Watch the Ballet Austin’s Cult of Color: A Call to
Color YouTube clip (see Resources). Remind students
that Trenton Doyle Hancock collaborated on the ballet. Show students still clips and discuss the costume
details. Give students a white piece of drawing paper
and colored pencils and have them draw their own
characters based on the clip. Discuss proportion, color,
and the fluid movement of the dancers. Remind students to use their imaginations and interpret the ballet figures. Encourage them to exaggerate proportion.
Have students enlarge their character, then paint it or
add color with markers. Students can separate the body
parts and reconnect them with brads to allow the figures to move. Have students arrange their characters
on a display wall as if they were dancing on a stage,
adding billowing cloth in the background for effect.
Have students discuss how the live dancers differ from
their drawn figures. Students can also create dialogue
for the ballet or choreograph their own.
characters and scenes. Their work can reflect a contemporary issue or be purely fantastic. Attention to
detail is paramount. Have students take a photograph
of the completed installation. Display both together.
Have students visit rmbcity.com to see Cao Fei’s
blog and clips. Use photo-editing software to create a
photomontage of a fantastic city. Encourage students
to establish the illusion of a virtual reality, even
though the concept is based on fantasy. Share the
results in a digital presentation, or post to a closed-circuit video gallery.
Developed by the Kutztown University Looking and Learning Team, with Dr. Marilyn Stewart and graduate students
Amy Ahn, Zoe DeHart, Amanda Deibert, Cassie Langan,
Jennifer Low, Ellen Pados, and Katherine Schneider.
Lead author Cassie Langan, teaches art at Pleasanton Middle School in Pleasanton, California.
Trenton Doyle Hancock, Sesom and Painter’s Duet, production still from Ballet
Austin’s Cult of Color: A Call to Color, 2008. Collaborative performance with
Ballet Austin. Photo: Tony Spielberg. © The artist. Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai
and Ballet Austin, Texas.
Show students additional works by Remedios Varo.
Have them develop and draw fantastic mechanisms
and scenarios to explain scientific phenomena, such as
the ebb and flow of the tide. Refer to actual mechanical drawing images for accuracy. When rough drawings
are complete, have students prepare small masonite
boards with gesso or use illustration board, then transfer their drawings using light pencil marks. Use small
paintbrushes and tiny strokes to paint the scenes in
watercolor or inks. Students may also use pencils or
fine markers. When the images are complete students
can write an imaginative description of their artwork,
using metaphor, allegory, symbolism, and mythology in
describing the function of the mechanism or the theoretical explanation of the device.
Look at additional works by Sandy Skoglund such as
Fresh Hybrid and have students design a small-scale
installation. Encourage them to consider their materials when developing their fantasy environment,
reminding them to think creatively and juxtapose
Trenton Doyle Hancock
Additional Digital Images
Visit the Davis Art Images
website for ten additional
fine-art digital images
to support the concepts
discussed in Looking and
Trenton Doyle Hancock, Esther, 2002. Graphite
and acrylic on paper, 11½ x 10½" ( 29 x 27 cm).
©Collection of Lewis Manilow, Chicago, courtesy
James Cohan Gallery, New York.