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Conceptual Art: A Web Quest on Visual Imagery and Artists Who Use It

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1 Conceptual Art: A Web Quest on Visual Imagery and Artists Who Use It
Eighth Grade: Visuals Arts Marla DiCicco MCOM 510

2 Introduction Did you ever look at a piece of art and wonder what was going through the mind of the artist when they created it? Did you ever observe images in the art that gave you an idea as to what the art was about? Conceptual art is just that; art with a meaning or message behind it. It can be serious, humorous or even persuasive. It is the artist’s way of expressing his or her thoughts or views in other avenues.

3 Goals and Objectives Use technology to research about conceptual art, what it is and specific artists that correspond. Understand how visual imagery and symbols are used to communicate messages in art. Learn and utilize the steps to art interpretation. Reflect on conceptual art. Produce a conceptual work of art based around a specific theme.

4 Student Tasks You will do a Web Quest and answer questions based on the artist Keith Haring. look at a series of Keith Haring’s reproductions and answer questions based on conceptual clues. describe and analyze a work of art. evaluate a student’s conceptual piece. do a Web Quest on various conceptual artists and compare/contrast their styles/themes. produce a sketch of and then a conceptual painting based around one theme or message (studio time).

5 RQ&A: Research, Question & Answer
Click on the hyperlink below and research information about Keith Haring: Answer these questions about Haring and his style: What is conceptual art? How did the environment around Keith Haring affect/ inspire his art? Describe common images he drew/painted? How did he promote his work and become so famous?

6 Visual Imagery and Symbols
All conceptual artists use visual clues in their art to portray a theme, message or opinion. While some artists do combine text and image, many rely solely on visual images to get their idea across. Clues such as symbols, color association, gestures, size and composition are just a few used to communicate a message without actually spelling it out in words. The next few slides will give you a specific work of Keith Haring and ask you to think about the imagery used and how it aids in the communicative process.

7 Symbols A symbol is a picture that represents an idea. When seen, it triggers an affiliation with a person, place, thing or emotion. Identify only the symbols in these images. What do they make you think of? Record your answers. Image 1 Image 2

8 Color Associations Color is a powerful tool in art.
It can be used to make things appear realistic. In conceptual art, it is often used as a clue. In society, we make certain connections to ideas, emotions, gender, etc. with colors. Look at the images below. Think about how the colors are used to provide a clue to the viewer. Record your answers. Hint: The word underneath will help you narrow down the colors’ purpose. Image 1: Gender Image 2: Culture

9 Gestures A gesture in art is a body pose.
Body language has an important role in communication. Look at the images below and describe what action or emotion comes to mind when you see that gesture. Record your answers. Image 1 Image 2 Image 3

10 Size Matters Size can be used in an artwork to portray various ideas. It can portray differences in gender, age and status. When we normally think of age progression, a person gets taller as they get older. When we normally think of the differences between gender, stereotypically the male is larger than the female. Status refers to order of importance. The largest item is always considered to be more important.

11 Composition Composition in the visual arts is how things are arranged on a page. Here are some examples: To show an uncertain opinion, divide you composition equally in half. To show that a decision was made or an opinion is favored, divide the background so that the favored idea is larger. To show a popular person, place them in the center of the page and everyone else around them. To show someone that is secluded, place that person on one side of the page and everyone else on the opposite side.

12 Interpreting Art Interpretation- to determine the purpose, idea or message behind the artwork. There are two main steps to interpreting an artwork. 1. Describe- identify what you see in the picture (In this stage, you “point out the obvious”). 2. Analyze- discuss the hows, whys and because (In this stage, you have to justify what the clues in the artwork mean or symbolize).

13 An Example of Interpretation:
Describe: Two figures; one large, one small Gestures show movement Symbols represent a TV and a marionette No color, black and white Analyze: The larger figure is the one in power. Because the TV is placed on its head I can assume this “figure” represents the idea of television. The smaller figure is not specifically labeled as someone, but is small so could represent children in general or anyone that is inferior to the world of TV. The TV is “playing” or controlling the smaller figure, hence the marionette symbol. The color is minimal; black and white. This could represent the idea that there is no gray area; it is what it is. Possible Themes: The control television has on the world. Television is corrupting the youth of the world. The importance our society has placed on television.

