Monday, July 12, 2010

Huzzah! Extraordinary Transportation!

Alexander Calder, Streetcar

This morning, at 10:30 AM, the curse was broken. Adrienne and I finally gave a student tour after three no-show groups! And it was a success! The group was pretty rambunctious, but they really got into all the artworks we were exploring. We started out with Calder’s Streetcar. This was a great piece to begin with because it engaged the students so quickly! It was hanging from the ceiling, so Adrienne had the students walk around in a circle. Because they were generating an air current, the mobile started to move! I’ve noticed that by getting the students up and moving with the artwork, students feel more involved and are more willing to answer questions.

Egyptian Model Boat

Next we moved to the Egyptian model boat and mummy case. I swear, anytime you involve dead bodies or gruesome pictures, 5th grade boys perk right up. After explaining the Egyptian afterlife to the group, one boy raised his hand and said, “I don’t mean to sound offensive, but that just sounds silly.” It was one of those questions I was dreading answering, but I think I handled it well. I knew at one point during this internship someone would ask “Why is this piece considered art?”or “why would someone believe that?”, and I’ll admit that I was not looking forward to answering them. But once I explained that different cultures view the world differently, the boy seemed to nod and accept my answer. Phew. Later on during the studio portion of the tour, that boy told the whole group that the Egyptian pieces were his favorite! Success.

The other pieces Adrienne and I used were the Kumara riding on a peacock sculpture, a Venice painting by Marieschi, a hippogriff sculpture (eliciting plenty of Harry Potter comments), and Monet’s London Train Series. Overall the tour went very well! The students seemed to enjoy it and Adrienne and I didn’t make any catastrophic mistakes.

Tomorrow is our first ABCs tour and I’m really excited!! We’ll be discussing animals in all different types of art. Hopefully it’s just as EXTRAORDINARY as today’s tour!

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