Why study photography?
Photography is an important art/creative medium. Photographs are everywhere.
In the morning newspaper, in magazines, on the cover of CDs, in advertisements,
on billboards. Without our realizing it, these photographs affect the way
we think and feel about ourselves and the world. When we learn to interpret
photographs and when we understand that images are not fact but, rather,
one person's view of the world, we are better able to understand the influence
they have on our thoughts.
As students study the nature of photography, they strengthen the following
critical thinking skills which translate to other areas of learning
and will serve them all of their lives.
- They practice careful observation by listing the visual details
they see in Torchia's live projected images.
- They sharpen interpretation skills as they use these details
to discover the meaning of the artwork.
- And finally, using the information they've gathered, they draw conclusions
and make informed judgments about the work.
You and your students may use the interpretive exercises provided by
the Center throughout the year. With each new exhibition presented in our
gallery, we provide new learning materials. Every time students study photographic
artwork, they strengthen their own creativity as well as their observation
and decision-making skills.
What happens when we look at a work of art?
There are as many answers to this question as there are people looking
at artwork. We each interpret according to:
- our observational skills
- the experiences we have had in life
- our mood at the moment we observe the art
- the amount of time we spend looking at the work. For everyone, however,
the more time spent with a piece of art, the more chance there is for effectively
"seeing" it and learning from it.
- Ask your students to talk about details in the installations
and to refrain from responding with a judgment. Encourage them to
use specific words, rather than "big" universal terms.
Being specific and refraining from passing judgment aid interpretation
and understanding. Responses such as the following do not promote effective
discussion or learning: "This artwork is pretty," and "I
don't like this installation."
- It is important to spend at least ten minutes really looking at and
thinking about each of Torchia's installations. The time you spend will
be directly proportional to the degree your students will develop skills
of observation, interpretation, drawing conclusions, and making informed
judgments about visual images of all types.
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