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Art Inquiry

by
Mary Erickson
This presentation shows how using
an inquiry strategy can help
students:
I. Find meaningful connections between viewing
art and making art.
II. Develop skills identified in the National Core
Visual Arts Standards.
III. Develop English Language Arts skills
identified in the Common Core Standards.
Inquiry Strategy
Two mascots represent the complementary processes of an
inquiry strategy.

Questor is a viewer, Jack is an artist,


curious about artworks. jumping for new art
ideas.
@Tempe Center for the Arts and Mary Erickson, 2014
www..tempe.gov/TCAeducation
Part I:
Using an inquiry strategy helps
students find meaningful
connections between viewing art
and making art.
This strategy
starts with four
viewer’s
questions
What Can I See? What Can I Learn about
the Artist’s
the Artist’s Life
Lifeand Times?
& Times? (Questor
I See? What Can I Learn about
Questions) you
and your students
can ask about any
artwork, in any
How Does it Compare What Does it Mean?
to Other Artworks? sequence.
The four viewer’s
questions correlate
with four artist
questions (Jack
What Choices will I What Ideas Can I Get from
Make in My Own Artwork? theMyArtist’s
Own LifeLife
and& Times? Questions) you
Times?See? What Can I Learn about
and your students
can ask, in any
sequence, about
their own art
What Ideas Can I Get
from Looking at Other Art?
What Do I Want to
Achieve with My Art? making.
Questor and Jack’s four very
broad questions can be broken
into general starter questions to
initiate further inquiry.
How well
students
understand or
appreciate an
artwork can
depend on how
carefully they
Text look at it.
What Can I See in Students’
the Artwork? What Choices Will I artworks look as
Make in My Artwork? they do because
of their choices.
KE
These are
general
questions
you can ask
What people, places, or SUBJECT
about any
Will my artwork have subject
things, if any, are shown in MATTER
matter?
artwork to
this artwork? help direct
What one or two elements DESIGN What one or two elements of
your
(line, shape, light & dark,
color, texture, mass, space,
Text
ELEMENTS design is most important for students’
or other) are most important
the success of my artwork? inquiry
in this artwork? Why? through
What design principles can I
How did the artist use design DESIGN use to organize the
careful
principles to organize PRINCIPLES
elements into an interesting observation
elements within this
artwork?
and unified composition? and decision
making.
(Continued on next slide)
(Continued from preceding slide) These, too,
are general
questions
you can ask
What tools, materials, and about any
What can I see in the
artwork that shows the
processes am I artwork to
TECHNICAL considering?
tools, materials, or process
FEATURES
help direct
the artist used to make it?
your
What might I be missing if I
Text
What qualities in my students’
artwork might be difficult
am not looking at the actual
REPRODUCTION to capture in a inquiry
artwork but at a
reproduction?
reproduction (or example, through
if it were reproduced careful
online or in a photograph
How is this artwork
or scan). observation
protected from harm? Has
its condition deteriorated
CARE and decision
How can I best present and
over time?
preserve my artwork?
making.
Sometimes
students need
information about
where and when an
artist made an
artwork to make
sense of it.
Text
Students can get
What Can I Learn Get from My Own art ideas from
about the Life and Life and Times? many sources,
Times of the Artist? including their own
life experiences.
What Ideas Can I
What are/were the personal What art ideas can I get These are
ARTIST’S LIFE
background and life from my own personal or general
family experiences?
experiences of the artist? questions
What are/was the natural or PHYSICAL What ideas might I get you can ask
built environment/s like where ENVIRONMENT from my physical about any
the artist lives/lived and environment?
works/worked? artwork to
What is the artist’s culture? CULTURE
Text
What ideas might I get help direct
What do/did people think, from my culture? your
believe, and do in that culture?
Can I get ideas from my art students’
What art training, traditions,
ARTWORLD
classes, fellow art contextual
movements, and expectations
surround/ed the artist?
students, art teachers, or inquiry.
maybe museum visits?
What function or purpose Will my work have a
does/did this artwork serve? FUNCTION function? If so, what
For whom? function?
Finding connections
with other artworks
can bring new
perspectives to any
artwork.

