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TAG, You’re It!

December 3, 2009

One of the DMA’s longest running partnerships is with Dallas ISD’s Talented and Gifted (TAG) program.  For the past 21 years, 4th – 6th grade students explore works of art from all times and places through interactive experiences like dramatic interpretation, debate, writing, and sketching.  Since 2000, each visit focuses on a BIG Idea question like “How is a work of art powerful?,” “How is place important?, ”How is perspective used in works of art?,” and “What do works of art tell us about the past, present, and future?”   These open-ended questions support a variety of answers which may relate to students’ life experiences and prior knowledge.

Students from Botello Elementary create verb sculptures using words (i.e. symmetry) that Richard Serra may have used to create his sculptures. They looked Richard Serra's "Untitled" for inspiration.

This year, like the many years before, has been fantastic!  There are 20 schools participating in this four-visit program with two Museum visits and two classroom visits.  Each of these visits lasts for 2 hours and are led by docents and Museum staff.  The TAG teachers commit to having the same 20-25 students participate in the program and it is exciting to see the student’s growth with each visit as they think critically and share creative answers to these BIG Idea questions.

The fall semester began in the classroom with “What does it mean to be an art investigator?,” which focused on looking closely and investigating visual clues in portraits and landscapes, creating verb-inspired sculptures using modeling material, and making connections between music and Claude-Joseph Vernet’s painting, Mountain Landscape with Approaching Storm.

Students from Reinhardt Elementary used their arms and hands to mimic similar gestures expressed in Jackson Pollock's "Portrait and a Dream" and Franz Kline's "Slate Cross."

During Visit 2, students considered the question “How are emotions and gestures expressed in works of art?” as they posed like figures in works of art featured in the All the World’s a Stage exhibition, explored the expressive and emotive qualities of line and color, and created a sequence of events based on contemporary photography by artists, Charlie White and Gregory Crewdson.

The BIG Ideas for the final two visits are “What are ways cultures can influence each other?” and “What are the connections between art, music, dance, and theater?”   Be sure to look for an update about the TAG Museum program when I blog about the visits later in the spring!

Until next time…

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Learning Partnerships with Schools

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