SUBJECT: VISUAL ART
ARTIST: JOHN PEÑA
GRADE: recommended 6th-12th grade
Students identify aspects of their school they want to change or alter.
Students look more closely at the world around them and through their project ask others to do the same.
Students create an artwork that adds color and interest to their surroundings.
Students document their findings through photography and/or video.
Students reflect on the role of visual cues in their immediate surroundings.
1. How often do you notice your environment? What aspects of your environment bother you but you no longer notice?
2. Can a small gesture in your immediate surroundings effect lasting change?
3. Why is learning to observe an important skill in any profession?
4. How does the presence of an arrow impact and/or draw your attention to something?
1. Word Balloons, (2014) by John Peña
Cut out three arrows in various sizes. Affix theses arrows to a sturdy material such as poster board or cardboard. Next, paint the arrows a solid bright color. Then walk around your school or community and place the arrows next to an area of interest or curiosity that often goes unnoticed. Perhaps you could place it next to a small crack in a wall, a mismatched paint color or a weathered handrail in the stairwell. Think about places that may document something historical or unusual. What do you notice that others might just walk right by? Document where you placed your arrow with a photograph. Be sure to take an establishing shot first so that there is a context for your photograph, then take a close-up photo to capture the detail. Consider documenting people interacting with your arrow(s). How did people react? Is the spot you chose to place your arrow one that others also notice? Were people interested in the arrow? Confused by it? Did the arrow cause anyone to change or improve the area of interest?
Add more arrows. Repeat this exact project with more arrows. Will you simply place all your arrows around one area or spread them throughout the school or community? What is the response of your family or classmates? Where did everyone choose to place their arrows?
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PENNSYLVANIA CORE STANDARDS
-know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities
-recognize, know, use and demonstrate a variety of appropriate arts elements and principles to produce, review and revise original works in the arts
-use knowledge of varied styles within each art form through a performance or exhibition of unique work
-demonstrate the ability to define objects, express emotions, illustrate an action or relate an experience through creation of works in the arts