Connecting Through Words And Images

Description –This interdisciplinary learning experience involves two Advanced Placement classes at our high school. It begins with the AP English students responding, via poetry, to a masterwork viewed on a field trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Their text is then passed on to a class of AP Studio Art students to be interpreted into visual form without any reference to the original work of art that inspired the poetry. The results are displayed in tandem in the high school gallery.

Objective –

Students are challenged to consider how influential words and images can be as they allow one to inspire the other and vice versa. Only through the English students true investigation and internalization of the masterwork can they effectively \”rework\” it into poetry. Likewise, the art students must completely digest the words in order to envision and create inspired images. Artists and Poets alike have taken similar inspiration from other art forms throughout history.

Materials –

If a field trip to a museum is not possible, the English class may elect to take a virtual tour. The selected images should be saved to accommodate the final display. Completed poetry is printed onto paper which is mounted on mat board for the show. Art students complete a painting on canvas which is stretched over a piece of cardboard and primed with gesso. They may elect oil or acrylic paint to execute their images. Finished paintings are also mounted onto mat boards for the display.

Other Information –

The end result is an interdisciplinary exhibition in the high school gallery that allows the viewer to read the written expressions (by the English students), see the visual responses (by the art students), and finally, participate in the reveal of the original image (by lifting a flap masking the masterwork) that began the process. Audiences are often astounded by the parallels that exist between the two images composed via the bridge created by the poems.

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