Monthly Archives: June 2012

I wander, I wonder

By Daixi Xu, Education Department Summer Intern

I went into the Museum Park with the intention of finding Chris Drury’s site-specific installation Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky. I used a map to find the shortest way there. A “shortcut” led me almost all the way to Wade Avenue. I backtracked a little, revisiting the billboard of a city skyline tucked by foliage (Isaiah Johnson, One Brick, One Seed) and over the curvilinear designs tattooed to the pavement (Steed Taylor, Invasive). I ended up taking a path into the woods that wasn’t well defined. As I proceeded deeper through the trees, I became skeptical about whether I was on a path at all. The sun beat down on me as cyclists zoomed past, but the woods were a cool and serene sanctuary. Without a clear path, I felt no sense of urgency or mandate to reach my destination. When I turned a corner and saw Ledelle Moe’s concrete and steel sculpture Untitled nestled in an alcove, I felt assured that I wasn’t completely wandering off Museum property. Just a little bit further on, I spotted the hutlike structure of the Cloud Chamber, which was both a part of and apart from the earth. As I entered the chamber and shut the door (it doesn’t work if you don’t), the sky and trees suddenly filled the room, encircling me like stars in a planetarium.

Neither the wood trail nor the paved path in the Museum Park is linear. There isn’t always one course from point A to point B, and I don’t recommend mapping the shortest way to your destination. I wouldn’t have encountered so many works of art or discovered the Cloud Chamber—rather than just finding it—if I hadn’t gotten lost. Feel free to wander through the woods, stumble upon works of art, or take a path that’s not well paved. Art is more than just looking. Art is an experience.

Big Picture Teaching Fellow

By Ashley Weinard, NCMA Educator and Project Director, The Big Picture
The North Carolina Museum of Art is pleased to offer this year’s Big Picture Teaching Fellowship to Jessica LeCrone, an English as a second language teacher at Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts and Education in Wilson, N.C. Over the school year, Jessica will receive mentoring and support from NCMA educators as she refines her practice in art integration, creates lesson plans for ArtNC, and shares her lessons with other teachers at NCMA workshops and the Spring 2013 Educator Expo in Jacksonville, N.C.

Jessica tells us a little about herself:

“I have been teaching English language learners in grades K–12 for 10 years, including in Wilson County and Johnston County schools. I earned a Master of Arts degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education in English from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

“At the Howard School, I serve as an arts integration mentor. I mentor other teachers in the process of integrating arts (drama, music, dance, visual art) curriculum standards with content-area standards. The goal of the arts integration model is for students to apply knowledge and make connections that will deepen understanding of important concepts.

“I am proud to have been selected to serve as a fellow for the North Carolina Museum of Art, and I look forward to finding new ways to inspire students.”


By Emily Kotecki, Associate Coordinator of NCMA Teen and College Programs

Know any teens looking to get involved at the North Carolina Museum of Art? Let them know about the Museum’s Teen Advisory Council!

The Teen Advisory Council is group of high school students from all over the Triangle representing public, private, charter, and home school students. Not only do they get awesome shirts and sit on the Museum sign, they help shape programming at the Museum. The group meets monthly and participates in workshops, team building and leadership activities, outings, and collaborative art projects.

Applications are due June 30 to Emily Kotecki, associate coordinator of teen and college programs,

Blooming Art

By Ashley Weinard, NCMA Educator and Project Director, The Big Picture

How do you apply Bloom’s Taxonomy to a work of art? The outline below shows how you can hit a full range of skills in just one discussion. Try out these prompts with the NCMA’s Portrait of Emy by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

Knowledge (remember)
1.   How would you describe the expression on Emy’s face?
2.   List at least three colors on Emy’s face.

Comprehension (understand)
1.   What differences do you see between Emy’s face and the face of your partner?
2.   What patterns do you see in Emy’s face?

Application (apply)
1.   How would this work of art be different if the artist had used cool colors instead of warm ones?
2.   Describe the colors you would use to depict a specific feeling or mood.
3.   Knowing what you know about the properties of light, do you think the artist was “playing with light?” Explain your answer.

Analysis (analyze)
1.   What relationship exists between the orange background and the rest of the portrait?
2.   Discuss the pros and cons of using color to portray feelings.
3.   Knowing that Emy is the artist’s wife, do you think he painted her portrait as he saw her, or do you think he painted what he wanted the audience to see?

Synthesis (create)
1.   Keeping her expression exactly the same, create an alternative portrait of Emy using different colors.
2.   Create a written portrait of Emy. Base your text on the artist’s selection of color, details, and mood.
3.   Predict how the portrait would look if the coloring of Emy’s face was symmetrical.

Evaluation (evaluate)
1.   Based on the discussion so far, what do you think is the most important aspect of the Portrait of Emy?
2.   How would you prove or disprove that colors can affect our feelings?
3.   How does knowing that Emy is the artist’s wife change your view of the painting?

Adapted from a lesson developed by Joan Certa-Moore.