Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hey Kid, Get Your Nose Outta That Book

This morning we woke before the chickens, brushed the manure and feathers from our boots and headed out early to the big city to get us some culture. The kid's art class is currently covering shadows and light. Since we're homeschoolers and can do what we please we arranged a visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art where a docent could take us on a tour covering, you guessed it, shadows and light. Being able to see the works in person it always better than just reading about them in some boring textbook. Take this painting for instance. When viewed at a distance it looks like cows crossing a creek bed near a bridge on a serene early morning.

But if you are able to study it closely, you see that those cows are really just brown blobs with carefully placed highlights that make you believe they are cows. I think we would have missed that in a textbook.

Of course being able to break into small groups of parents and students helps foster discussion about the pieces. So much better than the massive bus load of children following behind a frazzled teacher who is too busy counting heads to talk scene you often see with public school field trips. If you take the time to listen, a lot of these teens have some incredible insight.

Which may be why I liked the new Class Pictures photography exhibit by Dawoud Bey so much. It included 40 photos of high school students of all cultures combined with their own written words. It was striking and you couldn't help but be drawn to the photos and stories. It's only here until Thanksgiving so if you're local, don't miss it.

But, even though the artsy fartsy types belittle him as "only" an illustrator, this hick from the stick's all time favorite at the museum will always be the Norman Rockwell. His work just speaks to me.


bennie and patsy said...

Thanks for the art lesson. I didn't know that about paintings. Bloging is so educating.

Milah said...

I was one of those public school parents who toured the art museum years ago and got nothing out of it. We walked around for 90 minutes and then the kids voted on there favorite painting. The winner was a painting of a cocktail party with women dressed in slinky gowns (too much flesh for sixth grade boys) holding champagne glasses and talking. The only way I know to intrepret that is PARTY! I was proud that my daughter was the odd ball and chose a farm scene. There were no guides and I can't remember where the teacher was.
Kudos to home schoolers!

Renee said...

Norman Rockwell is one of my favorites too. A few years back The Children's Museum had a huge exhibit of his work. I think we went 4 times.

Benita said...

It's funny. Whenever we go to the Indianapolis Art Center, we have to visit "The Rockwell." It's like a holy pilgrimage to Scott.