|Grade span:||3 to 12|
|Duration:||Two to three 45-minute sessions|
Description:This lesson is one example of how to introduce students to arts activities that exemplify the practice of Involving Families and Communities. Public art occupies a prominent place in the development of communities. This project asks students to think in three dimensions as they create a sculpture to reflect community themes.
- Understand how working with sculpture is different from two-dimensional art
- Collect items that reflect community themes in the making of a sculpture
- Work collaboratively to develop sculptural art related to themes in the community
- Extend their work by translating their sculpture to a "living sculpture" that takes one important element of community life and "freezes" it in a moment in time
- Masking and Scotch tape, glue sticks, stapler, hammer and nails (materials to put things together)
- Tape measure
- Straight edge (metal ruler)
- Drop cloth
- Prepare the space where the sculpture will be created and stored between sessions.
- Assemble a collection of objects that may inspire students as they search for items to include in their sculpture.
- Have newspaper clippings and photographs of public art projects in your community.
- Sculpture is a three-dimensional art form, and certain types of sculptures are known as statues. Statues are recognizable images of persons or animals.
- Sculptures are created by different artistic techniques: carved, chiseled, modeled, cast, or constructed. They can be made of many different materials such as wood, stone, clay, metal, sand, ice, and even balloons. They are frequently abstract.
- Sculptures express ideas. An idea that organizes a piece of art is sometimes called a theme. Themes can be many things, like nature, cities, wildlife, religion, tradition, or fun.
- Wonderful examples of sculpture can be found throughout the world. Sculpture has been an important part of culture since ancient times.
- Four types of processes are used in sculpture: subtraction, substitution, addition, and manipulation.
- Most people are familiar with artists using traditional materials to paint and sculpt with, such as oil paint, stone, and clay. However, many contemporary artists have been known to use unconventional art materials. Some artists use everyday objects like toothpicks, pencils, and bottles to create beautiful sculptures. In this way, unusual materials are used to create a piece of art.
- Many people create sculptures from found objects such as recycled materials. These can be any thing a person finds around the house, garden, classroom, or even the junkyard.
- If this piece of art is on display where people will see it as they travel through the city, it is called public art. Public art helps people associate with the themes of a community and to share the experiences of the themes expressed in those objects of art.
What to Do:Session 1: Students Develop a Community Sculpture (may take more than one session)
- Engage the class in a discussion of their previous experience of sculpture and statues. Why do communities create statues? Where have students seen sculptures displayed as "public art"? Show photographs of prominent public art or other famous examples. Why is public art important for communities? List public art that students are familiar with? Which are statues and which and sculptures? What is the difference?
- Explain that the class is going to undertake the act of creating a piece of public art for the community. "We are forming a team of artists to create a sculpture. The process will be to collect materials and objects from our immediate environment that reflect and represent the community from which we come -- objects and materials that we can find in this room, in our personal belongings and in the surrounding environment."
- Once students have assembled a collection of items, begin the process of taking an inventory and seeing what types of connections are being made with the objects. What should be added? Subtracted? Does one object just not fit with all the others? If so, what might be a good substitute? Are some objects able to be modified from its original shape? How do they reflect the community?
- Begin the process of gluing, nailing, stapling and connecting the objects into a sculpture. Allow this to unfold with students taking responsibility for seeing ways in which the object they collected can be added to the sculpture.
- Now that the sculpture is finished, what does it say about the community? What are the themes that are suggested by the amalgamation of objects into one cohesive unit. What would you suggest as a title for the sculpture?
- Ask each student to write a paragraph to talk about the theme of the sculpture. How do the objects that students collected reflect the community in which they are members? What do the objects suggest as connections to the community and the ways in which the objects were created or manufactured?
- Review the definitions that contrast sculpture with statue. A statue is a sculpture that is realistic, usually representing the human form. Sculpture is a broader term, because many sculptures are less recognizable, and therefore invite interpretation. They are "abstract."
- Invite the class to consider how the idea of their class sculpture could be represented as a statue. Discuss the idea that dancers and actors in the theatre create a kind of sculpture with their bodies called a tableau.
- Have students break into teams of 3-4 persons to brainstorm the creation of a living tableau. This is one still image, a frozen moment in which they will strike a pose with their bodies to communicate a living representation of idea or feeling that the found object sculpture evokes.
- Have each team present its tableau. Ask students to observe carefully and comment only on what they see without rushing to interpret the meaning. The team that creates the tableau explains how they made the choices of positioning their bodies.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Students actively seek objects that represent community values and can articulate what those connections are in the sculpture they put together
- Students collaborate on constructing the sculpture
- Students write a well constructed paragraph to analyze the themes of the class sculpture
- Students work in teams to interpret the themes of the sculpture to create a tableau with the frozen body pose of their group