"The Encounters Project: Teaching Art History Outside of The University" by Joanna Kemp

 

"The Encounters Project: Teaching Art History Outside of The University" by Joanna Kemp

This spring we challenged a group of high school students from Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy to create a public exhibition of original works. The History of Art and Architecture Department from the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Assistance Center for Educators and Students (PACES), joined forces to create the Encounters Project: Art in the City, to bring Art History out of the University setting and into the high school classroom. Through classroom activities led by undergraduates from the University of Pittsburgh, the participants were able to encounter the public art that surrounds them. Using more interactive approaches to Art History, we took students to some local public art sites to develop their visual analysis and critical thinking skills.

After we had exposed them to some different sites and concepts, we gave them the freedom to create something to be displayed in a formal gallery setting. Using careful classroom observation and textual analysis of written materials produced along the way, we can trace the influence of our efforts on the artistic process of our students. The final exhibition at the end of the semester will showcase individual achievement and reveal the impact of each encounter on the students. An in-depth visual analysis of these final artworks will allow us to see how students chose to communicate with the public. The Encounters Project is a new program that explores the question: Why does the history of art and architecture matter inside and outside of academia? By looking at how students encounter and respond to art in the public and classroom setting, we are able to get a better sense of how Art History can strengthen the creative production and build the visual analysis skills of our pre-collegiate aged students. 

Find out more about Joanna Kemp.

Categories: 
  • HAAARCH!!! 2014
  • Undergraduate Work