Artwork Selection

  1. Artwork Selection: Select four works of art that visually explore the question: What is art?
    • The three artworks should be made of different media, illustrate different subjects, and reflect different time periods and cultures.
    • Your artwork selection must reflect multiple perspectives on the question rather than a single definition.
  2. Research: Conduct research on your selected artworks, the artists who made them, and their cultural context.
    • Research how learning in the visual arts and exploring varied definitions of what art is, can help students learn the value of understanding and discussing different perspectives.
    • Compile a list of at least three scholarly resources to reflect your research. Include at least two scholarly sources in addition to the course text.
  3. Create an online art exhibition: Create an art exhibition that summarizes your research and includes relevant information about the works of art. Include the following pages:
    • Page one // IntroductionWrite an introduction (150-250 words) that explains a definition of art that incorporates multiple perspectives. 
    • Pages two – four // What is Art?: Make a separate page for each of your selected works of art. Include the following:
      • An image of the artwork, identify each work of art including the artist name, title, date, current location (museum, gallery, private collection)
      • For each work of art, write a short summary (at least 150 words) that discusses the following:
        • What is the art historical context of the artwork (when, where, why was it made)?
        • What does the artwork reflect about the question What is Art?
        • What is the message and/or function of the artwork?
        • How are the principles of art are used to organize the formal elements of the artwork in order to reflect that meaning and/or function of the artwork?
      • The formal qualities of artworks include:
        • Elements of Art: line, color, value, space, texture, shape, and form
        • Principles of Design: balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity
      • The following resources provide examples of how to discuss and write about works of art to address their art historical context, how artworks reflect different perspectives on the question What is Art?, and the role of the elements of art and principles of design in every artwork’s composition.
        • Elements of Art (open in new window)
        • Introduction to Art Historical Analysis  (open in new window)
        • How To Do Visual (Formal) Analysis (00:09:52) (open in new window)
        • Introducing Formal Analysis: Landscape (00:04:50) (opens in new window)
    • Page five // Connections to the Elementary Classroom: Address the following prompts in at least 150 words.  
      • How does learning in the visual arts and exploring varied definitions of what art is, help students learn the value of understanding and discussing different perspectives?
      • Include at least one scholarly/authoritative source in addition to course resources to support your response.
    • Page six // Bibliography: Compile a list of resources to reflect your research about your selected works of art, connections to the elementary classroom, and the value of exploring differing perspectives about what art can be.
      • Include at least three scholarly resources.

Elements of art


Introduction to art historical analysis


  • Citation Requirements: At least 4 authoritative or scholarly source in addition to our course resources

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