SchoolArts Magazine

MAY 2019

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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8 MAY 2019 SchoolArts M U S E U M M U S I N G S Gogh, and ask students to discuss how each artist has conveyed emotion. For the gallery activity, I might invite students to brainstorm a short list of emotions—sad, surprised, angry, etc. Seated in a circle, students take turns holding an 11 x 14" (28 x 36 cm) picture mat in front of their faces—effectively turning themselves into self-portraits. They are asked to secretly select an emotion from the list and embody it. The rest of the group attempts to guess the emotion being shown. Following the activity, stu - dents create their own self-portraits. Exemplar Two A class might be preparing to do a painting of a place that is important to them. They might look at and discuss works by artists who have explored this theme including Romare Bearden, Charles Burchfield, and Camille Pis - sarro. In the paintings students are about to do, I want them to evoke not only the way the place looks, but also how it "feels." Before they begin creat - ing their own work, I might ask them to do the following activity: We look at Camille Pissarro's paint- ing The Hermitage at Pontoise, ca. 1867, a landscape depicting nineteenth- century life in a French village. Each student gets an 8½ x 11" sheet of copy paper cut into thirds the long way and folded into five horizontal sections. I ask students to focus on Pissarro's work and to write a word in the top section in response to the directive: "Write down something that you see." The response is folded back so it cannot be seen and passed to the per- son on the left. In the second section of the paper, the student writes down a word in response to the question, "What might you hear?" Students fold back the paper and pass it to the left after responding to each of the following prompts: "What might you smell? What odors seem to permeate this work?" "What might you taste?" For the last section, ask students to write a word to describe a tactile element. "What might you feel or touch?" Once all five sections are complete, students can unfold the paper, read their collaborative writing, and share with the group. This simple but effec- tive activity assures that the whole class participates and demonstrates that a work of art can evoke, not only a vision, but also responses from all of our senses. Students next create a work of art focusing on a place that is important to them. Incorporating and Creating My Election Day talk was followed by an afternoon workshop where the art teachers both "tested" gallery activities and created new ones specific to their teaching needs. I am truly delighted that I receive updates on how gallery activities are being incorpo - rated into their classroom teaching. Sharon Vatsky is the director of school and family programs at the Solomon R. Guggen - heim Museum in New York City. svatsky@ O n Election Day 2018, I stood before 500 New York City art teachers at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan for their annual full-day professional development program. As a museum educator, this was my opportunity to talk about the role that gallery activi- ties can play in the artroom. The term "gallery activity" is used to denote the moment during a guided museum tour when participants are invited to do something. Tour partici- pants may be asked to debate a point, strike a pose, respond to music, or make a sketch with the intent of gain- ing deeper insights and personal con- nections into a work of art. In the artroom, a gallery activity can serve as a bridge or pivot point between an open-ended class discus- sion focused on a work of art by a well-known artist and individual stu- dent expression. Exemplar One Suppose that, in preparation for doing their own self-portraits, I want stu - dents to be more aware of how faces can project emotions. I might show some evocative self-portraits by sev - eral artists including Frida Kahlo, Käthe Kollwitz, and Vincent van Moving Out of the Museum Sharon Vatsky The term "galler ctivit " is used to denote the moment during a guided museum tour when participants are invited to do something. Sharon Vatsky facilitates a discussion focusing on The Hermitage at Pontoise by Camille Pissarro. Photo by Filip Wolak.

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