Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Art Appreciation

My girls love art.
It's sort of our family "thing".
We love art museums and art galleries.
We love creating art.
We love photography.

One of the things we have been spending a lot of time on this year is learning more about art.   I want my girls to be able to appreciate art not only visually, but emotionally.  I also want them to be able to discuss art both critically and appreciatively.  

We started with this book and the girls kept begging to read more, more, more.  There were so many fascinating stories in this book.  The one we became most fascinated by was Banksy, the mysterious artist from the UK.  No one knows who Banksy is, not even his parents.  We became so enthralled with Banksy that the girls did numerous online searches, studied his work and became real Banksy aficionados.  They also found out about a wonderful documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" which we were able to watch on Netflix.
a fascinating and fun book
 After we exhausted the stories and chased down several rabbit trails from 13 Art Mysteries... we discovered this wonderful series:
Come Look with Me are great books to get kids really looking and thinking about art

The Come Look with Me series is a fabulous resource to get kids really interacting and engaging with art.

 Each two page spread in these books contains a work of art on the left and then some questions about the work on the right.  The questions are very leading, open-ended questions designed to make you really look and think about the art in both an emotional and a critical sense.  There is also a brief description of the artist, as well as some history or commentary on the piece.  The combination of questions and information fueled many conversations...and lead to further exploration on-line of artists and their work.

The questions in the book really get kids (and adults) to look more deeply and critically at a painting, to start to relate the painting to things they know in their own life.  These books encourage you to not only view a painting but to engage in the painting emotionally...true art appreciation!

We were a little disappointed when we realized we had explored all of the books in this series.  While we wait for some more Art Mysteries books to come through ILL, we found this book:

 It ended up coming at the perfect time because Jason was home and he is a huge fan of Dali and Escher and was able to show and explain some of his favorite paintings by these two illusionists to the girls.