9/10 Projects to share with supporting materials

Projects to Share

    Supporting materials for these project can be found on the Thinking Like an Artist TpT store. Click on the project's image for more information.

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    Who's Lying? Social Realism v. Propaganda

    Is there a real difference between documentation and persuasion in art? Do the intentions of the artist really matter? This project takes the power of images to manipulate us to task by exploring the differences, if any exist, between Social Realism, Socialist Realism and Propaganda.


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    Portraits and Culture

    We can learn a lot about a society by examining how its people are represented through portraiture. In this project students examine portraiture from many cultures, learn traditional portrait painting techinques, and paint a self portrait in the classic Renaissance style embedding clues to their own time and culture.



    Childrens Book Illustration

    For many of us our first real encounter with art was through childrens books.The fond memories of these books remain with us throughout life. What do the illustrators of these books know about how to entice, educate and delight us about the world through their art? Students explore these questions by studying illustrators and by creating their own pro-reading posters for the Elementary library.


    What's up with all this stuff?

    Why would serious artists waste their time painting stuff? What can we learn by examining the stuff they paint? This project looks at some still life painters who are catagorized into groups: Representational, Impressionistic, Expressionistic and Pop to see if the answer can be found. Students learn classic watercolor techniques and then make their own still life paintings in accordance with one of the above stylistic approaches. This project is designed as a hands-on transition to the IB requirements.


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    Exploding the Canvas

    The dual focus of this project is to introduce the concepts of "art movements" in art history and to explore painting that goes beyond the boundaries of the rectangular support. The dual focus of this project is to introduce the concepts of "art movements" in art history and to explore painting that goes beyond the boundaries of the rectangular support.


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    Let's get Emo

    This project asks students to explore whether or not it is possible to express human emotion through art. Here it is designed as a printmaking project, although it could be adapted to any media. The art history focus is on German Expressionism and its influences and Neo-Expressionism in Chinese contemporary art. There is an additional supporting presentation on "avoiding cliche."

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    Off the Wall

    This is an introduction to Performance and Installation art. The K&U introduces the concepts of Modernism and Post-Modernism and gives a very brief history of the development of these constucts. The stduio application asks for the students to take a public space and make it private using the ideas of performance or installation art.


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    Outsider Art

    This project explores the idea of "Vision." Students look at artists who operate outside the mainstream of the art world for inspiration. One of the main concepts for this project is "Can we judge Outsider Art using the same criteria we use for judging art made by trained artists?" Students are asked to include 100 found objects in their studio piece as a way to mirror the obsessive nature of much Outsider Art.

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    Death of Art - DADA and Everything After

    Students debate whether or not the artists of the Dada movement achieved their goal of destroying art. In the studio project they are charged with creating something that destroys art. Can it be done???



    Mundane to Marvelous

    Many artists find beauty in everyday objects. This project tasks students with making a sculpture that is as tall as they are from common cardboard. A video on artist Ann Weber is the hook. A study of artists who find the marvelous in the mundane also supports student development.

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    Discovering Art - The Search for Meaning

    Introducing the concepts of Form, Theme and Context, the video and accompanying assignment are designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of art and their critical writing skills. 




    The comics are a rich source for studying the hopes and fears of a culture. This project looks at the history of comics as an art form and how the content and style of the comics can give us clues about the culture in which they were made. This is also a drawing projects and students are introduced to figure drawing and receive significant practice using the website "Posemaniacs."


    Novelty Architecture

    What will the building they erect in your honor after your death look like? Students learn about Novelty Architecture and then design the facade of the building named after them when they're gone.

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    Picasso's Guitar - The Cubist Revolution in Sculpture

    Cubism influenced so much of modern art. In this sculpture project students explore how abstraction might convey meaning.

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    The Narrative in Art

    This project is a collaborative mural project. Students work in teams but also learn about and their primary assessment is on effective collaboration

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    Identity - Exploring Gender, Herstory and Heritage

    This project asks students to explore the aspects of their identity. A look at artists whose work is informed by their outsider status in society is the support presentation. Students then explore how using symbols in their work can reveal or disguise aspects of their identity.


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    Humorous Vessels

    Getting serious about humor in art. This ceramics project has students investigate artists who use humor in their work. Then, using clay, students make their own "humorous" vessel.

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    Anybody Could Do That

    Where is the ART? In this project students learn about Modernism and Formalism and its impact on art and culture. The studio project asks the question "Is it possible to create something that has meaning without any narrative, metaphorical or allegorical references?"