CyberMuse Teachers - Lesson Plans
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Lesson Plan Activity:
Exploring process art: Grade 7-8
American artists from the 60?s and 70?s questioned the very nature of what art is, and what it could be made of, as well as the process of making it. By creating a work using unconventional materials from everyday life, students will explore process art.
Students will experiment with gravity and chance to create a composition, and study how the repetition of certain elements and principles of design are used to create formal balance (symmetry) and informal balance (asymmetry) in compositions.
Students will work in groups and experiment with gravity, chance and rhythm to produce a specific effect in their artwork.
Students will use grade-appropriate vocabulary and art terminology.
Cross Curriculum Links:
This lesson plan also explores the subject areas of? Language Arts.
4 40-minute periods
Look & Discuss
Present and discuss a selection of the 10-featured artworks in the Artwork & Artists slideshow with your class.
(Tabs will provide you with information on the theme, composition, interpretation and the artist.)
A downloadable Presentation that you can add to or manipulate will also help share these images in your classroom.
Context: In the 60?s and 70?s, American artists abandoned traditional processes and traditional art materials for unconventional materials from everyday life. They even questioned the very concept of what an artwork should look like. Among the emerging new movements, ?process art? focused on the creation process and introduced the notion of the ephemeral and the transitory. Once a fixed and lasting icon, the work of art was now considered a process. Artists began using unconventional materials, allowing gravity and chance to shape the overall form of their work. They created forms by cutting, fixing, hanging and dropping materials to create interesting compositions.
Discuss: Discuss with the students the concept of ?process art? by looking at the work by Robert Morris called Untitled (254 pieces of felt). What is the role of chance in creating a composition in process art? Does a work of art need to be fixed and permanent?
- rubber bands of various sizes
- toilet paper
- kitchen paper
- caps and hats
- various plain and neutral fabrics cut in different sizes
- wooden skewers
- kitchen paper
- dead leaves
- Additional materials: A board with nails, drawing pins or hooks and Velcro tape to hang objects A place where students can drop their objects A digital camera to take snapshots of ephemeral works (optional)
- Ask students to collect some interesting inexpensive materials that react to gravity in their immediate environment (at school or at home).
- Have them think about materials that could sag, stretch, fold, or be shredded, cut, hung, piled up, compressed or dropped. See examples in the list of materials above.
Divide the class into groups of four students. Ask each group to think about the materials they will use. Each group should experiment with at least two different types of materials. For example, material that does not need to be cut (rubber bands) and a material that must be cut in various forms (fabric).
Have students think about and experiment with the particular qualities of each material to create an interesting composition. The quality of each material will shape the overall form or composition of the work. For example, rubber bands could be thrown in the air or hung on nails attached to a board. Students should be sensitive to the role of gravity and chance in the execution of these works and be conscious of creating symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions.
Once the project is completed, invite groups to transform the artworks of other groups. This will encourage a deeper exploration of the physical qualities of these materials.
Immortalize these ephemeral works of art by taking digital snapshots.
Take it Further
Ask each group of students to write an extended label about the process of making the work of art and the reason for their choice of materials.
The student demonstrates limited understanding of how the repetition of the elements of design is used to create formal and informal balance in compositions.
The student demonstrates some understanding of how the repetition of the elements of design is used to create formal and informal balance in compositions.
The student demonstrates a thorough understanding of how the repetition of the elements of design is used to create formal and informal balance in compositions.
The student contributes few ideas to his/her group. The student experiments very little with gravity, chance and rhythm, producing no specific effect in their artwork.
The student contributes ideas to his/her group. The student experiments with gravity, chance and rhythm, producing a specific effect in their artwork.
The student actively contributes several ideas to his/her group. The student experiments thoroughly with gravity, chance and rhythm, clearly producing a specific effect in their artwork.
The student uses limited grade-appropriate vocabulary and art terminology.
The student uses grade- appropriate vocabulary and art terminology.
The student clearly and confidently uses grade-appropriate vocabulary and art terminology.