2019-20 Special Activities are posted below:

6th grade Art- Visits to the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Cranbrook Institute of Science 

IDENTITY MASK PROJECT:  6th grade HD and Art classes will travel to the Cranbrook Art Museum to see wearable art from Beau Sinchai and Mark Newport as well as a selection of masks from different cultures.  These artworks will facilitate our discussion on identity.  This is a CAM and CIS staff collaboration. Thank-you to Cameron Wood and Kelly Lyons!  After the visit to CAM, the girls will brainstorm on their individual identity and then plan and create a mask of their own.  The masks will be made concurrently in HD and Art classes sharing resources. 

    • Wednesday, October 16th, 8:10-9:05am HD/ART to CAM
    • Thursday, October 17th, 8:10-9:05am HD/ART to CAM

CERAMIC DESIGN: 6th grade Art Classes travel to the Cranbrook Institute of Science to see both hand-made pottery from ancient cultures and geological silicates related to clay and glazes.

    • Date(s) to be determined.



mask display

7th grade Art- Printmaking with the Cranbrook Art Museum

7th grade art will visit the Cranbrook Art Museum for a private review of block prints.

  • November 2019



hokusai video graphic

7th grade Art- Architecture with the Cranbrook Art Museum, Cranbrook Collections, and Visiting Speakers

ARCHITECTURE DESIGN THINKING PROJECT: 7th grade classes will observe and sketch architecture examples in Washington, D.C. as well as visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House as prelude to our architecture design project.

Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Collections Docents will meet us at the Frank Lloyd Wright “Smith” House for a tour (5045 Ponvalley Road, Bloomfield Township, MI.)

    • Wednesday, October 16th, 9:25-10:25am. Smith House Tour
    • Thursday, October 17, 1:10-2:10pm. Smith House Tour

In the Spring, Sabrina Nelson will give a “Career in Design” Talk with all 7th grade students. Sabrina’s sister, Kimberly Dowdell, will join her.

Sabrina works as an educator for the Detroit Institute of Arts and is an Admissions Counselor for the College for Creative Studies. You can see Sabrina’s web site here: https://sabrinanelson.carbonmade.com/about

Sabrina’s sister, Kimberly Dowdell, is a Cranbrook Graduate. Kimberly first discovered an interest in architecture when she was in middle school. After she graduated from Cranbrook, she attended Cornell (architecture) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Kimberly works as a lecturer for the University of Michigan and works on revitalization projects in the Detroit area. You can learn more about Kimberly by clicking on these links: https://aap.cornell.edu/news-events/bringing-new-life-neighborhoods-detroit and https://taubmancollege.umich.edu/faculty/directory/kimberly-dowdell

  • TBD Sabrina Nelson and Kimberly Dowdell

Mr. Thies will direct  a Design Thinking workshop on architectural “mass model” making in class.


File Nov 14, 3 42 50 PM



8th Grade Art- Chair Design with the Cranbrook Art Museum and Visiting Speaker

8th grade Art classes will travel to the Cranbrook Art Museum to see the Chairs in the Collections Wing as part of our Design: Chair Making Unit. Upon returning to the art room, the girls will make paper chair proto-types and then design models of chairs on the computer. Chairs will be made individually, and in collaboration.  The girls will create 3-D models of the chairs in TinkerCad to be printed by the 3-D printer.

Wednesday, October 16th

  • 10:40-11:40am – Vault for Chairs

Thursday, October 17th

  • 10:40-11:40am – Vault for Chairs

Second Semester, Taryn Dyle, GM Senior Designer will discuss her work as a car designer with A and B 8th grade Art in conjunction with the 8th grade Chair Design Thinking Project.

Taryn was Mr. Thies’ art student in middle and high school. Taryn is a Senior General Motors Designer and loves her work.  Taryn had a passion for car related design from an early age. She studied design at the University of Cincinnati and was recognized among her peers for excellence.  After graduation, Taryn worked at Honda (2007-2011) and  General Motors (2011-present)


Taryn Drawing

Our special guest, Taryn Dyle, GM Senior Designer, will give a design oriented talk to the entire 8th grade class during Art/Gym/HD second semester. Taryn working on a Car design  while at University

Taryn at Cranbrook Art Museum

Welcome to Mr. Thies' Art Room

Mr. Thies uses this web site to organize information for Art.  Student specific information will be occasionally showcased on Mr. Thies’ CranNet pages.

 You may e-mail Mr. Thies at rthies@cranbrook.edu