Title: A Walk Through the Art Institute
Instructor: Nick Franco
Subject: Visual Art Education
Scheduled Date & Time: April 26th @ 2-4 pm
Grade Level: High School
Content Objective: Students will be able to discuss formal and conceptual qualities of a work of art. They will either write a narrative or sketch a drawing based on their chosen artwork.
Prerequisite Skills: Introduction to art history and grade level skills in creative writing and drawing.
Materials: Sketchbooks, graphite pencils, & digital cameras. (Optional materials can include a smart phone or tablet.)
Anticipatory Set: Inform students that they will be exploring 2-3 gallery spaces at the Art Institute of Chicago. First, they will take part in an instructor-lead tour of one of the gallery spaces. The instructor will show students a piece of art that has influenced their method of creative expression. The instructor will briefly discuss the artist, title, and movement in art history, and then engage students with information and questions about the formal and conceptual qualities. For example, “The artist’s brushwork is very active and aggressive. What kind of emotions do you think the artist was going through at the time? What was going on in history to make the artist feel this way?” The second step in the gallery visit will be student-lead, allowing the students to explore 2 gallery spaces to find a piece of artwork they enjoy looking at, identify with, or have some knowledge about from previous studies. Tell student that they will either be writing a short story about by their chosen artwork or they will sketch a drawing or series of drawings inspired by the piece.
- In the visitor center at the Art Institute, provide students with a brief introduction about yourself.
- Report to your pre-assigned group of 3-5 students. (Students will be grouped together by their classroom teacher based on behavior and areas of interest.)
- Pass out 1 sketchbook and 1 digital camera to each student.
- Visit your chosen artwork and inform students about the formal aspects (color, composition, medium, technique) and conceptual aspects (history, narrative, emotive qualities).
- Explain how the work has influenced your own art making, providing students with digital examples on a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet.
- Instruct students to visit 2 galleries in the Institute. (You will need to supervise the group, so the galleries can either be adjoining or your group can visit one gallery at a time.)
- Encourage students to take digital images of the work they find interesting or inspiring.
- As students begin to focus on one piece of artwork, instruct them to sit at a bench close to their piece and write down or draw out some ideas.
- Through guided reflection, ask students to share their work by reading aloud, summarizing their thoughts, or displaying their drawings.
- Lead students back to the visitor center of the Institute.
Modeling: Demonstrate for students how to define the formal and conceptual qualities of a work of art. Explain how these qualities influence each other, creating a thought provoking piece that generates several questions and comments from the viewer.
Remediation: If students are having trouble responding to a piece of artwork, provide them with a series of prompts related to storytelling. For example, “Which of these pieces do you feel has a story to tell?” “What is that story?” “If somebody asked you tell your own story, how would you do it?” “Could you use words or drawings?”
Closing: Congratulate students on being able to identify important elements of a work of art. They were able to express themselves creatively through the influence of professional artists. Inform students that in the next two workshops, they will get the chance to talk with graduate level artists and develop their own piece of art using different materials.
Assessment: Students will have discussed the formal and conceptual qualities of artwork. They will have written a narrative or sketched a drawing about their artwork.