SchoolArts Magazine

March 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 As they enter your darkened classroom, tell stu- dents that they are about to go on an exploration of the unknown. Begin by showing Orcus. Ask, "Where do you think this doorway might lead to? Why might a person go there? What would you need to bring with you?" Share additional images of the Park of Monsters. Tell students about the park and its history and explain that it's a work of art that can be explored in real life as well as in your imagination. Project Bust of Gorky. Explain that students will explore the image by looking closely at the artwork. Ask, "What do you think this sculpture is made out of? Why do you think so?" After some discussion, share a video of Hongbo's work (see link in Resources section), and explain that his sculptures are made from stacked, glued, and carved paper. Intermediate Project the following question on a screen: How do you "explore" a work of art? Place students in small groups to discuss their responses, then hold a class discussion to share their ideas. Next, show Orcus, followed by Bust of Gorky. Discuss each work carefully, providing contextual information and feedback as needed. After some discussion, share a video of Hongbo's work (see link in Resources section). Share information about Hongbo's process. After analyzing each work, ask students to compare and contrast them in their journals/sketchbooks using a Venn diagram or other visualization tool. Give them some questions to consider, such as, "What methods were used to create each artwork? Were they similar or different?" Advanced Begin class with five minutes of simple stretch- ing or calisthenics. Next, ask students to care- fully consider the following questions, then record their responses in their journals or sketchbooks: How do artists stretch and explore when making work? Is it a literal or figurative process, or both? How have you stretched and explored so far this year in art? Show Orcus, followed by Bust of Gorky. Be sure to provide contextual information about each work and show Hongbo's video (see link in Resources section). Finally, ask students to con- duct online research to find at least two artists— previously unknown to them—who stretch and explore process, media, and ideas. Have students share their discoveries with the class. Explore Create Beginner Divide your room into stations with a different set of materials at each table. Include a variety of objects that fit each category, such as different kinds of paper, wooden blocks, sticks, and scraps. Explain that students should select the material of their choice and move to that station for the duration of the project. Students should first explore each material to discover what they can do with it, then create an artwork that features those techniques. Explain that they can use only the materials on the table to create their art. You may wish to include glue as an additional material, but avoid the use of paint, markers, or pencil. You may want to plan this as an all-levels project in order to minimize the set-up time required and eliminate the need to rearrange the entire room between classes. Intermediate Create a list of materials, processes, and ideas and post it prominently in the artroom. Ask students to choose one item from the list that they wish to explore. If they choose a process or idea, they should also choose a material from the same list. Explain that they can combine a material with an idea or process if they wish, or they can decide to explore the material. Next, students will document their explorations in their sketch- books or online with photos and comments. Their documentation should include: (1) descriptions of their material, process, and ideas; (2) ideas about what they think they might be able to do; and (3) the results of their explorations. After completing their explorations, have students create an artwork that incorporates what they have learned. Display the completed artworks, along with excerpts from each student's docu- mentation in a hallway or gallery with the title "Art Explorations." Advanced Ask students to choose a material, process, technique, or idea that they wish to explore in-depth over the course of a week. While they are expected to spend all of their time during class on their explora- tion, they will need to determine how and what to explore. This means that students should be working in a variety of media and pro- cesses, which may include both traditional and new media. In addition to exploring their idea, materials, or process, students should produce at least one completed work of art and one to three smaller works. They should also document their process online with a brief post for each class. If possible, students should respond to each other's posts with questions and comments. When completed, stu- dents should present their work and discoveries to the class. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Publications and Robb Sandagata, digital product manager at Davis Publications. Looking & Learning Explore Resources Li Hongbo: www.kleinsungallery.com/artist/ Li_Hongbo/works www.youtube.com/watch?v=gttdbqX4SWA The Park of Monsters: www.bomarzo.net 32 March 2015 SchoolArts

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