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I just did such a presentation to our district cross-cultural arts
conference (ABC-Arts Bring Cultures together).I presented it in the
district computer lab for about 15 teachers from various arts areas. The
lesson I showed them came from the ArtsEdNet resources on Navajo Weaving
and the cross-cultural link was artist Helen Frankenthaler. My art 1, 2
students researched Navajo weaving on the ArtsEdNet pages, did some of
the questioning exercises and then designed a pattern for weaving by
creating watercolor sketches done from landscape collages. (They had
previously looked at Helen Frankenthaler's paintings and talked about
abstraction and visual balance.) They then created a cardboard loom
tapestry weaving from their pattern.
I had a display of the students' projects to show at this workshop and a
handout on various web sites. I asked the teachers to think of a lesson
concept they would like to use and then find two cultural sources that
could be compared/ contrasted by students to make a cross-cultural
The main concepts I wanted my students to come away with were:
Art is an expression of cultural values, The environment influences the
art of a culture (use of color is a good example) and Art from different
cultures can show certain similarities (we all use the Elements and Principles).
My participants really enjoyed doing the surfing to find what was of
interest to them. If you can get to a lab to give them hands-on time to
look, it will be a richer experience.
Best of luck,
Corona del Mar High School
Newport Beach, CA
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