SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2012

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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Looking & Learning Advocacy "We have to give our opinion, we have to say something, or we are a part of it. As an artist I am forced to say something." —Ai Weiwei Explore Create Beginner Show students a variety of age-appropriate political posters, including J. M. Flagg's iconic "I Want You" poster, Long Live Chile! Finally the Copper Is Ours, and other well-known posters. Include posters that advocate for environmental and social causes as well. Discuss the message in each poster with students. Introduce the definition of "advocacy" and "advocate," then ask, "In this poster, what do you think the artist is advocating for?" Ask students to think of an important issue or cause for which they would like to advocate. Beginner Tell students that they will each make a poster that advocates for an important cause that will be displayed in the school hallway or gallery space. Encourage them to choose a cause that has a direct impact on themselves, their fellow students, and their school. Each poster should combine text and images to deliver the artist's message in an exciting, effective way. Consider using collage techniques or letter stencils to ensure that viewers can read the artist's message. Intermediate In small groups, have students compare and contrast two political posters with directly or indirectly opposing messages. Ask students to compare the use of text, composition, color, appropriation, humor, and language in each poster. What techniques or approaches do they share? How did each artist use these techniques to convince the viewer that they are correct? Advanced Divide the class into small groups, giving each an image of an artwork that advocates for a cause. Include Ai Weiwei's Remembering, the Long Live Chile! At Last the Copper Is Ours poster, and a variety of political, social, or environmental artworks. Explain that each group will conduct research on the image to discover information about the artist and his or her background, the cause for which the artwork is advocating, and the context behind the artwork. Each group will then present their artwork to the class and lead a discussion about the work and its implications. After each group has presented their artwork and research to the class, discuss which artworks were the most effective and convincing. Ask, "Did any of these artworks change your mind about an issue?" "Can you recognize a convincing argument that you do not agree with?" Intermediate Have each student create a list that includes "Two things I worry about," "Two things about the world I'd like to change," and "Two things that make me upset." Ask for volunteers to share some of their entries. Explain that they will each design a poster that advocates for changing one of the items on their list. Have students begin by sketching ideas for two or three different issues, then narrow it down to a final idea by discussing it with you. Remind them that their poster should combine an image and text. If possible, book time in your school's computer lab so students can experiment with the color, arrangement, and placement of text. If not, consider using stencils and collage techniques to create the posters. Display the finished posters in a highly visible area of your school with a brief explanation of the project. Advanced Ask students to each create a poster, digital collage, or video that combines text and image in an effective way. The videos or digital collage should include some elements from traditional media, such as a drawing or sculpture. The goal of the artwork will be to change someone's mind about a commonly held belief by advocating for an unusual, contrary, or ridiculous point of view. For example, they might create a documentary video promoting the health benefits of french fries or donuts, or a poster explaining that the environment should be destroyed. Explain that creating a compelling artwork based on a point of view that they personally disagree with is a more exciting and productive challenge than a point of view that many or most people agree with. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Art Images; and Robb Sandagata, digital and interactive media coordinator at Davis Publications. Developed with the assistance of Jane McKeag, senior editor at Davis Publications; and Lydia Keene-Kendrick, associate curator at Davis Art Images. resources 28 December 2012 SchoolArts

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