If You Give a Student an Art Gallery

Whenever I go to an art museum, I tend to forget that the art I’m viewing is specifically chosen by a professional curator to give me a certain experience. And that’s why I was surprised to read this article about the Baltimore Museum of Art. They’re having an exhibit curated by their security guards. And why not—security guards look at the art all day long! I thought this was a really cool concept and realized that we could use this for an activity in our classrooms. If security guards can be curators, why not your students?

Set up a center with art books and magazines that include images (or set up a slideshow of digital images of artwork). When a student visits the center, she pretends that she is a curator for an art museum. She looks at the images and chooses a few pieces she would include in her museum exhibit. Then she writes down her choices and explains her thinking. Is there a theme to her choices? Does she like artwork with certain colors? Does the art make the viewer feel a certain way? Does she prefer art that depicts people, or nature, or pets? How much would she charge for tickets to her exhibit?

If you happen to have a collection of actual prints, students could attach their choices to a wall to create a literal art exhibit. Happy arting!



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