This project both addresses the Writing Across the Curriculum requirement, and provides important context for students helping them to realize that art is still relevant today and that they are surrounded by contemporary art and artists no matter where they live. An excellent writing component for a middle school studio or introductory art class, this project involves Internet research and Analysis. Students choose several artists from an art coop (I use one in Minneapolis but you may use this coop or choose another closer to you). I have them choose at least three that they like and at least one that they do not like in order to allow them to articulate both positive and negative reactions. This is an excellent venue for Elements and Principles vocabulary practice. I use this as the second of two research papers (over two semesters), the first being the Major Artist Research Paper; this one covers deeper standards of Analysis and Interpretation, as well as research and writing. This project could easily dovetail with a field trip to an artist’s cooperative to do studio visits. Another side benefit of this research is that students get to compare and contrast how various artists choose to present themselves and their work online.
The articulation of the student’s defense of his or her opinion is an excellent opportunity to practice rhetoric. (I do steer them away from writing about friends and family members as the prejudicial perspective dilutes the project’s effectiveness.)
Minnesota State Educational Standards Addressed:
22.214.171.124.1 Analyze how the elements of visual art including color, line, shape, value, form, texture and space are used in the creation of, presentation of, or response to visual artworks.
126.96.36.199.2 Analyze how the principles of visual art, such as repetition, pattern, emphasis, contrast and balance are used in the creation, presentation of, or response to visual artworks
188.8.131.52.1 Analyze and interpret a variety of visual artworks using established criteria.
184.108.40.206.2 Synthesize and express an individual view of the meaning and functions of visual art.
220.127.116.11.3 Analyze how the characteristics of Western and non-Western styles, movements, and genres in art contribute to the creation of, presentation of, or response to artworks.
18.104.22.168.1 Analyze, interpret and evaluate works of visual art by applying self-selected criteria within the traditions of the art form.
Writing Across the Curriculum
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License