Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Art Criticism

What is art criticism?  Why do we need to know how to criticize art?  Isn't criticism a negative word? Is it important to be able to criticize our own art?  

In the video shown above, Gabriel Orozco provides a "Mirror Crit" for his students (and for us).  With little-to-no previous information about the artwork, he presents and discusses the work of his students as if each piece were his own.  

Questions for students: 
  1. What does this tell us about the importance of context?
  2. How would you feel if Gabriel discussed one of your artworks using the Mirror Crit?
  3. Do you understand your own work well enough to have it criticized?  
  4. What would you learn by having your work criticized?

#NipRockArt students will be using critical analysis to view and understand artworks throughout the remainder of the semester. 

Image provided by Ontario's Ministry of Education ~ Visual Arts Curriculum

Start looking at art with new eyes.  What do you see?  Do you appreciate the artwork, or is there something missing?  How can art analysis help you understand and value art in a new way?


Resource:  Google Art Project

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Giving Back

To help students understand the impact of their actions as well as the power of art, grades 9 through 11 are exploring the theme of Giving Back throughout the month of December.  Before they begin their holiday break, students will be looking for ways to use art to benefit others.

Each class will be working together to think of individuals or groups that can benefit from their help, and the focus will be on members of our local communities.

Students need to understand that they have the ability to make a difference, so we have been trying to understand how our actions can help us take a stand against our fear of trying new things.  By contributing, we show others that we can work together and share common concerns rather than holding back because we're not sure how others may judge us.

These studies align very well with our curriculum, which promotes connections between art production and social values:  [students will] " demonstrate an understanding of how art works reflect the society in which they were created, and of how they can affect both social and personal values". (Ontario Arts Curriculum)

We will be examining the work of a variety of artists (such as Callie Curry, profiled in the video above) who use their art to benefit others.  Look through *this Pinterest board* if you would like to browse through the work of other artists we'll discover this month.

Related link:  "Give 4 Christmas Challenge"


Tuesday, 2 December 2014


What a great time to begin our new unit in art.  #NipRockArt students will be exploring many possibilities for using art to help others this month.  We will focus on our communities, thinking of the ways that others experience the holiday season.  

If you have any suggestions for our students, please feel free to leave a comment on this post, or tweet to #NipRockArt.  We would love to hear your ideas.  



Thursday, 13 November 2014

Messing With Your Mind

Time to see if we can see things a bit differently.

A student wants to explore perspective soon, so these resources should be really useful...

The Ambassadors

Monday, 10 November 2014

Kyoko Visited Our Class Today

Grade 11 students are participating in an International Intercultural Mural Exchange with Japan (Japan Art Mile).  Kyoko Oyakawa visited our class today to help us learn about Japanese culture. 

Thank you, Kyoko!

What if We Don't Remember?

Remembrance Day is tomorrow.  Do you have a family member or friend who has fought for their country?  Is there a way for you to understand the significance of tomorrow's events?  What if you don't really understand why Remembrance Day is so important?  

Can art help to express the magnitude of sacrifice that was made throughout each battle, defeat and victory over the years?  Have a look at Paul Cummins' installation in London...

Can art change the way we see things?  How can an object symbolize something so much bigger than itself?  #NipRockArt students, your challenge is to respond to these questions as well as the art shown here.  How will you remember?  How will you honour others?

Extra resource:  The Royal Canadian Legion