the art of looking.

simply asking "what do you see?" can elicit surprisingly insightful responses.

this is a collection of some of these insights that i've encountered while teaching at an art museum and in the community.

newer entries come from a new program called "the art of looking," that brings mobile art galleries to disabled adults and children.

just a reminder, the entries do not reflect personal commentary on art pieces or collections.

graduate students

in a session with other graduate students as part of my fellowship, i ran a music+art session, where participants choose a painting that they feel corresponds to the song.  the following are the songs and chosen paintings.

Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

"the painting has a certain feeling of desolation."

Edward Hopper - Sunlight in cafeteria

Edgar Degas - The Ballet Class

"there's a separation between the two characters.  she's preoccupying herself while he is mid-conversation."

"like the words are saying, it's like the girls are trying to stick out, to be special."

Jackson Pollock - Number 14

"something about the beginning of the song..." 

"the words in the song fit the emotion in the painting."

Roy Lichtenstein - Thinking of him

Pablo Picasso - The Old Guitarist

Salvador Dali - Swans reflecting elephants

"there's real sadness in the way he's playing his guitar."

"we chose the dali because, well, it's dali."

adults with disabilities

after discussing still life paintings, participants created their own still life drawings after an example model.

William Bailey - Still Life - Table with Ochre Wall

Still life model:

participants' still life drawings:

integrated dis/abled summer camp

for this activity, which emphasizes listening and visualization, i describe a painting that is out of participants' view.  using my description, the participants are instructed to draw what they visualize.

Swans Reflecting Elephants - Salvador Dali

The Ballet Class  - Edgar Degas

integrated dis/abled summer camp - ages 9-11

The Old Guitarist - Pablo Picasso

what do you see?

camper 1: "i see a dead man playing a sad song."
camper 2: "i see a humble man."

what do you see that makes you say that he's humble?

camper 2: "he's wearing raggedy clothes, but he's still playing music passionately."

camper 3: "i think you should turn the painting the other way.  it makes better sense like that."

"like this?"

camper 3: "yeah, now he looks relaxed and not so sad."

integrated dis/abled summer camp - ages 9-11

Mother's Helper - Diego Rivera

"if i were the artist and i asked you to come up with a name for this painting, what would you call it?"

camper 1: "gift-giving"
camper 2: "flower girl"
camper 3: "forgiveness"
camper 4: "mother's day"

older posts