SchoolArts Magazine

January 2018

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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M A N A G I N G T H E A R T R O O M CONTINUED ON PAGE 41. Our student collaboration for ArtPrize Nine titled Painting Under Paper Cuts. You can find more info at www.artprize.org/65259. M y classroom approach involves a thematically driven curriculum. I select a theme, such as Identity or Environments, and students use the materials and methods of their choosing to respond. Since transitioning into this approach, I have found it increasingly important to focus on contemporary artists. If I want my students to think of themselves as artists, it is important to use artists currently working in the field as models both in process and product. At first, this was difficult for me to wrap my head around. As an art history buff, I knew which artists from the past were influential to include in my curriculum, but how would I know which artists work - ing today I should expose students to, and who to leave by the wayside? It was not until I dove into the fol - lowing resources that I discovered how easy it could be. I'm happy to share my recommendations. Art Nearby First, I would recommend taking a tour of local museums, galleries, and festivals. I live in the Midwest, and it can seem like the "art world" is somewhere on the East or West coast, far from my students and me. That is not the case. Last year alone, I went to exhibitions that featured the work of Ai Weiwei at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park; Kehinde Wiley and Nick Cave, along with many oth - ers at the Urban Institute of Con- temporary Art in Grand Rapids; and the tattoo art of Leo Zulueta at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. By searching nearby spaces showcasing contemporary artists, I found work that deals with various approaches to identity, politics, cul - ture, and other issues that I could con- nect to my curriculum. In addition to more formal exhibi- tions in museums or gallery spaces, there are local festivals in my area. Here, I can view work, talk with artists about their process, and direct students to those artists. I also share the experience with my students so they know that these opportunities may only be a few miles away from where they live. Art Online The next place I turn to look for new and emerging artists is online. One of my favorite websites to visit is This is Colossal (thisiscolossal.com) because of the visuals they select and the brevity of the description with links to more information. I use this site often with my students because the content is interesting and resonates with them. It allows me to give real-world examples of creative people working and thriving through the art they make. There are plenty of other sites to visit as well, such as Bored Panda (boredpanda. com) and Artsy (artsy.net). Art Within It is sometimes hard for me to remember that I am also an artist. I became a teacher because of my pas - sion for showing others what is pos- sible when taking creative risks. In addition to using my own work as a Art Right Now Janine Campbell Connecting art curriculum to contemporar rtists should be a priorit or all teachers who are tr ing to get their students to view themselves as artists. 14 JANUARY 2018 SchoolArts

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