This Set contextualizes the lesson "Don't you feel it too?" developed by teaching artist Aki Shibata and Grace MN, a conceptual and behavorial art studio, for Walker Art Center's Art Today and Tomorrow: Teaching with Contemporary Art teacher workshop.
In this lesson, 6–12 grade students will learn about and experience Don’t you feel it too?, the practice of dancing out inner life in public, through a response to a work of art in a public space.
The complete lesson plan is attached as a PDF to the last slide in this Set.
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"Don't You Feel it, too?" is a lesson that teaches a practice for 6–12 grade students responding to art and public spaces through performance.
It is generated from two Big Ideas about contemporary art:
In the course of this lesson students will discuss the following key questions:
The Learning Goals for this lesson include the following.
This lesson begins in Sky Pesher, 2005, a site-specific artwork built into the sloping lawn just west of the Walker Art Center. Created by artist James Turrell, Sky Pesher, 2005 is an architectural space that welcomes visitors to take a seat, view the sky, and gain new perspective on the nature of light.
Questions for Discussion
Once you enter this work, take a seat and sit silently for a minute or two. Take several deep breaths as you experience the work.
1. What do you notice? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel in your body?
2. What do you notice about how light is used in this work?
3. If Turrell considers color, light, and sky as materials for his works, how large is the space this sculpture occupies?
4. What does this work remind you of?
5. How does occupying this work make you feel?
6. What types of places are used for meditation? How might this artwork inspire introspection? How might it inspire movement?
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You may also print out this teaching poster exploring the concept of space in contemporary art using Sky Pesher, 2005 as an example.
Click on the MORE INFO button below to preview the resource, then navigate using the "NEXT" button to download the PDF of this poster.
Dan Graham's Two-way Mirror Punched Steel Hedge Labyrinth located in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden could also provide a context for this lesson.
Since the mid-1960s, conceptual artist Dan Graham has been investigating how spaces affect human behavior, how art and audiences are connected, and the ways works of art are linked to their physical, economic, and social contexts. Graham's work is often said to exist between the worlds of art and architecture. For the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden he created a large geometric maze with walls that provide both transparent and reflective surfaces. As we interact with the sculpture we both see and are seen, viewing the surrounding environment and our own reflections. The piece conjures up questions about inside and outside, about public and private spaces, and—as the reflective surfaces respond to the motion of clouds and sun—about nature and culture.
Other possible art or spaces in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden that could provide a starting point for this lesson include:
Brower Hatcher, Prophecy of the Ancients, 1988
Trained in engineering and industrial design, Brower Hatcher also studied sculpture. In 1972 he began work on a series of steel sculptures that incorporated domed roofs. Hatcher makes sculptures that are a cross between sophisticated puzzles for the mind and visionary architecture. His stainless-steel mesh structures seem both whimsical and high tech, filled with floating objects such as turtles, tables, chairs, ladders, numbers, letters, and books. Prophecy of the Ancients was commissioned especially for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and consists of a futuristic wire mesh dome resting on six classical columns. An assortment of disparate objects that suggest cultures both past and present are suspended within the structure of the steel dome. The structure of the dome itself suggests complex constellations or a visual model of space. With this sculpture the artist provides an environment for meditation and thought.
Over the 2009 and 2010 school years the Walker Art Center worked with teachers and students from Minneapolis Public Schools to develop model lessons for teaching with contemporary art for middle and high school students using works from the Walker's collections. This Set and others identified "Art Today and Tomorrow" are the result of this partnership and collaboration.
Art Today and Tomorrow is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Walker School Programs are supported by the Pentair Foundation and Xcel Energy Foundation.