SchoolArts Magazine

MAR 2013

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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High School holistic Art-Making Nicole Brisco A s an educator, I have always valued the process of artmaking. Just as a documentary is as beautiful and artistic as the subject it was created about, visualizing the artistic process can benefit your students and allow the viewer to see the holistic process of art-making. An artist's mind has depth, whether it is creative thinking, visual problem-solving, or developing a narrative. Allow your students to showcase the thinking processes that precede an idea, as well as how those processes continue after the work is complete. The building process behind curriculum and student work can be unsteady, like a tall, single stack of blocks, but if you build a firm foundation, the structure is steady. To give students the opportunity to build a steady base, outline the ways in which an artist thinks and creates. The following elements connect creative thinking and can dramatically change the quality of your students' work. Inspire It's important to provide tools that help engage and inspire your students. Although there are wonderful online programs that categorize visual images, I have found that an oldfashioned inspiration wall works wonders. Students can continually add to the wall as their tastes and processes change. One of the most difficult challenges we have as educators is seeing what is inside the mind of a student. With these boards I can easily estab36 March 2013 SchoolArts lish what students are seeking in their finished pieces or suggest ideas based on what I see in their research. Inspiration boards can include artists, media, color selections, samples, objects, textures, personal notes, poems, music, word lists, personal photos, websites, and more. The sky's the limit when it comes to what inspires an artist. Explore I love watching students explore their surroundings, imaginations, and artist mentors. Art teachers typically start with thumbnail sketches, but I believe that skips a critical stage. Ask your students to look around and consider what other components could add to the depth of an idea. I ask my students to do a "100hour drawing." Before your students drop dead of shock, you can explain that they will not literally be working for 100 hours—the concept is to continually draw for ideas. I give students a large piece of paper and daily prompts they can use to visually narrate what they are seeing and thinking. This concept

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