Curating a Visual Arts Unit of Study Workshop                                                                                   July, 7-8, 2003

Art Specialist / David McGreevy & LCI Teaching Artist / John Toth



Line of Inquiry:

By looking and selecting artworks from US Design 1975-2000 (Kruger, Hoefler, Bierut, Trice, Friedman) what can you learn about personal and collective choices through the transformation of everyday items?



Barbara Kruger; “Cover Esquire Magazine”, 1992

Michael Bierut and Nicole Trice, “Light Years”

Dan Friedman, “Page From Cultural Geometry Catalog”

April Greiman, “Lux Pictures Web Animation”, 1997

Frank O. Ghery, “Residence”

Plunket and Kuhr, “Introductory Spread”


Idea to Explore:

·        What are the criteria for selecting works of art for a visual arts unit of study?

·        Explore ways of looking at the world.


Ideas discussed during planning:

·        Affects of Post Moderism on ways of knowing.

·        Explore connections to history through arts.

·        Explore editing process.

·        Explore process as a connection to historical literacy.

·        Use Gardners’ multiple intelligences as a framework for selecting works of art that speak to a variety of educational interests.

·        Create art activities that use transformation to affect the way we read and interpret meaning.

  • Use visual literacy tools: describe, analyze, interpret & reflect.

·        Explore transformation of everyday objects.

·        Investigate kinds of literacy that point to specific works of art.

·        Consider themes in US Design 1975-2000

o       Inventing Tradition

o       Celebrating the everyday

o       Redefining Expressionism

o       Expanding Modernism


July 7; 9:30 – 12:30

Activity 1:  How do our multiple senses affect the way we make choices?

·         Use initial interview to establish guidelines for personal and educational inquiry. (30 minutes) David & John

·         On large open journal: Document “ways of knowing”.

·         Use the list of “ways of knowing” as a guide for representing your senses.

·         Make a drawing, painting or sketch that represents our multiple senses. (60 minutes) David

·         In groups of three, look at and discuss each category and make a list of the qualities that are unique to each intelligence. (color, shape, symbols, concepts, etc.) (20 minutes)

·         Make a new group image that considers your discussion. (30 minutes)

·         Document each group’s presentation of what was discovered.  (30 minutes) John



·         Did you discover a bias in your aesthetics?

·         Did you work with or against taste?

·         What was your own sense of responsibility at representing a range of choices?


Materials: 18x24” white paper,  craypas, paint, brushes, buckets, water, paper, scissors, blue tape

July 7; 1:30 – 2:15


Activity 2:  Resource Center (David & John)

Investigate an object our symbol from the images you made in the classroom. 

Find information that relates to ways of knowing and representing an idea. (A political leader, poem, dance, math concept, etc. that relates to the ideas you investigated in your art work from the first activity.


July 7; 2:30 – 4:30

Activity 3:  (John)

·         Use the morning’s artworks as a collective database.

·        In your groups of three, make new images to represent our 7 levels of intelligence and transform them (color, shape, context, ect.) (60 minutes)


In Small Groups: (30 minutes)  (David)

How does the use of transformation inform the idea / image?

How did the use of color affect meaning?

How did your experience embrace multiple senses through the following:

Language, Poetry, Narratives

Logic, Math, Design

Kinesthetic, Dance, Sports


Spatial, Sculpture, Architecture, Navigation

Interpersonal, Spiritual, Intuition

Intrapersonal, Leadership


Materials: 18x24” white paper,  craypas, paint, brushes, buckets, water, paper, scissors, blue tape


July 8; 9:30 – 12:30

MUSEUM VISIT: Museum of Arts and Design  (David & John)

Explore the art works under study. (60 minutes)


Activity 4: (John)

·        In groups of six, find three or 4 works of art that speak to the ideas represented in your team works of art from the last activity. (30 minutes)


·        What questions did you bring with you as you began your investigation?

Activity 5: (David)

·         In the classroom, create a line of inquiry and an activity that explores a visual element that informs the work of art under study. (60 minutes)

Make a list of the criteria that was explored in creating your unit of study. (30 minutes)


July 8; 1:30 – 4:30

Activity 6: (David & John)

·        Each group (of 5) will implement their activity and present questions in front of one or two art works in the gallery.

·        Each group should present to another group of 5.

·        Document the critera that was used.



·        What were your criteria for selecting works of art?

·        How did your criterea for selecting art works change during this process?

·        How do these paintings address multiple modes of learning?

·         How did the work we do embrace issues of multiple literacy’s?


Contextual Resources:

US Design 1975-2000, Prestel Verlag / Denver Art Museum

            Howard Gardener, Multiple Intelligences: A Theory in Practice

Maxine Greene, “Blue Guitar”


Curating a Visual Arts Unit of Study Workshop                                                                                   July, 7-8, 2003

Art Specialist / David McGreevy & LCI Teaching Artist / John Toth


Supplies, Tools and Materials:


Drawing paper 18” x 24” White Manila (please no newsprint), 8 ½ x 11 white paper, . pencils, scissors, clear tape, craypas, paint, brushes (sm, med. Lg.), buckets, water, paper, scissors, blue tape



Initial Interview:


1)      How do you chose what you wear each day?

2)      What criteria do you have for selecting food that makes up your diet?

3)      If someone offered to give you any artwork in the world, what would it be? Why?

4)      Name one functional object that you own that is beautiful to you?

5)      Name artworks you have used in past units of study that have led to meaning and success. Why?

6)      What is your criterea for selecting art works in a unit of study?