SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 2010

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

Issue link: http://www.schoolartsdigital.com/i/148359

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Looking & Learning Commemoration Stan Herd, Portrait of Saginaw Grant. Jefferson County, Kansas, 1988. Created on 30 acres from wheat stubble. Pull-out Resource Courtesy the artist. Photograph ©Jon Blumb. To commemorate is to honor and remember. As you look around your town or city, do you see artworks in public places that mean something special to the local people? Artists create public monuments to help us honor and remember—or commemorate—people, places, and events that are important to our communities. Such artworks recognize those individuals and special events that have shaped the histories of our cities and regions. Commemorative artworks might be small or monumental. The events remembered might be positive (encouraging the viewer to warmly recognize an individual or event) or tragic (asking the viewer to reflect on the event and allow room for healing). These artworks help strengthen our connections with our communities and the people who have come before us, and the stories they tell will make connections with audiences of the future. When experiencing commemorative artworks, we may ask ourselves questions like, "What or who is being remembered here?" "What story is being told?" "What lessons can be learned from this story?" Other questions might focus on the way we encounter the artwork, such as, "Does the artwork invite me to view it up close or from far away?" "What background knowledge do I need to have in order to appreciate this artwork?" Posing questions like these can encourage meaningful discussions about what it means to view and create commemorative art.

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