SchoolArts Magazine

September 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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RESPOND Beginner Show students pictures or short videos of large weather events such as severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Ask students if they can identify each phenomenon. Ask, "Have you ever witnessed an event like this? How did it make you feel?" Introduce students to Retiring Bob. Ask them to describe the piece. What is it made out of? What kinds of noises might it make? What might the artist have been thinking about when she designed it? After some discussion, explain Miebach's process in age-appropriate terms. Intermediate Ask students to draw the fiercest thunderstorm, hurricane, sand storm, or other weather event that they have witnessed. Give them enough time to create a decently realized drawing, perhaps 20 to 25 minutes. Next, ask volunteers to share their sketches with the class, explaining the event that they drew and the methods they used to depict it. Then ask the entire class to respond to the fol- lowing questions in their sketchbooks, journals, or on the back of their drawings: (1) What weather event did you draw? (2) What techniques did you use to depict this event? (3) Do you feel that drawing is a good medium for depicting weather? What other materials might you use? After giving them time to work in their sketchbooks or per- haps at the beginning of the next class, introduce students to Miebach's artwork, including Retiring Bob. Advanced Ask students to conduct Internet research on "ScienceArt"; artworks inspired by scientific experiments, research, or data, and collect them in their sketchbook, journal, or blog. They should list at least two examples and choose one for further investigation, such as a sketch or dia- gram, list of questions posed by the piece or for the artist, and a written and/or drawn response. Ask students to consider how both science and art are woven into their everyday lives, and how they might be combined in new ways. Next, project an image of Miebach's Retiring Bob. Ask, "How does this image relate to your research about ScienceArt? What might the artist be responding to?" Ask students who might have discovered Miebach's work during their research to remain silent for this portion of the discussion. After some discussion, show Miebach's TED talk. (See Resources.) Ask students to consider other methods for gathering data on the world around them and how the material might inspire or be incorporated into a work of art. CREATE Beginner As a class, choose an everyday activity or occurrence in the artroom or other classrooms. For example, students might research how much paper is used in a single day, or map different paths from the lunch- room to their classroom. Next, choose a simple method for charting this activity. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with a classroom teacher, who might assist students with graphing, charting, or mapping the data. After the data has been analyzed, brainstorm with students on how to create an artwork that includes this data. You may wish to have students work collaboratively as a large group or in small teams to complete this task. Ask, "What can we do with this data? What materials might we use? Will it be 2D or 3D?" Intermediate Follow the beginner "Create" guidelines above, switching the emphasis to daily school-wide events. For example, students might record how many times the principal repeats a certain word during morning announcements, or they could rank hot-lunch items served in the cafeteria in order of popularity. Consider expanding the requirements to include a two-dimensional infographic as well as a three-dimensional sculpture or installation. Advanced Ask each student to create a list of three to five everyday events inside or outside of school that they are interested in researching. Have them discuss their ideas with a partner and narrow their list down to two choices. Ask students to consider how they will collect their data and what limitations they may face. Ask, "How long will it take to record your data? Can it be done during class or after school?" Give students at least two days to collect their data, perhaps while finishing up another project. After the data is collected, have students create an infographic using the scale and media of their choice. Ask, "What is the most interesting way to present your data? How will you make it clear and easy to understand for others?" Give students two or three more classes to design and complete their infographics and an additional class to share them with their peers. Finally, have students design an interactive artwork using the same data in the media of their choice. Explain that installation, sculpture, video, and interdisciplinary works may work well for this project. PRESENT When complete, display or install the work in a prominent location. Hang an interpretation key (beginner) or the accompanying info- graphics (intermediate and advanced) with each artwork. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Publications; and Robb Sandagata, digital product manager at Davis Publications. RESOURCES TED Talk with Nathalie Miebach: www.ted.com/talks/nathalie_ miebach?language=en Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI): www.asci.org M E O W W O L F A n A r t Co l l e c t i v e f r o m S a n t a F e L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G 28 SEPTEMBER 2015 SchoolArts

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