Welcome to The Helpful Art Teacher, an interdisciplinary website linking visual arts to math, social studies, science and language arts.

Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Heroes and Villains: How artists respond to history

On October 29th 2001, less than a month after 9/11, this magazine arrived in my mailbox. In true art teacher fashion I put it away thinking to myself, after I had a good cry, that one day I would use it in an art lesson. That day is now.

Halloween is the perfect time to take a look at what is happening in the world and to recognize the heroes and villains of our generation. Children's costumes often reflect the times we live in, who we idolize and who we fear. 

Let's take a look at some other Halloween New Yorker covers from the past century and how they reflect our changing times:
 What happened in October of 2013?

What was so popular in 1999?

How do you think the midterm elections of 2018 influenced this cover?

Who was knocking at our door less than 3 weeks before we entered WW2?


Butter, fat and cholesterol, oh my!

19 years after that 9/11  New Yorker  arrived in my mailbox, I finally have my art lesson.

 We have a whole new set of heroes among us in the year 2020.

We also have an entirely new generation of young artists who were not even born yet that day the planes struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

Now it is your turn to respond to history

How will you design this year's New Yorker Halloween cover?

Create your illustration and photograph it. Email the picture to yourself and download it to your Chromebook. Download the picture below and open both your artwork and the blank New Yorker cover on the website Photopea. 

Create the New Yorker cover that will grace my mailbox this year on Halloween. It is your turn to show how visual art can cause us to reflect on what is going on in the world.

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