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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Judy Anderson (anderson)
Sun, 10 Jan 1999 13:43:43 -0600 (CST)

I teach high shool in a rural school and we try to make very personal
connections to any art we study. Most of my students need to feel that
what they study is significant to them somehow.
When we researched Christo....we looked at his work from different perspectives
art historical, aesthetic (Is this art? Does art have to be beautiful? Does
art have to be permanent? Is a photo of a piece of art still art?),art
structures, the artist's remarks and intent, the "informed" art public's
reaction, and the "uniformed public" responses including individuals who
lived near his installations and students and teachers here in our school
setting. We recorded all these responses and came up with OUR personal
interpretations of his work.
If we made art in his fashion, they decided we would cover something to hide
it from others because it was valuable and we didn't want to share it or lose it
or that is was somehow shameful or too personal and we didn't want share it with

We kept all this information in our art journals and came up with ideas of
things to cover for grand effect, things to cover to protect and hide. The
lists were great. Then they selected something in the room to cover( with cheap
rolls of newsprint and old macrame cord, yarn, string, wire whatever fit
their choice) could be obvious or symbolic. They covered the clock,
the TV, art work, chairs, supplies all kinds of things and they justified
their selections in class presentations and in their journals. SOme were
deep,some obvious... such is the level of art students in advanced art in
small rural schools, but they were all significant in that they were
personal and well communicated. We videotaped their responses and their
wrapped objects.

They they drew them, first as contour drawings.Truthfully this was my real
intent in this get them to work on their contour drawing and I
thought that they would better comprehend the idea of contour drawing...many
lose the concept over the summer...if they had to draw something unfamiliar.

Then as detailed drawings with light and shadow..charcoal on white paper.

Then large pastel on colored charcoal paper....value studies of the paper
wrapping only, leaving the string areas blank...these drawing were
neat..then they had to create environments for their drawn
sculptures...really wonderful ideas...some used multicolors to color in
solid areas and they became abstractions, others resembled their original
works...the environments varied from realistic to abstract and were all
otherworldly because of the soft, unexpected juxtapositions. Several of
these matted and framed have won awards at competitions...

As always they wrote about their environments in their journals....

2nd also - Has anyone ever incorporated the work of Christo (of Running
> Fence fame) into their art curriculum? I was able to visit "the fence"
> and it was awesome. Wondering how I can share with my students. Was
> thinking of a theme of BIG art.
> Thanks!