My last crop of artists provided a rich array of material for me to draw upon in order to highlight art concepts:
The class pauses for a moment as I hold up "E's" marker drawing. "What do you notice about the colors "E" used? A brief dialog follows about the power of complimentary colors.
Middle school students are pro-Op Art - if it wasn't for the fact that a group of artists "invented" that style of art over 50 years ago, my middle school students could claim that they invented it right here in North Central Vermont.
|By "R" grade 5|
It makes it relevant, therefor, to drag out my tattered Op Art book and show a few examples; "Hey look! Some other artists figured out that using strong contrast like black and white or black and yellow is powerful and can make an artwork almost vibrate!" "These dudes were a big hit in the 50's and 60's for doing the same kind of work that you just invented!" The fact that the above design screams "fallout shelter" could be mentioned, if you want to go there...("this drawing makes me think of something else that happened in the 50's..." )
The idea is, instead of starting with an art concept or examples of famous artists or historical periods, it is profitable to wait and work with what the artists in your classroom initiate. Relating the concepts you want to emphasize to their own original work provides a measure of buy-in and relevance not often gained when starting with a faded art reproduction or Crystal color wheel.