Sunday, 7 September 2014

Traditional vs. Contemporary Art

Ai Wei Whoops
Want to smash a few vases?  Head over to Ai Wei Whoops, and watch the amount of damage tally up at the top of your screen as you drop, drop, drop to your heart's content.  It's a little unsettling to think of what would happen if you really did smash a vase & cause so much destruction, but do you know that someone did?  I won't spoil too much of the surprise, so you'll have to check out the story from the site.

Ai Weiwei is a contemporary artist, meaning that he works in the present time.  We are fortunate, because he uses the internet & social media to connect with his audience.  This allows us to appreciate his work on an entirely new level; one that doesn't require us to visit a museum or gallery. Not that we wouldn't want to go to a gallery, but for many people (like those of us who live on the Northern shore of Lake Superior), it isn't always easy to stroll down to our favourite cultural centre.

Do you think we value traditional art more or less than contemporary art?  Which type of art makes more sense to you?  Do you think traditional art is more valuable because it has been here longer and is more established?  What about the artists who produce art and share it via social media, extending a virtual invitation and redefining art appreciation for the world's population?  


Grade 11 #NipRockArt students, I'm asking for your opinion.  Start looking for art.  Explore and discover contemporary and traditional artists.  Develop an opinion.  Talk about it.  Ask questions.
Find out where & how to ask questions.  Let's figure it out together.

So, where do we find art?  It can be a little overwhelming to think of the millions of artworks 'out there'.  You can begin by looking at some fantastic resources:

Here is one explanation of contemporary art:



Use your blog to share your thoughts.  This week, we will review a few of these points together. We'll also chat about our learning goal and success criteria, which connects to the Ontario curriculum:

  • students will "demonstrate an understanding of the critical analysis process by examining, interpreting, evaluating, and reflecting on various art works"
  • students will "demonstrate an understanding of how art works reflect the society in which they were created, and how they can affect both social and personal values"
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