SchoolArts Magazine

February 2015

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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Pull-out Resource Looking & Learning Reflect Reflecting o our artwork or sources of inspiration help ou grow as an artist and thinker. F or artists, the word "reflect" can carry many dif- ferent meanings. Although some might think of the visual phenomenon of reflection that might be included in a work of art, "reflect" could also describe the act of thinking deeply and seriously about something. For example, artists might reflect by think - ing carefully about their own work, analyzing the work of other artists, considering the world around them, examining the motives and ideas behind historical or contemporary events, or pondering philosophical ques - tions about life. Reflection may come at the beginning of an art - ist's process (thinking deeply about a subject that has inspired an artwork), in between different stages of the process (evaluating your design before moving on to the next step), at the end of the process (self-evaluation and critique), or all of the above. Reflecting on your artwork or sources of inspiration helps you grow as an artist and thinker, allowing you to deepen your understandings of your artwork, yourself, and the universe. About the Artists/Artworks Richard E. Schmidt (1865–1958) From the time of the Renaissance in Europe, architects have reflected on architectural styles of the past for inspira- tion and reinterpretation. From the 1700s on, architecture in the United States also epitomized a love affair with things past. Between the 1700s and early 1900s, American architects revived elements of every historical architec- tural period they could get their hands on, and then some. Egyptian Revival became a full-fledged style in the early 1800s, and Peter Schoenhofen's tomb is a strong example of that style. Schoenhofen and his family owned an immensely successful brewery in Chicago from 1867 to the mid-1900s. Schoenhofen himself, an immigrant from Ger- many, was a great admirer of the Egyptian Revival style. While his tomb has many beautiful Egyptian motifs that are somewhat faithful interpretations of the ancient style (such as the lotus decoration on the portal), some of the motifs—such as the Sphinx—are Westernized. The Sphinx figure is complemented by the Christian angel at the por- tal. Tanya Akhmetgalieva (b. 1983) Today, in a period dominated by the instant self-expression of the selfie and social media, some artists question the possibilities for authenticity in multiple, split-second- captured self-presentation. Tanya Akhmetgalieva produces fiber "paintings" that reflect on her own maturation as a woman and artist, the relationship of her self-image to that of others in the social media universe, and society itself. Although Akhmetgalieva explores commercialism, contemporary culture, and twenty-first century publicly exposed egos, she does not analyze or criticize the roots of the imagery or the intentions behind it. Instead, she exam- ines the domination of certain ideas in an instant-grati- fication culture and how they affect interaction between individuals. Much of this exploration is self-referential. Many of Akhmetgalieva's works incorporate images from multiple time periods, reinforcing her insistence in her art that self-presentation can be healing as well as informative, and to a greater extent, an important aspect of contemporary art that "fills in the gaps" of a genre that might otherwise seem superficial. Richard E. Schmidt, Peter Schoenhofen tomb, 1893 –1895. Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, IL. Photo © Davis Art Images. schoolartsonline.com 21

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