One of the facets of art education I am the most passionate about is art appreciation. Art appreciation teaches students how to think, communicate and evaluate visually. Unlike language, images are universal. I feel that it is vitally important to get students to not only look at a variety of images but get them to describe, analyze, interpret and evaluate what they are seeing (Feldman Model). According to the Artful Citizen, Three Year Report, studies prove that students achieve greater academic success when they have a better understanding of visual images. Students also exhibit greater growth in core subjects, math and reading, while also showing increased social-emotional awareness (2005).
Abstract art is difficult for many adults to understand but today we tackled one of the greats, Kandinsky. Kandinsky, the great Russian abstract painter, is the subject of the children’s book, The Noisy Paint Box. The book is amazing, and explains how Kandinsky saw colors, shapes and lines when he listened to music. In true Kandinsky fashion, we listened to sounds different instruments make, then created the lines and shapes that reflected those sounds. It was a lot of fun to see the what each student created.
Students created these masterpieces while listening to Richard Wagner’s, Lohengrin (Prelude).