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1 ART CAN! Find pieces that match these aspects of Contemporary Art. 1. Use interesting materials and/or techniques. Title: Medium: Comments: 2. Express emotions without relying on recognizable images. Title: Medium: Comments: 3. Be primarily about the arrangement of shape, line and color on a flat surface. Title: Medium: Comments: 4. Challenge us to view the world in a new and different way. Title: Medium: Comments: * Now, find one piece that you have not listed above and think of the reason(s) the artist created it. Write it below in the same format as the answers above. Reason: Title: Medium: Comments:

2 ANALYZING ART Blooms Taxonomy an abridged version. This instrument is used to determine the nature of a work of art. In this instance, the student uses this instrument in order to come to know a work of art. Title: Medium: Date: Size: 1. Description: Only describe what you see. Do not use value- laden words such as beautiful, pretty, or striking in this section. The objective here is to take a complete inventory of what is there without making an apparent value judgment. This section of your paper will deal with subject matter. Write several sentences. 2. Analysis: Here you discuss how the visual elements line, shape, value, texture, mass (volume) and color- function in the artwork. Discuss elements and not the subject matter. Write several sentences. 3. Interpretation: After writing careful descriptions and analysis of the work, proceed to interpret it. Review carefully your written description analysis for clues as to the idea or ideas the artist may be attempting to communicate. Remember that the artist may have more than one message. However, one idea or concept will stand out. Essentially, you will deal with the question of content meaning of the work. Write several sentences. 4. Evaluation: After having carefully described, analyzed, and interpreted the work of art, you are now in a position to evaluate it. Is the works you have selected an example of good art perhaps masterpiece? Or, is it pedestrian, mediocre, uneventful? Write several sentences.

3 DISCOVERING MEANING Use the questions below to help dissect the work and discover the visual means the artist used to communicate ideas or examine theoretical problems. List all the adjectives that come to mind in your first look at the artwork. List all the materials the artist used. How are the materials arranged? Are the materials man- made or natural? What do you think the artist is trying to tell us? What message are they trying to convey?

4 ELEMENTS OF ART OR ELEMENTS OF DESIGN The basic components used by the artist when producing works of art. Those elements are color, value, line, shape, form, texture, and space. PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN OR PRINCIPLES OF ART Certain qualities inherent in the choice and arrangement of elements of art in the production of a work of art. Unity The quality of wholeness or oneness that is achieved through the effective use of the elements and principles of design. Color - Produced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Intensity - The brightness or dullness of a hue or color. Value - An element of art that refers to luminance or luminosity the lightness or darkness of a color. Line - A mark with length and direction. Axis or axis line - An imaginary straight line which indicates movement and the direction of movement. Tex ttu rre - the surface quality or "feel" of an object, its smoothness, roughness, softness, etc. They may be actual or simulated.

5 Shape An element of art, it is an enclosed space defined and determined by other art elements such as line, color, value, and texture. Form - the shape or configuration aside from color or texture. S p a c e - the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. DESIGN A plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. B ala nce - A principle of design, balance refers to the way the elements of art are arranged to create a feeling of stability in a work; a pleasing or harmonious arrangement or proportion of parts or composition. Emphasis Any forcefulness that gives importance or dominance (weight) to some feature or features of an artwork; something singled out, stressed, or drawn attention to by means of contrast, anomaly, or counterpoint for aesthetic impact. Harmony - Agreement; accord. A union or blend of aesthetically compatible components. Variety - A principle of design that refers to a way of combining elements of art in involved ways to achieve intricate and complex relationships.

6 THE GESTALT PRINCIPLES Gestalt is a psychology term which means "unified whole". It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. These theories attempt to describe how people tend to organize visual elements into groups or unified wholes when certain principles are applied. These principles are: Similarity Similarity occurs when objects look similar to one another. People often perceive them as a group or pattern. The example above (containing 11 distinct objects) appears as single unit because all of the shapes have similarity. Unity occurs because the triangular shapes at the bottom of the eagle symbol look similar to the shapes that form the sunburst. When similarity occurs, an object can be emphasized if it is dissimilar to the others. This is called anomaly. The figure on the far right becomes a focal point because it is dissimilar to the other shapes.

7 Continuation Continuation occurs when the eye is compelled to move through one object and continue to another object. Continuation occurs in the example above, because the viewer's eye will naturally follow a line or curve. The smooth flowing crossbar of the "H" leads the eye directly to the maple leaf. Closure Closure occurs when an object is incomplete or a space is not completely enclosed. If enough of the shape is indicated, people perceive the whole by filling in the missing information with their minds. Although the panda is not complete, enough is present for the eye to complete the shape. When the viewer's perception completes a shape, closure occurs.

8 Proximity Proximity occurs when elements are placed close together. They tend to be perceived as a group. The nine squares above are placed without proximity. They are perceived as separate shapes. When the squares are given close proximity, unity occurs. While they continue to be separate shapes, they are now perceived as one group. The fifteen figures form a unified whole (the shape of a tree) because of their proximity.

9 Figure and Ground The eye differentiates an object form its surrounding area. A form, silhouette, or shape is naturally perceived as figure (object), while the surrounding area is perceived as ground (background). Balancing figure and ground can make the perceived image more clearly. Using unusual figure/ground relationships can add interest and subtlety to an image. Figure The word above is clearly perceived as figure with the surrounding white space ground. In this image, the figure and ground relationships change, as the eye perceives the form of a shade or the silhouette of a face. This image uses complex figure/ground relationships which change upon perceiving leaves, water and tree trunk.

