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Do Now #4: Interpreting Art

| September 30, 2011 | 0 Comments
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Image courtesy of www.JoshKeyes.net

Image courtesy of www.JoshKeyes.net


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

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Do Now

The painting above is by Josh Keyes. Look at it closely and make connections between what you see, how it makes you feel, and what it makes you think about. What message do you think this painting conveys?

Intro

Reading a piece of contemporary art is simple and fun, like solving a puzzle. All it takes is a bit of observation, attention to detail, and sensitivity to your own gut feelings and reactions. The best part about art is that it asks questions, but there is never one right answer. Art speaks to us as individuals, and our own personal histories inform our interpretations just as much as the artists’ intentions for the work.

When viewing an artwork for the first time, give it some time to sink in. While developing your interpretation, look closely and carefully, recognize your emotional responses, and consider the subject and symbols you see. Is the image timeless, or representative of a specific era? Are the subjects symbolic? Does the image inspire positive or negative feelings, or both? As with any piece of media, art should be analyzed and critiqued to discover its intended audience, meaningfulness, and cultural relevance.

Resource

Gallery Crawl episode on Natural Selection exhibition at Swarm Gallery in Oakland, CA
View the Gallery Crawl video about Natural Selection, an exhibition at Swarm Gallery in Oakland, CA featuring work by three artists concerned with humans’ relationships to the natural world: Josh Keyes, Vaughn Bell, and Reenie Charriere. In Josh Keyes’s paintings, he isolates wild animals in man-made environments, hinting at the natural world’s potentially dystopian future. Vaughn Bell creates “personal biospheres,” and Reenie Charriere uses detritus collected from the Oakland Estuary to build her installation art. Inspire your students to create projects that communicate their own relationships to nature. Follow-up with activities and discussion topics listed in the related Educator Guide.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


More Resources for Follow-up Lessons

Gallery Crawl – The Gleaners
Discover the artist residency program at SF Recology and more projects using recycled materials.

Spark – Jim Denevan
Watch Jim Denevan create enormous, ephemeral sand drawings on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach to inspire students’ own explorations of artistic collaborations with nature.

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Category: Arts, Do Now

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About the Author ()

Kristin Farr is KQED's Arts Education Manager. She is the creator and producer of the Emmy Award-winning video series, Art School, which brings audiences into artists' studios to learn about contemporary art, and engages learners with ideas for new ways to get creative. She is also an artist and a contributing editor for Juxtapoz Magazine.