SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2010

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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Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Touch Sanitation Performance, 1979– 80. "Handshake Ritual" with workers of New York City Department of Sanitation. Photo: Marcia Bricker. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. Explore Elementary Help students understand that Kollwitz shows us Examine Ceremonial Arch Honoring Service Workers in people who struggle with poverty and other social probthe New Service Economy by Mierle Laderman Ukeles. lems. Ukeles reminds us to no longer take for granted Help students identify work gloves, subway hand straps, the individuals who work hard on our behalf. Siqueiros and other items that represent various service workers. tells us stories of people who struggled for changes in the Ask, "Why do you think the artway they were treated. Wodiczko ist put all of these objects in this "It's not only important what highlights the plight of a group artwork?" in need. art is, but what art does." Help students understand that Have students consider the the "arch" was designed to pay differences in the materials and —Krzysztof Wodiczko tribute to people who are often techniques used by the artists. overlooked. Ask, "Who takes care of the public spaces Have them compare these artworks to others of similar that you enjoy every day, such as your school and your types. Invite students to use words and images to record local park?" Brainstorm and create a list of workers their ideas in a "skournal" (a combination of sketchbook who maintain their world outside of home—the school and journal). cafeteria workers and custodians, for example. Have students explain why each kind of worker is important. For High School example, we recognize the importance of the custodian Have students look at the work of Krzysztof Wodiczko because she or he provides us with a clean and pleasant and consider his statement: "It's not only important what place to learn. How might students honor the workers art is, but what art does." Ask students what they think who ensure the cleanliness, safety, and peacefulness of he means by that statement. their neighborhood, town, or city? It is essential for stuHave students view the video about Wodiczko on dents to understand that, like Ukeles, they are recognizArt:21, season three, or study the online material at ing people whose efforts typically go unnoticed. www.pbs.org/art21/artists/wodiczko/index.html. Engage students in a discussion about the artist's range of work. Middle School Ask students how Wodiczko makes connections among Ask students, "What does it mean to have compassion art, history, and daily life. Inspire students to think for another person?" Think of situations in which someabout Wodiczko's purpose both as an artist and as a one might show compassion. Explain that the featured concerned member of society. For whom does he have artists have created artworks inspired by their compascompassion and how does he convey that compassion? sionate feelings for others. Ask, "How do these artists Encourage students to imagine what it would be like to use compassion to communicate messages?" witness Wodiczko's projections in their own town or city.

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