Smiley Face Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

My fine visual arts colleagues at the elementary schools have started a fantastic way to put a smile on all of our faces (who doesn’t need one nowadays??!?!). #NRsmiles is a community project to spread some smiles through art. Click here to see the slideshow that started it all! The slideshow has all of the information and instructions in it.

You can make a smile out of found objects, drawing, painting, digital, sculpture, whatever they have and post a picture on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #NRsmiles.

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Congressional Art Show (Virtual)


Caitlin Joy, Grade 12- “Today/Tomorrow

Amidst the school evacuation and “stay at home” orders, the annual Congressional Art Show still took place. The talented, nice staff at Montserrat College of Art still displayed the student artwork and have even given us a virtual gallery tour. Though the NRHS submissions didn’t receive any major awards, the students’ works shine brightly during these ominous days. Click here to view the awards, a message from Congressman Seth Moulton and to access the virtual tour 


Griffin May, Grade 12- “Headspace”





Laura Buscemi, Grade 12 – “Urban Tranquility”

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Just for Fun – Coffee Monsters!


A creature I made, similar to me, loving coffee

To add a little lightness and fun to your day, try out some “Coffee Monsters.” This idea seems to have originated or formalized by Stefan Kuhnigk. “ I spilled some on a piece of paper the other day in cold winter 2011 and found something, Coffee Monster and Coffee Monsters.” Many other artists have adopted a similar process such as Carla Sonheim. You can find endless examples online but I want you to keep your mind open and create your own without other artist influences. 

To start, spill some coffee on any paper, but preferably something rather thick – look for watercolor or mixed media if you have it. If you don’t have a stash of either you can use printer paper or even generic notebook paper. The only other materials you need are either fine-tip markers, pens or a soft graphite pencil (2B or darker).


Let the coffee spill in an unplanned manner. If a shape is really not interesting, smear it around using your finger, sponge or brush. You can also add a spill on top of a spill to add a stronger value scale!

As an OPTIONAL NON-GRADED enrichment project that has no DUE DATE, students are instructed to complete three pages of “coffee monster” drawings. Try to create a world or monsters that are either a part of or interacting with the coffee spills on the paper.  This activity is great to ignite spontaneous mark making and looking at shapes though a critical and creative lens. Who knows, maybe one of these creatures will help you scheme up a new, surreal world of creatures or a landscapes?!?!

When completed, please sign your work with your artist’s signature and then print your name below it, preferably on the bottom right corner of the paper.

Please share your photographs with me and I will give your inventive work an ever-growing audience!

Posted in Beyond NRHS Opportunities, drawing and painting, drawing and painting samples, Foundations of Art, simplify, student activity | Tagged | Leave a comment

May I suggest entering a contest?!?!

A special thanks to 9th Grader, Sophia Kuchar, we have a stunning piece of artwork to enjoy. She took advantage of participating in the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MAFLA.org) annual poster contest – Creating Cross-Cultural Connections. It is for a statewide contest and deadline has been extended to May 1. Click here to join!  https://mafla.org/awards-contests/for-students/



Sophia has also offered up this really thoughtful summary about this work:

“I’ve been hard at work on a digital art entry during the quarantine as something to keep me occupied. I’ve attached my entry here (hopefully the quality doesn’t drop too much). As someone who enjoys geography, vexillology, and other cultures in general, this meant a lot to me. It was fun to work on! It took almost 23 hours in total, and more than 19 of those hours were spent drawing the flags. If I counted correctly, there are 197 flags shown here of every widely-recognized country (and some territories, too!). This felt like a nice way to unite the world together in a picture. I know how it feels to have heritage from a country that people don’t really pay attention to, and therefore rarely see represented (Slovakia). So, I put in the effort to include (what is hopefully) every country’s flag, albeit some were altered to fit the mold. They’re mostly organized by continent, so an Asian country, for example, will be near other Asian countries. How many do you recognize? There’s several little Easter eggs, like how Russia is in between Europe and Asia, or how North Korea is extremely secretive and is hidden somewhere.
Some of the people I regularly talk to speak multiple languages, so I had them in mind while drawing this. I have two friends who fluently speak Portuguese and English, and a Slovakian cousin who’s learning English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and who knows what else. I text them more often now because of the free time from quarantine.”
Posted in Beyond NRHS Opportunities, interdisciplinary | 2 Comments

Stay Connected to Art!

Hello Artists and Parents,

Collaborative Drawing with my kiddo

It has been so nice to connect with so many of you over this past week over email. Your responses to the enrichment projects have been so interesting and fueled with your personalities (that I miss so much by the way). I remind you that these opportunities that I post are OPTIONAL and are NOT GRADED and there are no DUE DATES. However, your responses to the enrichment opportunities help us maintain our valuable artist community.

As artists, it is important to maintain good artistic practices which can involve any of the following: sketching/drawing/mark making, sculpting, collage, critiquing art, virtual gallery tours, writing about your art or someone else’s creations. The collaborative, sidewalk chalk drawing I made with my daughter kept me making marks, communicating, expressing and exploring the Elements of Art and Principles of Design (albeit not my finest work;).

Here is your NEXT, OPTIONAL, UNGRADED and NO-SPECIFIED DUE DATE enrichment opportunity. Using the words you used to describe your current state of mind (check back to prompt #1 posted last week), transform this work into solely visual language, no text just imagery that conveys the words. This visual language can be conveyed through symbols, shapes, colors, textures and more.

Tsunami by hokusai 19th century.jpg

Second, I know many of you are familiar with Katsushika Hokusai’s, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. Check out this iconic, stunning piece up close by clicking here.


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Here is a small and hopefully rewarding task for you (ungraded and not required). People in my  neighborhood have started to place hearts on their mailboxes to show appreciation for healthcare workers who remain selfless in this challenging time. My daughter and I like to do collaborative paintings and the one pictured above will soon be adorned on our mailbox. So, let’s see what you can do! Here is the task(ungraded and not required):

  1. Grab a large piece of paper (something rigid is recommended)
  2. Sketch at least one heart on the page
  3. Choose a color scheme – complementary, triadic or tertiary
  4. Using your material of choice, fully-colorize the heart and make sure to write #HeartsForHealthcareWorkers on the bottom right hand corner of the work.
  5. Attach your beautiful work on your mailbox!
  6. Tag your photo and post on social media!
  7. Send me the picture, too. I’ll post it here as well.

You can collaborate on this with anyone and everyone in your family.

Let’s GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!(overly excited, or maybe just some intense cabin fever)

Here’s a response from the May family:

Posted in Beyond NRHS Opportunities, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Sketch #1 Responses

Hello Out There!!! Can you hear me?!?!

I know you can. A pat on the back to you for coming back to this page. Maybe you are a parent checking in to see the latest, or a student of mine who is itching for another prompt – something, anything to do. I am here for you. Before we move onto the next assignment (ungraded and not required), let’s check out a few responses from the Sketch #1 Task which asked you to fill a page of words that come to mind of our current situation. The words can vary in size, color, angles, line weight, and may or may not be connected.

Abby G Responses

Abby Gerber

Elisa F Response

Elisa Fosco

Jeny C Response

Jeny Collins

Steven F Response

Steven Fleury

Allie T

Allie Taylor

Jackie COVID-19 Drawing (1)

Jackie Magner

Emma M Response 1

From Me…

I picked this “sketch” up multiple times and I think it captures my shifting mood between optimism and something else.

IMG_6271 (1)

Posted in Beyond NRHS Opportunities, Uncategorized | 1 Comment