Welcome to the first days of school for the 2018-19 school year. The Art Room will be very busy in the first few days as we sort out space and set our expectations. Some things to keep in mind as we get settled include:

  1. Field Trips and special days to anticipate.
    • Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Institute of Science visits (see the 2017-18 events posted below)
    • Special speakers and guests from on and outside of Cranbrook
    • Interim
  2. Art Units
    • 2-D
    • 3-D
    • Design Thinking
  3. Rules and Procedures in Your Art Studio
    • Respecting the room, the tools, and those around you.
    • Where do you store your art work in between classes?
  4. Yearbook Committee
    • We need girls to take pictures of events (sports, class trips/interims and activities)
    • We will meet occasionally to make decisions regarding colors, fonts, content, and cover design.
    • An 8th grade girl will be needed to collect baby/candid portraits from her class for the 8th grade candid section.


2018-19 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. 

    • October 2nd, 10:10-11am HD/ART to CAM
    • October 3rd, 10:10-11am 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.

    • October 16th, 10:10-11am Art to CIS
    • October 17th, 10:10-11am Art to CIS



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 on October 23rd and 24th,  from 1:15-200pm.

  • Before we go to the museum we will learn a bit about the block printing process and watch a video about a contemporary artist who is inspired by Hokusai.



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.)

    • November 12th and 13th  (1:15-2pm) Smith House Tour

After our visit to the Smith House, 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 (1:15-2:05pm)  Sabrina Nelson and Kimberly Dowdell

Kelly Lyons and Mr. Thies will direct  a Design Thinking workshop on architectural “mass model” making  (GMS Art Room)

  • TBD (1:10-2:05pm) Design Thinking Workshop with Kelly Lyons, Curator of Education, Cranbrook Art Museum



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.

  • October 22-23rd, Hallway Computer Lab Activity: Designer Book Collaboration (October 24th - last chance to finish your page with Tall Cart in Art Room)
  • October 25th and 26th, Art classes visit the Cranbrook Art Museum Chair Collection (11:40am-12:20pm)
  • TBD, Design Presentation with Taryn Dyle, Senior Designer for General Motors (11:35am-12:35pm)
    • Lunch with the Designer prior to the presentation at 11:05am (sign-up posted in the Dining Hall)
  • October 31st and November 1st , Chair model construction in art room with Kelly Lyons.
  • November 5th-13th, Chair Construction in TinkerCad.
    • Nov. 5th-6th, Short Cart in Art Room
    • Nov. 7th-8th, Hallway Lab.
    • Nov. 12-13th, Short Cart in Art Room

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 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

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