Printer Friendly

Initial artists.

Find an artist for every letter of the alphabet? Well, they came close ...

About midyear, after nay classes had had exposure to several artists, I tried a different approach to the study of art history. We discussed what was meant by "world famous artist," and talked about which artists' names would come to mind when thinking of different letters of the alphabet. P, for example, everyone agreed had to be Picasso.

I then took the class to the school library. Each student was to look through art history books to find a "world famous artist" as well as someone whose work they admired. The goal was for the students to find an artist for each of the letters in the alphabet. Only one student was allowed each letter, so there was quite a race to get their preference! Some letters were hard to match, and some were impossible; but the exercise generated much looking and discussing--more than any other art history assignment I have ever given.

Upon return to the artroom, each student drew the selected letter in simple Gothic style on a (5" x 7" (13 cm x 18 cm) sheet of white paper. The students then completed a drawing or painting in the style of their particular artist within the outlines of their letter. They used any media they chose. The artist's name was printed in small Gothic letters below the large letter.

While the students worked on the interiors of the letters, there was much observation and discussion about all the artists selected. It was really exciting to hear one student say to another, "Boy, that really looks just like Cezanne's work!" or "That sure looks like something Vasarely would do!" or "Is that what you would think of when you speak of O'Keeffe?"

We were all so proud of the quality of the work that we matted the drawings and purchased frames for them. They will hang gallery-style in the artroom as an art history reference for all the classes and a source of pride and achievement for the student artists.

The assignment allowed all of the students to learn a great deal about the artists studied. It promoted interesting and exciting discussion among the students, and resulted in a permanent display for the artroom. May I recommend such a lesson for your curriculum?

Barbara Pratt is an art teacher in the Richardson High School Richardson, Texas.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Davis Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Pratt, Barbara
Publication:School Arts
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Previous Article:What happens on portfolio day.
Next Article:The electronic gallery.

Related Articles
A looking and making collaboration.
Wholly cow!!!
Monotype and the art of surprise.
Art from art history: portraits in clay.
A Show of Hands.
Jersey artists get new home.
The art of doing business downtown: collective sets up business incubator/gallery for local artists and artisans.
"Coming Home!: Self-Taught Artists, the Bible, and the American South"; Museum of Biblical Art.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters