>I had my first day of teaching on Monday and it was so incredibly wonderful and refreshing. Don’t get me wrong I love my job at the YMCA, but it is a little monotonous…so a break from the norm was so great. I taught 2 classes at Hillcrest High School and absolutely loved it. I was a little nervous about teaching high schoolers, but it really turned out ok. They were very respectful and responded well to the “session.” Ok..so I’m not really TEACHING them anthing huge…but I do think it’s an important exercise. Every class we go through four pieces of modern art. I give them 5 minutes to sketch, or take visual notes. This allows them to take down the important things in the image. The we discuss the work for 5 minutes. They tell me what they think is going on in the image and why (what do they see in the image that leads them to their opinion).
I think this is an amazing exercise because there is no right or wrong answer and it allows everyone to have a voice about art. A lot of times art is open for interpretation and I think giving high schoolers a voice is really important and it helps reinforce their creativity and thought pattern.
The other great thing about these classes is that I don’t need to know anything specific about the work. I’m not there to lecture on the history of the work or tell them what the artist was aiming for. I am there to simply create conversation about some great contemporary works of art.
So here are some of the works we looked at the first week:
Cindy Sherman. “Untitled Film Still”
Unsure of correct title, I’ll update it later!
Kelli Connell. Giggle. 2002
Xinpeng Chen. Self Portrait. 2004
Pablo Picasso. Weeping Woman. 1937
Femme en pleurs
The theme for Week 1 is “Be.” The use of self portraits is great for this becaues it shows the students how the artist is wanting to portray themselves to the viewer.
If you have any questions or ideas just give me a shout!