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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Beginner/Intermediate In a large or small group discussion, ask stu- dents to define the word "reflect" and explain how it might be used in art. Next, show them a slideshow containing images of visual reflec- tions. This might include stock photos, images of mirrors, reflections on a lake, or artworks that feature reflections. Consider including artworks by Josiah MacElheny. Pause the pre- sentation and say, "These images represent the scientific meaning of 'reflect.' Now we're going to examine some images that represent a differ- ent meaning." Next, show students images of Schmidt's Schoenhofen tomb and Akhmetgalieva's Sound and Question of happiness. Give students each artist's name, the title of each work, and some biographical information. Ask, "What defini- tion of 'reflect' might these artworks fit?" After some discussion, show the following definition on the screen: Reflect: to think deeply or care- fully about. Ask, "Using this definition, what do you think these artworks reflect?" Be sure to use the contextual information provided in this article to guide this portion of the conversation. Advanced Before class, ask students to write and draw their responses to the following questions: What does it mean to reflect? How does reflec- tion apply to visual art? Have students record their responses in their sketchbooks/journals or post them to your class blog, ePortfolio, or social media site. In class, ask students to share their responses. Have a volunteer record the defini- tions of reflect on the board or on the class blog. N ext, show students a variety of historical and contemporary artwork, including Schmidt's Schoenhofen tomb and Akhmetgalieva's Sound and Question of happiness. Ask students to theorize what each artwork might reflect and why. Try to discuss more than one theory per artwork, if possible. Explore Create Beginner/Intermediate Ask students to choose a person, place, or object that is important to them as the subject for a work of art. Explain that once they have made their choice, they should think deeply and carefully about their subject. Ask them to answer the following questions: 1. How does this person, place, or object make you feel? 2. Why is it/she/he impor tant to you? 3. What is an important memory you have of this person/place/object? Have students sketch their answers to these questions, then choose one of their sketches or combine several of them into a single idea. Have them choose a material that best matches their subjects. These should include some traditional and nontraditional materials, and students should be encouraged to bring in their own, if possible. Be sure to have a variety of interesting or unusual materials such as fabric, newspaper, rocks, twigs, leaves, and circuit boards on hand for them to choose from as well. Their finished piece might be a collage, relief sculpture, or construction that represents the person, place, or object and their reflections about it, him, or her. When completed, exhibit the artworks in a gallery space or hallway with a sign that says "Reflect: to think deeply or carefully about." and an explanation of the project. Include a brief statement and reflection from each student about the subject of his or her artwork. Advanced Explain that the reflections project will begin with journaling. Stu- dents will spend at least two class periods thinking deeply and care- fully about their ideas while capturing their thoughts in a sketchbook, b log, or video journal. As part of this process, they should experiment with collage, drawing, writing, and sound. Ask them to ponder the fol - lowing questions while generating their ideas: 1. What person, place, object, animal, event, or thing will be the sub- ject of your reflection? 2. What reactions, ideas, questions, or statements does this subject inspire? 3. What is the best medium to express your ideas and feelings about this subject? 4. How can your ideas about this subject be presented to the viewer? After recording their ideas and working through these questions, students should be ready to begin their work using the materials and processes of their choice. Encourage students to continue journaling as they work, but do not force it upon students who prefer not to do so. Explain that their completed artwork should be exhibited with some form of documentation (written, sketches, video, audio, multimedia, etc.). Encourage students to document their work in a different media than their actual project (e.g., a student working in digital media documents through a series of sketches; a student working with paint or charcoal documents through video). W hen completed, have students conduct a silent critique in which they attempt to find answers to their questions solely through the art - works and their accompanying documentation. Have students turn in written critiques of three to five pieces, including their theories about each artists' ideas and process of reflection. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Publications; and Robb Sandagata, digital product manager at Davis Publications. Looking & Learning Reflect Resources Tomb of Peter Schoenhofen: chicago-architecture-jyoti.blogspot. com/2009/11/tomb-of-peter-schoenhofen.html Tanya Akhmetgalieva: artsy.net/artist/tanya-akhmetgalieva 24 SchoolArts

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