10 DIAMANTE POEM L1 a word that comes to mind, immediately L2 an action phrase based on something you see or sense in the work L3 a comparison, using like or as, between something in the art & something in the real world L4 a word that comes to mind, immediately HAIKU 5 syllables 7 syllables 5 syllables TONGUE TWISTER Pick a letter Using a piece of art as inspiration, write down 2 adjectives, 3 verbs, 2 adverbs, 3 nouns & 1 plural noun Use these words to make a tongue twister

11 TO GET THINKING Attempt to address all learning styles: verbal, visual, aural, kinesthetic and spatial. Of course, only choose items from the list below that fit with the artwork and age group or themes of the exhibition or topics requested by the instructor. QUESTIONS: WHAT IS ABSTRACTION? [[ formal definition: Abstraction is the distillation of something to its essence. Words can be abstract if one doesn t know the meaning. The act of considering something as a general quality or characteristic, apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances. An impractical idea; something visionary and unrealistic. ]] Follow up: Is this an abstraction? WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT? Take this is the direction that students lead with their answers. They may concentrate on the subject matter, formal elements or the design or the process and medium. THINK LIKE AN ARTIST How do you think this was made? What tools did the artist use? What would you have done differently? Why did the artist choose the size they did? What might have inspired this? Why did the artist choose this moment in time to depict? STRANGEST DREAM Pretend that last night you had the strangest dream and it took place inside on of the pieces. Describe what you saw, hear and smelled. What did you feel and sense? Was it a nightmare or a very lovely dream? MAKE A LIST Name all the types of lines you see. Name all of the shapes you see. Name all the colors you see, but give them an adjective as if you are naming crayon colors. ex: Cranberry Red, Arctic Ocean Blue, Grizzly Bear Brown. ACTIVITIES: ENTER THE LANDSCAPE Tell the students to choose a spot in a landscape and look around. What do you see? Use your five senses to describe the landscape. Point out specific elements of the work that correlate to what you are describe. How would you move through this atmosphere? What is the temperature? How does your voice sound here? Would you want to stay long?

12 MOVEMENT AND MUSIC If this was on the front cover of a CD, what kind of music do you think it would be? Hold out your arm and follow a line as you walk along the work. What kind of lines are present? Make up a movement that is inspired by an element of this work. What sort of noises would you hear if you were inside this piece? Let s all make the noise out loud together on the count of three! Would it be easy to move around? Demonstrate the movements. Imagine that one of the figures in the piece could move. How would it look for them to walk? COMING ALIVE With two or more works: Imagine they could talk. What would they say to each other? Would one dominate the conversation? Would they be friendly? Say the conversation out loud using different voices. OR With one work: imagine this piece is looking for a pen pal. Write a letter that contains information about them. Describe their likes and dislikes, a physical description and information about their home and family. Try and piece together a personality. FINISH THE STORY Imagine that this piece is the middle of a story. What happened before this? What will happen next? Study the expression on the figure s face and their gesture. What is around them? EMULATE THE ART Using movements or acting, emulate either a portion of the landscape or a person in the work. The rest of the group will guess what aspect you are copying. TONGUE TWISTER Pick a letter. Using the work as inspiration, name two adjectives, three verbs, two adverbs, three nouns and one plural noun. Use these as a word bank for creating a tongue twister! MAKING METAPHORS In three different columns, make a list of three non- material (invisible) things, three colors, and three material objects. Draw lines between items in the three columns to create metaphors. These can be used as the first line of a poem or writing exercise. Ex: Anger silver an island Time orange paper cup Memory hot pink horse s saddle Memory is a silver horse s saddle. Time is a hot pink island. Anger is an orange paper cup.

13 VISUAL ARTS QUESTIONS How does the work make you feel? Does it change the way you view the world/think? Composition: What objects/people does the artist use in the painting? How are they placed? Color: Which colors does the artist use? Is there an emphasis on certain colors? Light: Where is the light focused in the painting? Where is light missing? Line: What kind of lines are used in the painting? Where do they lead your eye? Rhythm: Is there any repetition in the painting? Where? Balance: How is the art work/painting arranged? Are all sides equal in visual weight, or is one side heavier than the other? Perspective: Where is the observer positioned in the painting? Where would the onlooker have to be standing to see it this way? Pick objects or elements from the artwork that you find the most interesting or perplexing. Discuss Gestalt Principles you observe in the work. What do you associate with these objects and their placement? What is the artist's purpose? Is there an agenda or a message or a theme in their artwork? Where do you see it? Is it effective/persuasive? Why or why not? What are the roles of certain elements in the work (e.g. line, color, composition)? How do they affect the work as a whole? Does the artist use symbols in the artwork or create new ones? What are they? What do they mean? Why are they important? What is influencing the artwork (e.g. social ideologies, historical events, personal life)? How can you tell?

14 VALUE JUDGEMENT CARDS These flash cards are given to each student. They place one in front of a piece of art. When everyone has finished laying out their cards, we discuss the notion of value, good art and bad art and how we perceive these ideas. HEART your favorite! SMILE another one that you like HOME one your family would like CLOCK took the most time to make AWARD a judge would give this a prize YUCK you don t like this one at all!

15 THE 5 SENSES IN A LANDSCAPE When there are landscape works present in an exhibition, there are five large flash cards that can be handed out, face down, to the students. Out loud, each student completes the sentence on their card. The five cards say: WHEN I VISIT THIS PLACE, I CAN SEE.. WHEN I VISIT THIS PLACE, I HEAR.. WHEN I VISIT THIS PLACE, I CAN FEEL.. WHEN I VISIT THIS PLACE, I TASTE.. WHEN I VISIT THIS PLACE, I SMELL..

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