Art is one of those classes where students either love it or hate it. Like gym and music, for some students it’s the break of the day. For others, it’s the class to suffer through. As an art teacher, I want all students to get at least an appreciation for art out of any class I teach. Art shouldn’t just be for children that have a talent or interest in creating art. Art surrounds us all day, from our walls to billboards to the design of a car or motorcycle. An appreciation of art, allows us to enjoy life a bit more.
The question has always been, how to convey an appreciation of art as painlessly as possible. Art history can be deadly dull. I decided for a recent lesson to combine historic paintings, and cats. The inspiration was a pile of donated books. One was a copy of well known paintings, the other a general cat book. Since cutting up books to make art is “hot” right now, I thought why not try it with the kids.
Each child was allowed to choose a painting they liked. Then they picked a cat that they felt would fit in the painting. They had to explain why that cat belonged in that painting (and the history of the painting). The result was some great fun, with just scissors and paste. Here are some of my favorites from the classes I taught. .
The student felt this cat was “as beautiful as Venus”
The bird looked so real the student felt “a real cat might try to catch the painted bird.”
“This cat plays with all the dangling things.”
“This cat matches her owner, and is a good listener”
- There is a Stranger in the House or Appreciation of Art? (reflectionsinapuddle.wordpress.com)
- The Scream: A brief look at the history of the famous painting (vancouversun.com)