Students can get


ideas for their own
How Does this What Ideas Can I art by exploring
Artwork Compare Get from Looking at artworks by other
with Other Other Art? artists.
Artworks?
These are
general
How is this artwork similar in
questions
Do I want my artwork to be
style to other artworks made STYLE similar in style to my other
you can ask
in the same context (by the artworks or artworks other about any
same artist, within his/her
movement, or within her/his
artists have made? artwork to
culture)? Text help direct
How has my artwork been your
What earlier artists or INFLUENCE
artworks influenced this
influenced by other artists students’
or their work?
artist? inquiry into
THEME
What other artist has relationship
What other artworks can be
associated with the theme
expresses a big idea
similar to the theme in
s among
underlying this artwork? which I am interested? artworks.
Interpretation is a
process of finding
meaning in an artwork
and supporting one’s
conclusion with
evidence.

Students may have


clear ideas about
what they want to do
What Does this Achieve with My before making their
Artwork Mean? Artwork? artworks or their
ideas may evolve as
What Do I Want to they work.
These are
general
questions
you can ask
about any
Why did the artist want this
artwork to look as it does? ARTIST’S
What is my goal as an artwork to
artist?
INTENTION help direct
How do/did art specialists How would I like my your
understand this artwork? ART
SPECIALISTS’
artwork to be understood students’
in the artworld? Which
How was this artwork Text
UNDERSTANDINGS artworld? inquiry into
understood within the what
culture of its time or by
members of other CULTURAL Do I want my work to artworks
subcultures (not art UNDERSTANDINGS reflect or impact my might mean
culture or society?
specialists)? and into
How might my own personal YOUR OWN What are my personal
setting their
experiences affect how I
understand this artwork?
VIEWPOINT goals for this artwork? own art
making
goals.
.
Inquiry Strategy as Scaffold
A scaffold is a temporary structure that provides
a place where workers can stand as they
construct, paint, repair, or otherwise maintain a
permanent structure, like a building, tower, or
bridge. Like any scaffold, this art inquiry strategy
is important only as long as it is useful to you
and/or your students.
Ultimately, as you and/or your students adapt or
replace this scaffold, you become independent
inquirers directing your own inquiries about art
and through art making.
Part II:
Using an inquiry strategy helps
students develop skills identified in
the National Core Visual Arts
Standards.
The National Core Visual Arts Standards focus on four artistic
processes, further identified in 11 anchor standards:
CREATING (Cr) = 3
PRESENTING (Pr) = 3
RESPONDING (Re) = 3
CONNECTING (Cn) = 2
Art inquiry offers entry points for
planning instruction to address
all eleven national standards.
SUBJECT MATTER

TO MEET CREATING DESIGN ELEMENTS


DESIGN PRINCIPLES
AND PRESENTING
TECHNICAL FEATURES
ANCHOR STANDARDS
REPRODUCTION
CARE

Cr2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. (Also PLAN
inquiry) Text

Cr3. Refine and complete artistic work. (Also PLAN inquiry)

Pr1. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for


presentation.
SUBJECT MATTER
DESIGN ELEMENTS
TO MEET PRESENTING DESIGN PRINCIPLES
AND RESPONDING TECHNICAL FEATURES
ANCHOR STANDARDS REPRODUCTION
CARE

Textartistic work for presentation.


Pr3. Select, analyze and interpret
(Also INTERPRET inquiry)

Re1. Perceive and analyze artistic work.


ARTIST’S LIFE
PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
TO MEET CREATING
CULTURE
AND CONNECTING ARTWORLD
ANCHOR STANDARDS FUNCTION

Cr1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. (Also


EXPLORE and PLAN inquiry)
Text
Cn1. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal
experiences to make art.

Cn2. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and
historical context to deepen understanding. (Also LEARN,
COMPARE, and EXPLORE inquiry)
ARTIST’S LIFE
PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
TO MEET CONNECTING
CULTURE
ANCHOR STANDARD ARTWORLD
FUNCTION

Text
Cn2. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical
context to deepen understanding. (Also SEEK, COMPARE, and EXPLORE
inquiry)
STYLE
TO MEET CREATING
AND CONNECTING INFLUENCE
ANCHOR STANDARDS THEME

Cr1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.


(Also SEEK and PLAN inquiry)

Cn2. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural,


and historical context to deepen understanding. (Also SEEK
and LEARN inquiry)
STYLE
TO MEET RESPONDING
AND CONNECTING INFLUENCE

ANCHOR STANDARDS THEME

Re3. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work. (Also


INTERPRET inquiry)

Cn2. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural,


and historical context to deepen understanding. (Also LEARN
and EXPLORE inquiry)
ARTIST’S INTENTION
ART SPECIALISTS’
TO MEET CREATING UNDERSTANDINGS
ANCHOR STANDARDS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDINGS
YOUR OWN VIEWPOINT

Cr1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. (Also SEEK
and EXPLORE inquiry)

Cr2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. (Also CHOOSE
inquiry)

Cr3. Refine and complete artistic work. (Also CHOOSE inquiry)


ARTIST’S INTENTION
TO MEET PRESENTING ART SPECIALISTS’
UNDERSTANDINGS
AND RESPONDING
CULTURAL UNDERSTANDINGS
ANCHOR STANDARDS
YOUR OWN VIEWPOINT

Pr2. Convey meaning through the presentation of artwork.

