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[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: February 19, 2008

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From: Nanci Lee (Nanci.Lee_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 21 2008 - 06:41:40 PST


Having worked at inner city schools, my personal experience is that it
helps to approach lessons with your students in mind in order distract
them from any negative attitude they may have acquired from their
personal life experiences (not belonging or low self-esteem). Projects
that are hip, accessible and relevant to your students' "culture" will
help motivate them into investing more effort into their work. Socially
conscious art is a good way to begin researching such lessons, by
asking, "What is my students' culture?" Do they have a clear identity,
sense of who they are? Lessons can serve to empower your students and
help them find a voice so they can see through their unique experiences
and as a result, open their eyes and ears to other voices. Then, an
exploration of American artists from other cultures will broaden their
perspective and affirm the importance of their own voice as exprienced
through other artists of color or nationality. Here are some cool
resources:

Team building art projects that emphasize "we" instead of "me"
http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3905/

A book that can inspire art lessons incorporating criticism and art
making. Contains art and stories from American artists of African,
Chinese, Filipino, Jewish, Lebanese, Mexican, Native American and Puerto
Rican descentw who discuss how their ancestors made them who they are
and helps with classroom discussions about how ethinic groups comprise
national identity
http://www.powells.com/biblio?show=HARDCOVER:USED:9780892391585:9.00

African American artists inspired by their African heritage
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aaworld/printable_pages/artfocus_03_print.html

Art criticism and multicultural lessons
http://www.wm.edu/education/599/04projects/Judson.pdf

Graffiti artist Barry McGee
http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/mcgee/index.html

Good luck!
Nanci
Woodward Academy

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