Welcome to the New Eyes on Art
After over a year in limbo, Eyes on Art came back online in June 2001. The changing nature of copyright, fair use, and fee-based use of images once again rattled the foundation upon which the site was constructed: that Web-enabled access to images of great art can help students' arts education.
At least an interim solution has allowed us to repost version 2 of Eyes on Art. We've also taken this revision time to make corrections, update links and relate the activities to the 2001 California Department of Education's Visual Arts Content Standards.
The original version of Eyes on Art was posted in December 1995. In other words, decades ago (in Web years). A desire to update the look and feel of the site from version 2 browsers and changes related to fine art and copyright altered the face of the Web back in 1997. Gone were the days when anyone with a scanner and some cool magazines, books, or videos felt comfortable digitizing bits and slapping them on the Web. In terms of respecting intellectual property rights, this is as it should be. But those were heady days when the Web was all about sharing, not ownership.
So while many of the people we work for (teachers and students) are given allowances to use images from the Web for educational purposes, the sponsor of this Web site is not an educational institution. Still, rather than abandon the richness of art imagery on the Web, or joining into a formal partnership with a museum, our goal was to continue on our mission: creating models of Web-based learning that regular teachers could create (if they had the luxury we enjoy of doing this as our fulltime jobs).
After much deliberation and a fair few email queries, we were fortunate to find a handful of online museums that offer both outstanding images and a reasonable use policy. These are listed on the Art Links page. The rationale and review of the literature that informed the first version still provide the educational strategies now employed. In short, what you'll find in the new version are all new images, similar affective and critical thinking strategies, and more examples and rubrics to encourage positive outcomes. We hope you fine the refinements helpful.
Using the Eyes on Art Activities
Below are some specific strategies for using each of the six branches of Eyes on Art. It should be mentioned that the activities are designed to lead in a progression. Beginning students of art should start with "You Choose" while more advanced students might touch base with "Double Visions" and then move on from there. You can go directly to the activities listed below by clicking on the title graphic. Instructions for students are found on the Web site for each activity. Below are overviews and justifications that teachers may want to keep in mind while using the particular activities.
Beginning students of art need to find personal meaning in the endeavor, to make a connection before they are asked to embark on the adventure of learning to look. You Choose offers three activities to encourage students to feel a sense of ownership to a particular painting. First, students view a large selection of "thumbnails" of paintings. They choose those that they are attracted to, then click to see a large-scale version of the work. If they like the work, they click in the checkbox next to that image. Once they have collected all the works that capture their sense of what makes something a good work of art, they write about this in a text field, then post a page that reveals larger images that they selected and their statement. If you have a computer lab available, a nice experience is to let students walk through the "Monitor Museums" curated by their peers. Since this is an open and exploratory activity to help students feel good about viewing art, no rubric is supplied for You Choose.
Besides the Monitor Museum, two other ideas are suggested in the instructions page:
Thus, You Choose supports many of the recommendations from the literature:
Once students have found a personal connection to works of art (through You Choose), the next step is to give words to what the painting has or does that may have attracted them. Enter ArtSpeak 101. This activity is a revision of The Visual Glossary in combination with Eyes of the Beholder. Now students can learn and apply a visual arts vocabulary in one activity that draws on two skills: knowing the terms and applying them.
The instructions for ArtSpeak 101 outline how students will derive their own understanding of how artistic elements and design techniques function in paintings. This is first accomplished by providing three illustrative works for each main term. When students feel they have a grasp of the terms, they then select one of six famous paintings which they will use to apply their knowledge of the terms. Three sample writings are offered (beginning, middle, and advanced) as well as a feedback rubric.
Thus, ArtSpeak 101:
The main justification for Double Visions is best explained in Csikszentmihaly & Robinson:
In this more advanced activity, students choose one of nine sets of artworks to compare and contrast, then view larger versions of the artworks and answer a series of interpretive questions. The questions are designed to highlight interesting similarities and differences and to encourage more analytical looking. A fine series of questions from Professor Craig Roland (of @rt room fame) is provided as well. Finally, students write an interpretation to show what they have discovered through comparing and contrasting. A rubric is provided for feedback.
Thus, Double Visions supports the following ideas from the literature of art education:
No Fear o' Eras is a revision of Miles of Styles and takes advantage of a new Web-based strategy we call the Concept Builder. It's based on the Concept Attainment model of presenting students with examples of a concept and helping them to see the critical attributes. By critically looking at three sample works from a major era in art history, students use discovery learning to see the stylistic evolutions and permutations themselves. A series on Internet links and Craig Roland's questions give them additional support. Finally, some tips and a rubric are offered to encourage ultimate success.
The eras covered are:
No Fear o' Eras supports the following ideas from the literature of art education:
"Your True View" is the activity that puts it all together. Students encounter a contemporary artwork with little or no supporting information. Their task is to come up with their own interpretation and critique of the piece (their "true view"). A series of questions from David Perkins is available to help students with their viewing process. These are not specific to the work, but generic tips for effective looking. Once students internalize Perkins' process, they have tools that can help them find a way into any artwork.
The nature of copyright for contemporary artists makes it difficult for us to post new works and to ask students to download them. The solution we struck was to have students use the URL (Internet location, you know those "http://www." things) of the images. This way, no one posts a Web page on the Internet and no one downloads an artist's image. Full instructions and a rubric are given.
In choosing the contemporary galleries, you can imagine there's a fair bit of shock art out there on the Web. We can't guarantee that the sites we link to will post nothing objectionable. We tried to surf for inoffensive sites while still maintaining an openness to the current state of arts. If your students are very young or your community is particularly offended by shock art, you might choose to skip Your True View. If your community is interested in exploring the world as it is, Your True View may let a little of the real world into your classrooms.
Your True View supports the following ideas from the literature of art education:
Due to copyright constraints (not an undo reverence for Dead White Men), we decided to make the Eyes on Art Quiz a general art history quiz, rather than a final check on what students learned through Eyes on Art. So if you've taken at least Art Appreciation 101, why not give it a try? Feedback after you submit your answers attempts to be somewhat educational, but mostly, have fun!