Free Art CourseFor my degree program I have decided that it makes sense to teach two courses in order to show that I have the skill-set to teach art courses as an Art Librarian and professional. I have had to pleasure of graduating from the Crystal Bridges of American Art Online Scholar Program. This program is an intensive 4-week course that helps art educators understand how to teach visual art from a digital perspective and how the course will best serve them as critical thinkers. Upon completing the program, I received a certificate of completion, continuing graduate credits, and now I am a licensed instructor teaching the following courses for free to students that are interested in learning about visual art from a digital and physical capacity:

Art Appreciation and American Identity

How is the identity of America represented in the arts? Is it a more accurate and diverse reflection than you would find in a textbook? How has the identity of America changed throughout history? All of these questions and more will be explored in this course as students learn how to discuss and interpret paintings from the collections of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and other museums throughout the country.

Located in Bentonville, Arkansas, Crystal Bridges features more than five centuries of American Art, from early European portrayals of Native Americans to works being made by American artists today. Each of these artworks is a primary source that, when studied in the context of readings from historians and primary source documents, provides a unique perspective on American history and identity.

In this class, students will learn how to discuss, interpret, and critique artworks while also learning about the critical role museum curators play in designing and promoting exhibitions. As students make connections between art, history, and identity, they will practice and apply the skills of curation to create two online exhibits: one about their individual identity and one about the American identity.

Art + Process: Creating a Body of Work

What does it take to make a body of work—a series of artworks that are coherent and work together? The short answer is: process. Students will explore the longer answer in this semester-long studio art course.

Each week students will study two different contemporary artists who were part of the State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, an exhibit that illustrated the best of what is happening with diverse artists across the country. Students will look at these artists’ work and learn about the techniques, processes, and concepts to understand and be inspired by their thinking.

In the first half of the course, students will complete experimental art projects influenced by these artists. These projects will help students find an idea to develop into a body of work in the last half of the course. Each week students will watch videos, sketch ideas, create art, present their work, and participate in a supportive class critique. This semester-long process leads to the culminating event—hanging and exhibiting the body of work in the gallery of a 3D online replica of the museum. Prerequisites: one art class (Art I) or maker type of course such as robotics, media arts, or welding, woodshop, etc. as well as a willingness to experiment and try new techniques.