Pr3. Select, analyze and interpret artistic work for presentation.


(Also LOOK inquiry)

Re2. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Re3. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work. (Also COMPARE


inquiry)
Part III:
Using an inquiry strategy helps
students develop English
Language Arts (ELA) skills
identified in the Common Core
standards.
Sample reading and writing standards for grades 3-5, 6-8,
and 9-10 are listed.

NOTE: Artworks can be understood both as primary sources


and as text.
SUBJECT MATTER
DESIGN ELEMENTS
TO MEET READING
DESIGN PRINCIPLES
COMMON CORE
TECHNICAL FEATURES
STANDARDS
REPRODUCTION
CARE
Elementary: R.4: Interpret words and phrases [and images]* as they are used in a
text [artwork*], including determining technical, connotative, and figurative
meanings, and analyze how specific word [and visual]* choices shape meaning or
tone.
Text
Middle School: RST.6-8.4: Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and
other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or
technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts [artworks]* and topics.

High School: RST.9-10.4: Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other
domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or
technical [artistic] context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
*Artworks are considered to be text in art inquiry.
ARN ARTISTS LIFE
PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
TO MEET READING
CULTURE
COMMON CORE
ARTWORLD
STANDARDS
FUNCTION

Elementary: R.1: Read closely to determine what the text [artwork]* says
explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual [and visual]*
Text
evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text
[artwork]*.

Middle School: RST.6-8.1: Cite specific textual [and visual]* evidence to support
analysis of science and technical texts [artworks]*.

High School: RST.9-10.1: Cite specific textual [and visual]* evidence to support
analysis of science and technical texts [artworks], attending to the precise details
of explanations or descriptions.
*Artworks are considered to be text in art inquiry.
STYLE
TO MEET READING INFLUENCE
COMMON CORE
THEME
STANDARDS

Elementary: R.9: Analyze how two or more texts [artworks] address similar
themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the
authors [artists] take.

Middle School: 6-8.RH.9. Analyze the relationship between a primary** and


secondary source on the same topic.

High School: 9-10.RH.9. Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic
in several primary** and secondary sources.
*Artworks are considered to be text in art inquiry.
**Artworks are dominant primary courses in art inquiry.
*.
ARTIST’S INTENTION
ART SPECIALISTS’
TO MEET WRITING UNDERSTANDINGS
COMMON CORE CULTURAL UNDERSTANDINGS
STANDARDS YOUR OWN VIEWPOINT

Elementary: W.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive


topics or texts [artworks]* using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient
evidence.

Middle School: WHST.6-8.2f: Provide a concluding statement or section that


follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
High School: WHST.9-10.2f: Provide a concluding statement or section that
follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g.,
articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
*Artworks are considered to be text in art inquiry.
Art Inquiry Resouces
Almost all instructional materials on Mary Erickson
Ventures focus on art inquiry.

For a PowerPoint presentation that introduces young


people to art inquiry, click on “Tempe Center for the Arts
Lessons”, then scroll down and click on “Twenty
Questions”.
References
Addiss, S. & Erickson, M. (1993). Art history and art education,
Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois.
Erickson, M. (2005). Art making and meaning. Tucson, AZ: Crizmac.
Erickson, M. (1983). Teaching art history as inquiry process, Art
Education, 35(5), 28-31.
Erickson, M. (2002). Stories of art. Tucson, AZ: Crizmac.
Erickson, M. (1977). Uses of history in art education. Studies in Art
Education, 18(3), 22-29.
Erickson, M. & Villeneuve, P. (2004). Educators Resource. In G. Keller. M.
Erickson, & P. Villeneuve (Eds.), Chicano art for our millennium (pp.155-
191). Bilingual Press: Tempe, AZ.
Erickson, M., Dock, M., & Eldridge, L. (2010). Questor questions. School
Arts, 109(3), pp. 44-25.
National Art Education Association. (2014). National core visual arts
standards,
www.artseducators.org