14 Now You Try Look at this work by Keith Haring.
Interpret the work. Remember: there is no right or wrong answer as long as you can justify your reasoning with clues in the piece. Everyone has their own opinion! Think outside the box. Record your answers.

15 Search for Other Conceptual Art/Artists
Explore these sites: Anne Taintor: Salvador Dali: Barbara Kruger: Kara Walker: Observe the differences in styles between all of these conceptual artists. Try to interpret some of them. Get some ideas for your studio project. Record: Write down one artist that appealed to you and describe why.

16 Evaluate a Student’s Work
Now that you have seen various styles of conceptual art, you should have gotten a few ideas for your own piece. Before you start sketching, take a look at these examples of students’ work from the past. Select one and evaluate his/her work by: Identifying the image (state the number underneath the image) Interpreting the theme Giving on example of positive criticism (something you like). Giving one example of constructive criticism (something to improve on). Record your answers Image 2 Image 1

17 Develop a Theme Select a theme: Chose from the list of topics below.
Note: These are very broad topics and should be narrowed down to a specific theme. Themes- Politics, Drug/Violence Awareness, Education, Environmental Awareness Research these Web Quests to get ideas:

18 Develop A Sketch List/draw relating symbols, colors and gestures that will apply to your theme. Consider how your composition will be arranged and if size will be a determining factor in your piece. Draw a sketch of your idea on a separate sheet of paper and color it using colored pencils. Be aware that your final product does not have to look like Keith Haring’s style. Submit your sketch (You will complete the final painting in the next several days).

Grading Rubric CRITERIA FOR SKETCH/ FINAL PAINTING ADVANCED(4 pts) PROFICIENT(3 pts) BASIC(2 pts) BELOW BASIC(1 pt) Theme/Message Theme is original, creative and complex. Is clearly presented and supported by visual symbols. Student displays a high order of thinking through work. Theme is original and creative. May be simplistic, but still clearly seen. Theme is supported. Theme is common and basic. Some parts are unclear and not all images support. No definitive theme/hard to distinguish. Images do not support well. Visual Symbols Symbols are accurate and cleverly used to communicate theme to viewer. Colors evoke specific feelings, ideas or gender assignment at an advanced level and help in interpretation. Symbols aid in communicating theme. Appropriate colors are assigned to show meaning and assignment. Symbols are evident, may have needed more to communicate theme clearer. Color choice is arguably questionable. Symbols are not included or do not do the theme justice. Symbols are unclear. Color selection does not support the theme. Composition Composition is strong, was well thought out and planned. Placement of symbols and colors aid in supporting theme. Space is filled appropriately. Composition was planned. Placement compliments theme. Space is filled. Composition needs improvement. Some empty spaces stand out. Composition is weak. Huge empty spaces remain that create unwanted focal points. Craftsmanship Demonstrates a steady careful hand. Lines and edges are clean and straight. Color was applied in an even manner to make surface appear solid. Craftsmanship is good. Lines and edges are clean. Paint is applied evenly. Craftsmanship is of average quality. Coloring is uneven. Lines are not steady. Quality is poor. Color is unfinished. Lines are shaky and sloppy. CRITERIA FOR LAB EXCERCISES Computer RQ&A Completed all Web Quest tasks. Answered all questions from the PowerPoint accurately. Provided thoughtful insights and responses. Put forth tremendous effort. Showed individual thoughts and opinions through responses. Completed all Web Quest tasks. Answered all questions from the PowerPoint. Attempted the Web Quest and Power Point exercises. Did not put much thought into the answers; did not provide any unique thoughts. Did not attempt the Web Quest and Power Point exercises and/or did not complete. Did not put much thought into the answers; did not provide any unique thoughts.

20 Conclusion Submit all work to your teacher at the end of class.
The next time you see an artwork, really look at it; there may be a message hidden behind the images. Before you leave this period, be sure you completed the following tasks: Answered the four Web Quest questions about Keith Haring. Identified and answered questions based on the images presented for symbols, color association and gestures. Completed one interpretation of the image presented. Evaluated a student’s work. Described one of the conceptual artists that you found on the Web Quest that appealed to you. Developed a sketch of personal theme for the final project. Submit all work to your teacher at the end of class.

21 Works Cited

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