Recently I was contacted by the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in teaching summer classes. I decided to do it because they were allowing me to propose my own topic, define my age level, and choose my date(s). What a deal!
Anyway, here are some ideas I’m throwing around for the classes, although I haven’t yet decided on what ages I’d like to teach or which ideas I’ll use:
Art as activism
Explore the work of artists who create artwork with the intent of activism. Investigate art that sends a message and make your own “activist” art.
Art and nature
Explore some of the ways that nature and art have been and are related. Investigate making art from natural elements, making art about nature, and making art in nature.
Art as collaboration
Explore the work of contemporary artists who collaborate to get ideas, create, and critique artwork. Investigate reasons for and means of collaboration by creating collaborative artwork with classmates.
Art and identity
Explore some of the ways that art can be used to represent, challenge, and reconstruct identities. Investigate facets of your personal identity through the creation of artworks in a variety of media.
The cool thing about teaching that starts from a big idea is that the exploration of the idea is necessarily rich and it can be made appropriate for almost any age level. It also allows for students to explore things that are personally interesting to them and creates the opportunity for very open-ended assignments that usually generate very authentic art-making experiences.
The interesting thing about teaching this way is it is a welcomed departure from the typical classes that the museum offers (e.g. “Adult Watercolor” includes Bob-Ross style instruction where there is a painting that is created by the teacher and everyone else produces the same painting).