Thursday, August 20, 2009

NY Guggenheim: Top Floor

This is my final posting about the museums I visited in NY. Today’s area of focus spotlights the top floor of the Guggenheim. While I recognize that there were other works in the space, such as a full spiral of Wright’s drawings, the most captivating show I experienced was that of some very young artists. As one featured participant put it, “It’s an artist’s job to think about amazing things, then to draw the things they were thinking about.” The children in the Guggenheim’s LTA (Learning Through Art) residency program, including the second grader the G. recorded that quote from, did just that.

Here is a partial list of projects I would like to work with this year in a classroom context:

1) Lucid landscapes.
This could be a one-afternoon project in answer to, “what should I draw?”

2) Collage
Better start collecting magazines now – can’t wait to work with this great cutting-skills builder and fun imagination utilizing activity.

3) Things Worth Collecting
A project that seemed focused around appreciating museums and making the concept behind museums current and interesting. The teachers had the students create the following:
a) a desktop displays of a small collection (like bottle caps or toys)
b) a collage of or about the collection
c) a group collection
d) notebooks containing research about other collections (What do the signs and displays look like? Who is able to see the work? How are they allowed interact with the work?)
e) a group brainstorm for a final presentation
f) a group presentation of the class collection!

4) Symbols
Designed by each student and printed from styrofoam. As a continuation: imagery, symbolic and/or abstract, for what non-physical concepts look like (like pride). As an adaptation on styrofoam prints: COLLOGRAPHING. I always forget about this great medium, and reliably become excited when I see it in action.

5) Bridges
First the students looked at city bridges, drew them, thought about them. Then, using the bridges as metaphors, they collaged about the path and bridges to their individual goals.

6) Community Portraits.

7) Posters
This would be a project about design, color, and meaning (one they chose was the topic, “what are you willing to stand up for? ... another topic used in a separate project but useful for posters was, “what makes people get along?”).

If you’ve read through this list, you’ll notice that most of these will involve a physical craft coupled with a lot of serious brainstorming and introspective journaling. My special challenge: convince the kids they want to write. Also, find them sketchbooks and convince them to think visually in those sketchbooks. Game On.

Thanks Guggenheim.

No comments: