Environmental Art

Submitted by: Larry Prescott, Madison Middle School, Rexburg, Idaho
Unit: Environmental art - Sculpture - Technology
Lesson: Natural Collaboration: Building With the Five Elements of Art
Grade Level: 7th Grade (middle school)

 

Objective:

Students will assemble found natural objects into an arrangement emphasizing one or more of the 5 elements of art and decide upon the best view of their work to be photographed.

 

Goals:

  • Students will be able to identify the five elements of art in visual work i.e. line, shape, value, texture, and value.

  • Students will defend/discuss their constructions using the five elements of art.

  • Students will discover relationships between the environment and their creation i.e. light and setting.

  • Students will use Photoshop to enhance the visual elements in their work.

See more examples on Larry's Web site (Archive)

 

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Materials:

Andy Goldsworthy slide presentation (Internet Resources)
Collection of natural objects
Digital Camera.
Photoshop (Available from the Adobe Education Store)
Student work slide presentation.

 

Procedures:

Day 1: View the work of Andy Goldsworthy. (Teacher-made slide presentation). Discuss his work in terms of the 5 elements of art. Students will be able to identify the elements in his work and order the elements in terms of visual importance.

Day 2: Walk to the community arboretum to look for interesting natural objects. Discuss possibilities and gather items (bring favorite stones, shells, bones etc. from home if desired).

Day 3: Begin assemblage of art. Experiment and gather more items from the school ground. Students arrange items and make sketches of most successful compositions. You might want to put a tarp/drop cloth (secured with stakes) over the area where students are working over night.

Day 4: Refine ideas. Complete construction. Photograph work.

Day 5: Work with the digital image in Photoshop. Manipulate the color and values to enhance the visual image.

Day 6: View slides of student work (teacher made presentation). Evaluate each work in terms of the 5 art elements.


....


Evaluation:

Students will write one paragraph addressing the following points:

  • Students will identify the significance of the 5 art elements in their work.

  • Students will describe at least one relationship between the environment and their art

Note from Larry: I wish I had recorded a few of their comments. Many were very insightful…learning did take place! This was a fun project that the majority of the kids thoroughly enjoyed.

 

Extension:

Have students do a "focus down" drawing of all or part of their "installation" (lay a cardboard frame over the work to find an interesting part - photograph that part up close to capture details) - Draw from photograph observing carefully the details. Students could begin drawings outside if time permits. Paint focus down drawing with watercolors - or render with Colored Pencils... See Focus Down Drawing lesson . Use circular, square or rectangular format. See nature paintings by George Dombek for a contemporary artist.

 

Internet Resources:

Earth Works -Putting Art Together for the Sake of the Earth (Archive) - Online Project by Craig Roland

Andy Goldsworthy Online (Artcyclopedia)

Center for Global Environmental Education - Andy Goldsworthy

21st Century British Sculpture - Andy Goldsworthy | Andy Goldsworthy Portfolio (Archive)

What is Art? What is an Artist? Photograph by Andy Goldsworthy - additional links provided.

Nature and Nature: Andy Goldsworthy - video clip Roland Collection.

 

Book: Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature. - Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy uses a seemingly infinite array of purely natural materials, from snow and ice to leaves, stone, and twigs in the creation of his one-of-a-kind sculptures. Goldsworthy's approach is to interrupt, shape, or in some other way temporarily alter or work with nature to produce his fragile, mutable pieces.

 

DVD: Andy Goldsworthy - Rivers and Tides. - A Scottish-German 2001 documentary about artist Goldsworthy, a Scotsman whose medium is nature itself and whose preferred studio is the outdoors, particularly where water forever flows, rises, and/or retreats. Read the review.

http://www.metmuseum.org/ (Archive) | http://www.art-word.com/goldsworthy/goldsworthy.page3.htm

Also see Lucien den Arend Environments and Landscape Projects

Earthworks - links | Robert Smithson

 

 


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