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I have continued to ask my students to tink about and express their
ideas concerning art and the concept of beauty. This has been
accomplished through discussion and journal entry assignments.
• Today students reexamined the art print of the statue of Nike of
Samothrace (190 B.C.). This artwork was selected because initially the
majority of the students identified the work as "not beautiful."
Through discussion the statue's beauty-making characteristics were
identified. Some students reevaluated their original assessment of the
art print and could see the beauty in the statue. However, some
students could identify the elements of beauty, yet were still bothered
by the missing head and continued to regard it as "not beautiful."
Therefore, art may have beauty-making characteristics, yet are not
beautiful. (This was a follow up activity to a question posed by Ron,
". . . identify any things that have beauty-making characteristics
named, yet aren't beautiful.")
• Two separate journal entries required students to skim through their
6th grade world history textbook and select examples of art they
determine to be beautiful and explain why; another required students to
identify "not beautiful" examples of art and to explain why. Student
responses seem to indicate that some of their views have changed
concerning art and beauty. Students seem to be looking at things with
a more critical eye; they no longer simply look at the surface value of
a work or rely on their first impressions.
• Next week we will investigate primitive art and the Lascaux caves.
This will be followed up with an art making experience using paper bags,
charcoal, pomegrananates and berries in which students will create their
own cave paintings.
The connections to art are all around us!