Understanding and appreciating contemporary artworks requires many types of involvement from the viewer. A viewer's perception, reaction, prior experience, and reflective thinking work together to provide understanding and enjoyment. Goodrich 6th grade students recently developed skills to deepen their appreciation for any artworks they encounter.
Contemporary artists are often focusing on an idea in their artwork. They could also be "appropriating" content or style from another earlier well-known artist and adding a new twist, creating an homage, or making a humorous statement. Social commentary with political undertones are prevalent in Contemporary Art.
The February Chicago Art Institute Field Trip presented Goodrich students with a real world opportunity to put their new art critique skills into practice. To prepare, students learned the value of the "art critique", a method of approaching and evaluating an artwork in four stages; describe, analyze, interpret and evaluate. The teacher modeled the critique process. Students selected poster size art reproductions in the classroom. Individual students worked through their 4-stage art critiques, and then shared findings with the class in brief whole class presentations.
Our school was particularly fortunate to have three Institute trained docents navigate and instruct our students. Our focus was the Contemporary Art Collection. Goodrich Teachers were delighted to hear compliments from our docents regarding our student's notable critical thinking skills, fascinating viewpoints and unusual thoughts regarding the featured artworks.