SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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T H E O P E N A R T R O O M M y son came home on college break and, as treat for my family, offered to bake an apple pie. My wife explained that he'd need to take a trip because we didn't have all twelve ingredients that her recipe required. "We have everything," He responded. "I only need four items." " Four items?" my wife scoffed. "You can't cook anything with only four items." " I can bake an apple pie," he said. Dealing with Limitations It turned out that my son had recently acquired a cookbook where each meal only required four ingre- dients to prepare. This limitation w as perfect for the inexperienced college student learning to cook. As my son described a few of the other meals he had prepared, I was amazed—not only by the fact that he was cooking (though I feared what his kitchen might look like), but also by the author's ability to write this cookbook. What a challenge to cre - ate recipes that taste good but only r equire four ingredients. Challenge of Limitations Artists are often challenged with limi- tations. Sometimes the limitation is s elf-imposed, such as Andy Goldswor- thy creating a value scale using only l eaves. Other times the artist may have no control over the limitation, as was the case with Matisse and his limited mobility in the later years of his life. Though limitations may seem, to state the obvious, limiting, they often force the artist to solve problems and there - fore produce unexpected solutions. Our s tudents also benefit when presented with limitations. The following unit, Artists Solve Problems, is designed to challenge students in just such a way. UNIT TITLE: ARTISTS SOLVE PROBLEMS Objective: Students look at how art- ists consciously confront, overcome, and incorporate limitations to create a work of art. 1. Inspiration The teacher will present how art- ists incorporate physical, material, o r conceptual limitations into thei r a rtwork. They may show example s o f artists and their artwork or eve n s tudent work. Artist Examples Phil Hansen, Embrace the Shake (TED 2013), Joshua Allen Harris, Kacie Kinzer, Tweenbots, Oliver Her- ring, TASK Party, Performa, Tanta- mounter 24/7, The Fun Theory Essential Questions To assist students with thinking about the topic, you may consider asking Essential Questions. Here are two examples: A. Some artists create works of art b y limiting materials. Explore the idea of material limitations by completing each sentence. I can create art: • o nly using… • without having… • b y replacing… • with an unusual… • b y adding… B. Other artists create while enduring physical limitations. Explore the idea of physical limitations by com- pleting each sentence. I c an create art: • without having… • instead of using… • with the addition of… • in this location... • at the same time as… 2. Design Students are introduced to mini- lessons or short challenges. The pur- pose of these challenges is to furthe r introduce students to the concep t through hands-on methods. The fol- lowing is a sample of activities th e t eacher may select to incorporat e into the unit: Artists Solve Problems Ian Sands Limitations often force the artist to solve problems and therefore produce unexpected solutions. 48 OCTOBER 2018 SchoolArts

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