When faced with an unfamiliar artwork, students often will say they "don't get it" and simply give up on trying to understand the question of "Why is this art?".
This ArtsConnectEd set was created for high school students and teachers as one way to begin the conversation about making meaningful connections to works of contemporary art.
In this set students will be asked to reflect on their own personal and cultural experiences as a "jumping off" point to find meaning in a work of art. The study of cultural experiences shaping art making can be a study in and of itself, or the set can be used with the suggested photography assignment as well. Teachers may find this resource to be most useful as a combination of classroom teaching tool and independent student study, but this set may also be adapted as a pre- or post- museum visit activity.
Before beginning, teachers are strongly encouraged to use the Visual Thinking Strategies technique as a means of encouraging critical thinking and discussion when looking at each artwork.
Theme in life: we all seek meaning in our lives
Theme in life and art: art can express shared human experiences or have individual meaning to the artist
Essential inquiry question: How do personal and cultural experiences influence what an artist creates?