SchoolArts Magazine

JAN 2014

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 Creating Explore Create Beginner Show students Odilon Redon's Spring and Allison Schulnik's Cat Head. Ask, "What do you see in these paintings? What do you think makes them creative?" Have students come to the front of the room and point out the parts of the artworks they are discussing. Then ask, "What do you think makes each of these artworks unique? How are they different from other paintings that you've seen?" Write student responses on a whiteboard or large poster board. Beginner Tell students that they will be making their own creative works of art using paint and other available materials. Explain that unlike other projects, the subject of their painting and the process they follow to create it will be entirely up to them. There are only a few requirements: 1. You must spend the entire class time working on the project. 2. You must clean up all of your materials appropriately before the end of class. 3. You should not copy from another student. Before beginning the project, remind students of proper procedures for using paint and other supplies. Once projects have been completed, have students present their paintings and share their creative choices with the class. Intermediate Tell students that they are about to view paintings from two exceptionally creative and groundbreaking artists. Have them write and/ or sketch predictions about what these works might look like. Ask several volunteers to share their predictions with the class. Next, show students Odilon Redon's Spring. Ask, "Why do you think this is considered a creative artwork? What is unusual about it?" Then show Allison Schulnik's Cat Head. Ask, "What do you see in this painting? Is it abstract or representational?" After some discussion, ask students to respond to the following questions in their journal or sketchbook: Do these artworks match your predictions? Why or why not? What do you think is the most creative aspect of each piece? Advanced Ask students to consider what it means to be creative. Have them write their own definition of creativity in their sketchbook or journal. Ask them to write or sketch two or three examples of "creative behavior" that they have noticed recently, including an explanation of why they think each example is creative. Next, show students Spring and Cat Head. Ask, "Are these paintings creative? How do you know? Do these works challenge your ideas about painting? What makes them unconventional? Do they fit your definition of creativity?" After some discussion, ask students to record any new thoughts or ideas they discovered during the discussion. resources Odilon Redon: artist.php?artist_id=4840 Allison Schulnik: 26 January 2014 SchoolArts Intermediate Explain that with Redon and Schulnik as inspiration, students will attempt to make a creative, groundbreaking work of art. Divide your classroom into sections, each containing a different group of materials (e.g., paint, clay, drawing, recycled materials, etc.). Explain that students will be choosing their own subject matter and materials. Explain that although there are no rules governing subject matter and materials, student must meet the following requirements: 1. Subject matter should be appropriate for school. 2. You must work on your project and stay on task throughout the duration of the project. 3. Before switching to a new material, you must clean up and put away the materials you are currently using. 4. Don't try to force yourself to be creative; start by experimenting and see what happens next. If you have a student or small group of students who would like to work with digital pictures and video, ask them to creatively document the project, then create a video or photo exhibit. Advanced Using their definitions of creativity, examples of creative behavior, and class discussions as inspirations, ask students to plan a Week of Creative Behavior. During this week, they will use their art class time to practice and perform creative acts, such as creating an artwork, improvisational performance in a public setting, breaking norms of conventional behavior (in safe, school-appropriate ways), inventing new art processes, experimenting with new media or tools (e.g., painting with power tools), and any other unconventional tasks they can think of. During this week, students must follow several guidelines: 1. Class time must be spent fulfilling some aspect of creative behavior. 2. Creative behaviors cannot harm or endanger people, cause damage, or break laws. 3. Creative behaviors can be done as a collaboration, but two different artists cannot perform an identical creative act separately. Document this process as much as possible, as creative experimentation does not necessarily result in finished products. Encourage students to break out of their everyday routine and take creative risks. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Publications; and Robb Sandagata, digital product manager at Davis Publications.

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