Creating an art museum in your classroom is a great way to inspire cross-curricular learning. Your class’ museum can mimic the Guggenheim, your favorite local museum or a museum that is completely unique. In creating the museum, students will have the responsibility of:
- choosing a famous work of art to create and show
- performing research on the work itself and the artistic movement it belongs to
- “curating” their piece
- giving an oral presentation
Depending on the age of your students and the depth of the research, this activity can be as simple as finger painting Picasso to 3D replicas of The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.
Students can exercise various techniques by creating works in the styles of famous artists
Ask your students to choose their favorite work of art to recreate, or create an original piece in the same style. Teachers can provide a list of artwork to choose from if students are not familiar with many notable pieces. For more focused assignments, teachers can assign a historical time period from which the students can choose an art piece or movement. For example, in contemporary projects, constrained to the 20th century, students could select work from Picasso, Lichtenstein, Pollock, Dali, Monet, Warhol and many more.
Active research motivates students to learn independently
Your students should take on the responsibility of finding interesting and relevant information about the artist they chose. Their research can include the art genre, any historical or cultural events that may have impacted the artwork or any other exciting information that may have inspired the artist to create that particular peice — such as Frida Kahlo’s, “Self-Portrait as a Tehuana” after her and Diego Rivera’s divorce.
Alecia Eggers has created helpful, downloaded worksheets for her students to use while doing research on the living art museum. Teachers can make their own worksheets for students who are relatively new to research, or who just may need some extra guidance.
Students can present their research by curating their artwork
Once the artwork and research is completed, students can begin curating their projects. If feasible, teachers can take their class to a local museum to see how art is presented, engage in dialogue with staff or take a behind-the-scenes tour. If you can’t make it out to a museum, no biggie! Smithsonian Education offers guidelines on how students groups can set up their museum themselves by creating art labels, floor plans, ways to hang art, banners etc.
Schools may not have the resources to hold physical exhibitions, or simply want put on something cool and innovative. On Creatubbles, students can hold their own digital exhibitions. They can create a gallery that features each student’s work, along with the title and description. They share links to the gallery over social and via email, directly from Creatubbles. To extend the activity, teachers can create an open gallery and invite students all over the world to participate in the exhibition.
Students should be prepared to share any information found in their research or answer any questions that might be presented by their peers, or left in the comments section on Creatubbles by students in different countries.
Open your students’ creations up to a global audience by signing your class up to Creatubbles.
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