Noise Control for the Art Room

Quiet "ART" - Noise Control for the Art Room

Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art*
Scanned in from: Essential History of American Art by Suzanne Bailey

Copyright Parragon 2001


Teachers frequently ask how to control noise in the art classroom. How about making your own "After Ruscha" sign? Make letters at least 6" x 9" (15 x 23 cm). Cut pale gray and red block letters at the same time. Outline letter with black Colored Markers.. Glue gray letters on top of red - laminate and cut out. Laminate a yellow Drawing Paper. (approx 12" x 24" (30.5 x 61 cm)or whatever size needed) - be sure to write After Ed Ruscha at the bottom of the yellow paper. Use magnet bull dog clips (or magnet strips) to hold sign on chalkboard. Put magnet strips. on the back of each letter. (Alternate - glue letters to 8" x 12"  (20 x 30.5 cm) yellow paper - then laminate - put magnets on the back. Be sure to write "After Ed Ruscha" on the bottom right of T).



ART (©1970) by Ed Ruscha


To use sign: Take down A after first warning (still have RT -art). Take down R after second warning (T remains for Time for no talking). Take down T for third warning - Time out - NO ART (You decide for how long the students have to sit in silence without using art materials. But first go over the reasons for QUIET art. You decide if you want them to write about the reasons for QUIET ART). I don't recall ever having to erase the last letter (I just wrote them on the chalkboard).


Some art teachers like to use the word NOISE (start by removing the E - then S then I - leaving NO for NO art). Ruscha also did the word NOISE, too.


Enjoy creating and using your "After Ruscha ART" noise control sign for the art room. I am certain Ruscha would approve this use of his art image. Find out more about Ruscha


NOTE: Talk a little bit about copyright... and why it is OK to use Ruscha's work in a classroom setting - but one could NOT market signs like this for this purpose using Ruscha's work as that would be a violation of copyright.

Here is something to give each letter more meaning (I have no idea who posted it originally):

A- Art is aesthetics- the appreciation of beauty- beauty can be found in a grain of salt, a ray of sunshine, color of a flower etc. The world is an endless treasure chest of surprises and discoveries.

R - Renaissance - meaning that each time an artist creates a work of art a "rebirth" has occurred in the creation of a new idea.

T - Temporal (time) - all of art is a record of man's achievements, accomplishments and visions of the world in time dating back to the earliest cave paintings.

Now you can really make it much more dramatic as you erase letters - elaborating on what has been lost with each letter. Laminate your letters and put these meanings on the back. Be dramatic - read off what has been lost as you remove letters. Maybe save the T till last as they will lose their Art Time?


*Present location of above work of art from Ed Ruscha (ART 1970) is unknown. It is not in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Copyright violation is not intended. Image will be removed if requested. Every effort has been made to contact the copyright holder of this image. The image ART can not be reproduced elsewhere on the web.


Activities for NO ART or QUIET ART:

From Marvin Bartel

I have been wondering about the best alternative quiet activity when it has been too noisy and the art assignment work has to be put away. I would hate to see them think of reading or art history as some sort of negative punitive thing to do.


I find that students are very quiet while they take a test. What if we had some creative thinking tests ready to use whenever things got so bad that all the letters disappeared from the noise sign.


Are their other things to do that quiets your class? I have noticed that blind contour drawing is one of the most quiet activities because it requires such intense concentration if it is slowly and deliberately. Has anybody tried to this as an alternative to the regular assignment when it gets too noisy?


Would reading and art history work as a rewards (extra credit) for those who finish early?



This web site give ideas for test making in art

This web page gives hints on contour drawing


Art Room Rituals - from Marvin Bartel

I think it helps to have a totally quiet beginning ritual skill building assignment that they get from a poster or the white board, a note on their table, or in some other way that automatically gets students immediately on-task with absolutely no chance to horse around.

This way the teacher might have a chance to spend some quiet one-on-one time getting to know individual students while they work. When a student does not follow the prescribed routine as they come into the class, you may have to ask, "What do you not understand about starting your work?"  (from post to Getty TeacherArtExchange January 4, 2006)

From Judy: Here is one activity for middle school kids that insures quiet - Upside down drawing. I always began my 7th and 8th grade trimesters with upside down drawing as a skills assessment tool. We also did some blind contour drawing as skills assessment. I do remember that those were VERY quiet days (not a sound - only the music playing). I don't want kids to view these activities as punishment either, though - so be careful how you approach this.


I would have a packet ready to go for each table. One that I used frequently was a group of contour figure studies by master artists.


I did have text books - but did not use them as punishment activities. We did use them for reading for content (a directive of our administrator). Reading days were planned - a laminated sign "Textbooks" was put on the chalkboard with assigned pages so students knew as soon as they entered that we were using the books that day and they would get started when they arrived. Questions to answer were also assigned.

Heather Richardson used a traffic light sign.


From Heather: When I was in an elementary room, I used colored circles like a traffic light... green, yellow, and red. Green= noise level OK, yellow= watch it, getting too loud, red= too loud, quiet down silent art (all noise stops).


From Linda Woods ART and Traffic Light:

Why not combine the traffic light idea with A R T...

A  is green
R is yellow

I'm thinking of making my ART out of felt this year with Velcro stick back... on black background to look like a traffic light. I'll put it next to my paper cart so I can put the letters on top of the paper cart when I remove them DRAMATICALLY.