SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 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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@r+ Constantly Curating David Gran C urating can be an important and often overlooked part of an art curriculum. The irony here is that we now live in a world where people are constant curators. We carefully capture our world on Instagram, we organize our interests on Pinterest, and even curate our lives on Facebook. This concept presents a powerful point of entry for thinking about how context creates meaning. Curating in the Information Age Where we once might have spent hours cataloging and finding the right slides for a lesson, the information age provides us instant access to any image at any moment. The new challenge, therefore, becomes one of curation. This is the challenge of not just careful selection, but of creating connections and meaning from a nearly infinite pool of resources. There is an art to curating; one that involves the critical thinking skills of analysis, discrimination, logical reasoning, and applying standards. Pinterest One tool for curating work is the above- mentioned Pinterest (pinterest. com). The site's graphic organization interface creates an exciting method for curating images. For instance, as students prepare for projects, they can create and curate "boards" based on styles that they would like to emulate, compositions for study, or themes. Students often create boards connected to their other interests that they continue to curate on their own time. These boards can create opportunities for later projects. Artsteps One of the key projects in my International Baccalaureate Art class involves curating an art show based on the theme that each student has selected for his or her body of work. Students are tasked with collecting work from different time periods and cultures 24 August/September 2013 SchoolArts and organizing them into a unified theme. This project gives students insight into a variety of approaches and interpretations to a given idea. It is also through this project that one student, Tina, introduced us to Artsteps (, an excellent site for curating online exhibitions. After you've created your account in Artsteps, you'll find two links on the top of the page for uploading artifacts and creating exhibitions. You can choose to upload pictures from your computer, or from an online source. There is also an option for embedding video in your exhibition by first uploading your videos to Vimeo ( Once you have a body of work uploaded to the site, you'll have the opportunity to "hang" your work in a virtual gallery. When you click on the "create exhibition" link, you'll find options for different virtual gallery spaces that can be connected as a series of rooms. You could dedicate the rooms to different students, projects, themes, etc. Artsteps provides users with a limited number of free uploads for a limited amount of time online, after that users need to purchase credits to continue to use their website. However, for the temporary exhibition of a limited amount of student work, it is a truly excellent resource. A range of Possibilities Of course, there are many ways to curate, both online and off. It is the selection and arrangement of the artwork that is the primary learning activity. This can be done with any site that allows you to compile images, or with any notebook, pair of scissors, and glue stick. However, the ability to share the results with others and examine other approaches to similar topics gives students the opportunity to investigate and engage in a broader range of possibilities. David Gran teaches high school art and film classes at the Shanghai American School in China and is the author of The Carrot Revolution, a blog about twentyfirst century art education (carrot

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