Travel to Art Galleries Around the World and Become a Curator
How I Use It
For an art teacher (or a teacher with a close relationship with art), using Google Art Project is probably an easy venture. For the classroom that is well-equipped with technology, who sees their students every day, even better.
I teach 4th/5th grade band and am artistic, but I only have one computer in my room, and I only see my lesson students for 30 minutes each week. I want to take advantage of the creative opportunities with Google Art Project, but it has to be short and relatively low-tech.
Our Special Area (Art, Music, Library & Physical Education) theme for the year is “Time Travel”. In 5th grade art classes, students are studying Salvador Dali and his piece “The Persistence of Memory” (1931). Students are creating their own clock sculptures, that are being dried over the edge of a counter; a sculpture representing Dali’s famous clocks. In my class, we will be using prior knowledge from art classes, connecting our work in an exciting and engaging way.
In my band, we are working on a band piece entitled “Time Traveler” (Larry Neeck), which has three distinct sections. The first and last parts alternate between 2/4 and 3/4 time signatures and the melodies experiment with time throughout, sometimes sounded jagged and disconnected. The middle section is smooth and placid, without changes in time signature.
To connect the art unit with band (6 week unit), students will view a Khan Academy video on Dali’s piece (5 minutes). During that same lesson, they will perform “Time Traveler”. They will discuss (compare / contrast) what they see (Dali) with what they hear/perform (5 minutes). Their homework assignment will be to compose their own list of search items on the back of their music. Each student will spend one lesson on Google Art Project, using their search terms to compile their own collection. At the final lesson of the unit, students will present their collection verbally. A computer station will be stationed with the 5th grade clock sculptures during our spring Art Show night, so that students and families may view the collections.
Boasting over 30,000 works from 151 sites, the Google Art Project provides the content and the resources for students to view and interact with art around the globe. If a class cannot travel to a museum, the project is surely the next best thing. The resolution and zooming capabilities allow one to view exceptionally close, much better than the 18” that I was permitted in my last trip to the art museum.
Navigating the site requires a certain level of sophistication, with many options, which might seem overwhelming at first. My first stop was to explore the Education section, with find three tabs that serve as an introduction to the site. “Looks Like An Expert” provides tutorials on viewing art as a historical document. The “DIY” tab provides two ways to create your own art gallery, turning students into a museum curator. “What’s Next” displays twelve links from well-respected and highly-regarded websites that provide even more connections with great works of art.
While you can view many of these works on other websites, Google Art Project provides the service of one-stop shopping. Being able to curate one’s own “show” takes the study of multiple pieces of art to a new and different level.