Art History in 3-D
Snyder, Jennifer, Arts & Activities
Students often have a hard time equating time spent on art history as time well spent in the art room.
Likewise, art teachers struggle with how to keep interest in their classrooms high when the subject turns to history. Some teachers show endless videos, with the students nodding sleepily along to the narrator. Others try to incorporate small history lessons with production projects, often with varying degrees of success.
With my pre-service educators, I try a variety of approaches regarding the teaching of history. My aim is to stress the importance of history for today's students, while still making projects fun and worthwhile studio experiences.
My students are often confused about how to implement all of their newfound knowledge in the classroom, so I try to give them some concrete examples. The following project is just one of the ways I aim to give my students a solid experience in both art history and production.
Students are asked to choose a two-dimensional work of art that has a strong focal point. They are then told they will be re-creating that focal point in three-dimensional form. I have my pre-service educators work in Sculpey, although regular clay would be fine if you.... have access to a kiln. Upon building their sculpture, students then paint their works, mimicking the original painting as closely as possible.
In addition to creating the three-dimensional reproduction, students must complete a color copy of the original work, and write a short essay about the artist and the work they chose. In the kindergarten through twelfth-grade classroom, I would create a list of artists the students could choose from to prevent students choosing inappropriate subject matter. …