Students portrait their family in a simple cartoon style like Todd Parr. Students added clues and selected colors to personalize each of their family members. 

3rd GRADE: Constellation Illustrations

The constellation of the Little Bear also known by its Latin name Ursa Minor contains an easily recognizable group of seven stars in the USA called the Little Dipper. 

Students were introduced to the basic artistic background of how astronomers  and artists have illustrated constellations in the past and in the present and how artists from different countries and cultures have associated the grouping of stars with a variety of images and creatures. 

Using white sketch pencils on a black paper students carefully mapped out the stars of the Ursa Minor constellation and sketched the mythological figure and/or creature around them. To color students practice the cross-hatching technique with colored pencils For finishing touches students placed gold star stickers in place of the constellation. 

4th GRADE: Realistic Marble Painting

This introduction to realistic rendering in watercolor and soft pastels absorbed 4th grade students in wonder and excitement. Students were introduced to Glennray Tutor, an American Photorealist painter. Tutor was born in Kennett, Missouri in 1950. He has been painting Photorealist paintings since 1983. His most famous works depict marbles on comic book pages. His work is shown and collected throughout the world. 

There are a few techniques that are key to creating realistic work. Color values are the most important when it comes to creating realistic paintings. Value in painting is how light or dark a color is, and it is extensively considered to be one of the central elements of a painting. Students practiced painting values, to achieve a quality of realism while paying attention to edges, shapes, lines and other elements.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

October/November 2023


In Art For Bears TK-4th grade students are exposed to a highly engaging curriculum, which is aligned with the National Visual Art Standards. Ms. Libby’s expertise lies in building, refining, and implementing both discrete curricula in the visual arts and arts-integrated STEAM instruction across curricula. Mis. Libby cultivates student engagement and assessment strategies that make learning visible and lay the groundwork for future exercises in inquiry. Students are taught the language of the visual arts, connecting to history, science, math, social-justice, as well as personal views, and the world.

TK/K: Mexican Amate Bark Painting 

TK and Kindergarten artists were engrossed in the Amate Bark painting tradition which originates from San Pablito, a small mountain village in Mexico where this beautiful craft is still taught today. Students sketched Mexican and Mayan inspired designs, such as sun, birds, and floral motifs. To simulate the process of this beautiful hand made amate paper and to create a bark-like texture, students crumpled their upcycled brown paper bags and burnished the paper with flat, smooth rocks. Students used stabilo paint pens to achieve the gorgeous vibrant, saturated colors on their bark paintings. The finished art pieces turned out stunning!

1st: Paper Molas

The Mola or Molas is a hand-made textile that forms part of the traditional women's clothing of the indigenous Guna people from Panamá. Their clothing includes a patterned wrapped skirt, a red and yellow headscarf, arm and leg beads, a gold nose ring and earrings in addition to the mola blouse.

First grade students created colorful paper molas by tracing an animal shape onto construction paper. Repeating the same shape numerous times increasing its size  slightly each time. With this technique students achieved the layered effect of a traditional mola. Students enjoyed practicing their scissor cutting skills and adding additional designs around and on top of their animal shapes. 


Inktober is a drawing challenge open to artists of all ages around the world. Illustrator Jake Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year. When Jake Parker started Inktober he had a few goals in mind, and these have not changed in the 10+ years the Inktober challenge has been running. These goals are: 

  • Help artists get better at drawing

  • Help artists find other cool artists 

  • Help artists develop positive drawing habits of practicing daily/weekly

Second and third grade students took on the challenge of starting each art class with a 5 min quite sketching practice. Creating a drawing inspired by the daily Inktober prompt or just sketching away with an ink pen or pencil of their own choosing. 

2nd: Navajo Rug Weaving

Navajo weaving (Navajo: diyogí) are textiles produced by Navajo people, who are based near the Four Corners area of the United States. Navajo textiles are highly regarded and have been sought after as trade items and for purchase for more than 150 years.

“Because the Navajo reservation is so big, our stories are similar but each is a little different. For what people know in New Mexico, people in Arizona have a different version. So, it's really hard to pinpoint the true meaning behind any particular rug. Rugs are like a verse in the Bible—there are 365 ways of interpreting one verse; Navajo weaving is like that, too. Every rug here is completely different and made by an individual, but they all fall under one category—Navajo weaving. This is just like people—we are all Navajo, but we are each different. Our weaving reflects individual differences, too.” —Barbara Ornelas, Master Weaver

Second grade students constructed simple looms out of stiff felt. Using twine students practiced weaving turning their looms into a small blanket. Students were instructed on the personal and cultural symbolic meaning of Navajo tapestry designs and patterns.  Inspired by common Navajo symbols like crosses, triangles, diamonds and zigzags, students decorated their weaving with felt scraps. 

3rd: Dreamcatchers 

In many Native American tribes, a dream catcher is a handmade willow hoop woven to a web or literally, a net. They can include feathers and beads, and they're traditionally suspended on cradles as a form of armor and protection.

Dream catchers are widely viewed as a symbol of oneness among numerous indigenous cultures and tribes. They're also generally looked at as an indication of Native American identity. However, some Native Americans believe dream catchers have been appropriated and offensively exploited by non-Native Americans.

Third grade students enjoyed listening to Hazel, Native American storyteller sharing the magical story: “Kôhkom meets Spider”. Grateful for Kôhkom’s kindness, Spider shares with her a valuable gift, a dreamcatcher. After the story students learned how to draw the geometric structure of a dreamcatcher. The radial symmetry was soothing to draw and students implemented their own creative license in drawing feathers, beads, personal decorations, colorful details and backgrounds with prismacolor pencils. 

4th: Oaxac Alebrijes Animals 

Traditionally, Alebrijes are carved and painted animal figurines that have become a form of symbolic art from Mexico. The word Alebrije means “imaginary” or “fantasy,” describing a style of animal carvings with exceptional paint schema.

Fourth grade students watched a video by Latin America Editor Lucia Newman as she reported from an artisan workshop in Oaxaca. Inspired by the skillful wood carvings students used Model Magic clay to shape and sculpt their personal Alebrijes. Using tempera paint and paint markers students painted their creatures with delicate designs and patterns. 

Thursday, September 28, 2023

 Welcome to Art for Bears
Art Blog, August/September 2023

Collaborative Large Polka-Dot Pumpkins created by our youngest TK and Kindergarten artists inspired by artily Yayoi Kusama

Community Building

In the Bacich Art Room we started the school year with establishing art room routines and building and inclusive community culture. We begin and end every class with a greeting and a choral speaking and signing of our art classroom affirmation. Students love learning and practicing American Sign Language to support our greeting and affirmation. 


It is a Bacich art room tradition that in the beginning of a new school year students start out their visual arts journey by grounding themselves with a sketchbook activity. Throughout the school year, students will have the opportunity to use their sketchbook in a combination of sketching, note taking and personal journal writing. Students reflect upon and evaluate their own learning. This allows students to place reading and writing in a context that is functional and personally relevant. 

One of the key values of the Bacich art program is that we are all practicing artists. Besides being a means of practicing and recording, the sketchbook is a safe place for students to express their thoughts and ideas in writing and drawing that is not corrected by the teacher, providing freedom for individual expression.

Sketchbook Covers


We celebrated International Dot Day, which was inspired by the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Students connected with the story of making their mark and decorated their sketchbooks with many different dot combinations. 

1st Grade
The Bacich Bear mascot inspired 1st grade students' sketchbook covers. In a guided drawing lesson, students learned to recognize and categorize lines, shapes and space while drawing their individualized cartoon-style art bear. 

2nd Grade

Students were introduced to Jim Dine. The American painter, graphic artist, sculptor and poet. He became famous during the Pop art period as an innovative creator of works that combine the painted canvas with ordinary objects of daily life and art making tools. Students used brushes as inspiration to depict as a popular art making tool on the covers of their sketchbooks.

3rd-4th Grade 

The art of upcycling is to reuse (discarded objects or materials) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. 3rd and 4th grade students recycled brown paper bags to make their sketchbooks. Students were introduced to the basics of bookbinding, the process of physically assembling a book from an ordered stack of recycled paper sheets folded together into sections. 4th grade students learned how to sew their journals with a saddle stitch book binding method. Students then designed and colored their sketchbook covers. 

Artist Yajoy Kusama 

Students were introduced to the artist  a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also active in painting, performance, video art, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts.

Yajoy Kusama at SFMOMA, October 14, 2023-September 7.2024

If you own a Marin County Public Library card your family may check out a free museum pass to see the Kusama show!

Yayoi Kusama: Aspiring to Pumpkin’s Love, the Love in My Heart.

For Yayoi Kusama, pumpkins have been a lifelong source of fascination. She was first drawn to them in childhood, citing their “generous unpretentiousness” and “spiritual balance,” and has explored them continually in her painting, sculpture, installation art, and poetry. They first appeared in her work in the 1940s and have been the subject of some of the most important works of her career. Today, polka-dotted pumpkins are synonymous with the artist and her idiosyncratic style.

Aspiring to Pumpkin’s Love, the Love in My Heart is among her most recent such sculptures. In it, Kusama pushes the polka-dotted pumpkin to new extremes. For her, polka dots represent self-obliteration — not in a destructive sense, but as a means of merging the individual with the larger universe. As we navigate the sculpture’s massive five-stem form and undulating walls, we are invited to share in the artist’s admiration for this symbol which embodies peace and joy.

Hispanic Heritage Month 

Below find a list of projects by grade levels students have started to work on  this month in connection with celebrating folk art from Hispanic and Latinex cultures. 

TK/K Amate Bark Painting from 

1st: Molas from Panama

2nd: Arpilleras from Peru and Chile

3rd: Calaveras from Mexico

4th: Oaxacan Wood Carvings from Mexico

Stay tuned for more information and completion of these wonderful projects.  

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