In November of 2016 I read about a symposium that addressed the challenge of educating immigrant children. The symposium was held at the Roosevelt School District, in Roosevelt, New York. Not long after this symposium was held, I read that research indicates children from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from cultural enrichment. These two bits of information were connected in my mind and from that connection grew the idea for Art Literacy.
Art Literacy is a showcase for artistic expression, and an invitation to create art. The picture at the top of the page, of Clementine Hunter, and the excerpt below this paragraph, are typical of material students will find in the book. A total of forty-three feature images are presented. At least one smaller image accompanies the feature image. In the case of Clementine Hunter, there are two feature images and two companion images.
A caption that describes Clementine Hunter’s personal history:
A smaller image that helps to introduce Clementine Hunter to students:
With every picture, there is an invitation to act. Students are asked to write a response and to create a visual work of art. They are reminded of art’s essential nature: It is a genuine expression of an individual’s perspective and experience.
The kinds of images featured in Art Literacy range from a Sami family (Lapland) posing in front of a traditional residence, to children playing along the seashore in Zanzibar. Subjects covered include Stone Age cave art and NASA space missions.
There are quotes from James Baldwin, and there is poetry from Rabindranath Tagore.
The question is asked at the beginning of the book, What is art? By the end of the book, students may be prepared to answer, Art is a form of communication, a way for people to share their perceptions and insights.
A supplemental guide to Art Literacy has been created. This consists of keyed sheets that offer background information on some of the covered topics. The sheets can be copied and distributed to students who want them.
Collages introduce the five thematic sections: Animals in Art, Fantasy in Art, People in Art, Places in Art and Things in Art. The collages are visual demonstrations of the book’s operating theme: Let imagination be the guide as experience and perception are explored.
A representative collage, from the section entitled Fantasy in Art, is shown below:
Art Literacy is for sale on Amazon. However, the long-term plan is to set up an apparatus through which the book and accompanying material can be distributed, at no cost, to students.
A. G. Moore June, 2017