Grade Level: 10 – 12th
Title: Wish You Were Here
Brief History / Background:
To reflect, describe and construct a visual image using mixed media techniques that conveys a sense of place, feelings or memories of a student’s home environment or a personal space and have the images interpreted by another student.
National Content Standards:
1 - Understanding and applying media techniques and process
3 - Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas
5 - Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
National Educational Technology Standards:
1 - Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
Students will reflect upon feelings, thoughts or memories that they associate with their home environments or a particular special place. Students will write down five adjectives that correspond to their feelings, thoughts or memories and not show the words to the rest of the class. Students will use their words as inspiration to make a two-dimensional visual image. Students will take a digital photograph of their completed images and send it as an attachment to a randomly selected classmate for their personal interpretation. The students who receive the images will, in turn, write five adjectives that describe how they feel about the image and send it back to the students who produced the image. A discussion on intentions versus personal interpretations will conclude the project.
Reflect upon their home environments or a chosen personal place
Choose and write five adjectives that correspond to their feelings, thoughts and memories that they associate with their chosen place.
Use their written adjectives as a guide in the creation of a two-dimensional images made from collage and mixed media techniques.
Take a digital photograph of their completed works and have their image sent as an
e-mail attachment to randomly selected classmate for a personal interpretation..
Randomly receive an image from a classmate and write five adjectives they feel describe the digital image and send their adjectives back to the image maker.
Compare their personal interpretation against those of the image makers and discuss agreements and differences between the image maker’s intentions and the reaction of the viewer.
· Mate board for use as backing material
· Collage items – magazines, postcards, printed material
· Acrylic paints
· Glue or matte medium
· Scissors or utility knives
· Colored pencils
· Digital camera
· Computers capable of downloading and sending digital images
Reproductions of how some modern and contemporary artists have conveyed feelings about their home environments or personal spaces through visual images. David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, William Wegman, Martin Ramirez, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Bonnard, Claude Monet all provide good examples of artists using personal spaces as inspiration for visual images.
Have examples of artists work on hand – either digital or printed images. Have writing material and art materials ready to begin the project.
Teaching: Introduction of the lesson:
An initial discussion about the artist’s intentions versus the personal interpretation of the viewer will begin the project. Students will be asked if it matters that the maker of a piece of artwork and the viewer share the same emotional response for a work of art. Is a work of art less successful if the artist’s intentions and the viewer opinions differ?
After the initial discussion about intentions versus opinions, students will look at a number of examples of artwork inspired by a sense of place and begin the project.
After the introduction, students will:
Reflect upon their home environments or a special space and select a personal place.
Write down five descriptive adjectives that relate to their selected place, and at this point not share them with the rest of the class.
Use their five chosen adjectives as source material to construct a work of art using mixed media material.
Have their finished works digitally photographed
Send their digital photographs as an e-mail attachment to a randomly selected classmate.
Receive, open and review the attachments and send it back to the sender with five descriptive adjectives of their own.
Display their images along with their initial adjectives and the adjectives from students who received the images.
Discuss the similarities and differences between the intentions of the artist and interpretations of the viewer. How and why does this occur? And is it a good or bad thing for galleries and museums to place descriptive placards next to pieces of artwork?
Critique / Evaluation / Assessment:
At the conclusion of the project, students will place their images, their five adjectives and the five adjectives from the receiving student up for review. Students will see if their feelings about their chosen space matched up or differed with what the receiving students felt. Both the making and the receiving students will be asked to comment on what they intended their work to convey and how the image was then interrupted. Further discussion can take place on whether students feel it is good or bad to have descriptive wall labels on work – such as those seen in many museums – or is it better to leave and interpretation up to the viewer?
Five class periods:
First class – introduction, student reflection and writing (adjectives)
Second class – thumbnail sketches, begin work on personal space images
Third class – continued work on images
Fourth class – digital photography of images, selection of students to receive images
Fifth class – student response to images – review, assessment and comparison
Students should be shown proper and safe cutting methods for using utility knives. There are no other safety concerns associated with this project.
Biography / Resources:
Roy Lichtenstein: Interiors
David Hockney: Large Interiors
Vincent Van Gogh: The Night Café in Place Lamartine in Arles
Martin Ramirez: Milwaukee Art Museum