Henry Matisse, Purple Robe and Anemones, 1937.
Exploratory Block classes (EBs) are self-selected multi-aged (K-2) elective choices offered three times per school year. One, titled "Fantastic Forgeries" or "The Art of the Counterfeit", allowed participants to take on the roles of costume and scenery designers, graphic artists, set directors and digital photographers.
After a brief art appreciation lesson, the children would agree and select as a group a desired piece from a collection of art prints to work on. Roles for that day would be mutually agreed upon as well then rotated during each bi weekly meeting day.
From there, a frenzy of activity happens with choosing costumes, back drops and other embellishments. The photographer captures the scene with assistance from the set director.
After an initial shoot, small groups critique their own work, may make lighting and composition changes or add other enhancements in the computer with help.
"The King of Pop Art", Andy Warhol. (above) Female Head and Stamps, c. 1959 and (below) two versions of Sam, details from 25 Cats Named Sam, 1954.
Unknown title of a girl inside of a red flower is an homage to our beloved former SK Art teacher, Tracy Gallup, who is also a renowned sculptor, author and illustrator of Room of Many Questions and Stone Crazy books among others.
Peter Paul Rubens. Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria, c. 1606.
Some pieces of artwork were so popular, multiple groups successfully attempted forgeries of the same print.
Abstract subject matter (below) Joan Miro. The Gold of the Azure, 1967 was effectively duplicated using a combination of various kinds of medium. Cut and colored paper were substituted for oil paints. Paint drizzles were dabbled with a collaborative effort of Sharpies.
(above) Jackson Pollack. Number 14: Grey, 1948.
(below) Joan Miro. Singing Fish, 1972.
Ingenuity and creativity were used in abundance as displayed in this shot of Wayne Thiebaud's Wedding Cake, 1962. Throughout the EB sessions, students were asked to use only what was already available in the classroom and no pre-stocking of materials occurred beforehand.
Some ideas were attempted and abandoned for much better ones.
Georgia O'Keeffe. Summer Days, 1936.
Some of the goals and skills that were incorporated into this EB:
- art/artist appreciation
- art history and impact on society
- visual discrimination
- use of technology
- risk taking
- role playing/dramatic play
- shared tasks/responsibility
Museum curators should be a bit concerned about their collections!