Art education is a very broad term when it comes to educating students about the arts. This includes photography, graphic design, visual, and book arts. This is a lot to cover and include in lessons during a school year. My goal is to expose my students to various types of art throughout the course of their elementary years with me. There are a few go-to artists I teach my students about every school year because I feel they encompass what it means to be a fine artist. Below is a list of artists I include each year in all of my lessons. Some of them I have briefly written about because, not only are they my favorite, but there is something about each of these artists I believe my students can relate to.
My Go-to Artists
Cindy Sherman– Sherman is an American photographer and film director. She’s most famous for portraits of herself dressed as other roles or characters such as an author, director, make-up artist, hairstylist, and model. Cindy Sherman’s photography is great inspiration for a photography lesson in the classroom. Also, her success as a woman shows students and young ladies that not all artist are men and only painters; there is a place for women in the art world as well. In today’s age children and even adults take selfies or download apps that filter or change our faces into animals or another person.
Frida Kahlo– Frida’s work moves and motivates me more than any other artist known to man! I love and admire her confidence as a woman and her outlook on life regardless of the unfortunate events that have happened to her. I love showing some of her portraits to my students when we are learning about self-portraiture and how to convey an autobiography in the picture with visual imagery. She is also a major topic during Hispanic Heritage Month in my art room.
Andy Warhol– Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement, which is one of my students’ favorite art eras to learn about each year. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisements which became more popular in the 1960’s. Warhol used a variety of media, including painting, silk screen printing, photography, film, and sculpture and all of those are visible in his artwork. Warhol’s work has inspiration behind many printmaking and advertisement lessons I do with my fourth and fifth-grade students each year.
Even though these aren’t all of the artist I teach my students about, I feel that these artists listed and described are so relatable to my students. Their artworks are a huge inspiration behind numerous art lessons I have created to engage my students and to incorporate pop culture.
Vincent van Gogh
If you could incorporate an artist inspired lesson (reading, writing prompt, arts and craft activity) into your grade level classroom who would it be? Why?