the latest presentation highlighted two artists: louise nevelson and martin puryear. i had specific guidelines to follow in teaching this, and i'm rather pleased with myself in how i accomplished this and and how the students interpreted it.
puryear's ladder for booker t. washington was our initial design inspiration. i gave the students a blank white sheet of good quality art paper, wood glue, an unlimited supply of popsicle sticks, toothpicks, and wooden coffee stirrers, and the directive to create a ladder any way they liked. (there was to be no writing or identification of the artist on their piece to facilitate the next step.)
part two was my favorite, though. louise nevelson was famous for, among other things, her assemblages of found wooden objects. i asked for student volunteers to work on assemblages from among all the art pieces that were created. all my volunteers were female and worked individually or sometimes in pairs to sort through and evaluate each piece. i suggested to each girl that she find the pieces that "spoke" to her in some way: rotate them, move them around, place them next to others, see if anything emerged. once satisfied, they named their assemblages and found places on the wall to mount them.
here's what they came up with:
|"the ladder of progression"|