Realism

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Point of View

By Mary Erickson, Ph.D., Education Consultant and Professor of Art
Ellen Murray Meissinger, Artist and Professor of Art

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Point of View is a unit plan designed in conjunction with the “International Guild of Realism: 8th Annual Juried Exhibition” at the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts. Both elementary and secondary art projects are included.

Preview the International Guild of Realism List of Artists (pdf)

Themes

  • Theme in Life: Each of us has a point of view that affects how we see and respond to our world.
  • Theme in Art: Artists manipulate the viewer’s point of view to create drama in their artwork.

Key Questions
Lessons approach the themes through three key questions. Lessons One and Two focus on questions to help students understanding the art of others. Lessons Three and Four focus on versions of those questions to help students make decisions in their own artwork.

LookLook & Make Choices
1. What point of view did the artist choose for this artwork? (What point of view shall I choose for my artwork?)
2. How has the artist positioned objects/characters within the setting of the artwork? 

 

InterpretInterpret and Set Goals
3. How can an artist’s choices create drama or help tell a story? (How can I increase drama or tell a story in my artwork?)

 

 

Community Connections
Someone on a plane can look down and see for miles and miles. While over a city scape they can see many tiny buildings, crisscrossed streets, highways and canals. A hiker may look down at the trail and see a tiny lizard scurry under a rock, or look up to see a hawk floating silently on out-stretched wings. On a freeway, a driver can look around to scan the cars in front and on either side with slight head movements at eye level. A camper in the woods can look up and see the pine trees towering above. A person’s point of view often affects how s/he thinks.

Imagine an area of desert somewhere in Arizona. Then consider how people with different interests, backgrounds and points of view might see that land such as a tourist from Alaska, a farmer, a housing developer or a Native American member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Some might see the desert as a dry desolate place while others might see it as anything from a fertile landscape for crops, to a beautiful site for a residential neighborhood or an important ancestral home.

Lessons
One: Points of View
Two: Exploring Realism at the Tempe Center for the Arts
Three (Secondary): From Ordinary to Extraordinary
Four (Elementary): The Setting Tells the Tale

Resources
Preview the International Guild of Realism List of Artists (pdf)
Points of View PowerPoint
Questor Questions about Two Realistic Paintings (pdf)
From the Ordinary to Extraordinary PowerPoint (Secondary)
The Setting Tells the Tale PowerPoint (Elementary)

Supplementary
The International Guild of Realism
How did they do that? PowerPoint From the Masters of Illusion Elementary Unit
How did they do that? PowerPoint From the Masters of Illusion Secondary Unit
Making My Own Book PowerPoint From the Read Me a Picture Unit

Supplies (Secondary)

  • 9- x 12-inch drawing paper
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • fine-tip markers
  • Color Options: watercolor, colored pencil, tissue paper and glue and/or other collage materials

Supplies (Elementary)

  • 9- x 12-inch drawing paper
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • colored pencils or crayons

Credits
Linda Crain, for consulting on elementary art and English activities
Nancy Egly, for editorial assistance
Charlene Watchman, Navajo folk artist, for use of her carved horse ornament
Students in Ellen Meissinger’s Art on Paper class in the School of Art at Arizona State University

Learn more about
Mary Erickson, Ph.D., Education Consultant and Professor of Art
Ellen Murray Meissinger, Artist and Professor of Art

Estimated Time

Previsit Lesson = 20-30 minutes
TCA Visit Lesson = Field Trip
Postvisit Lesson = 60-120 minutes