When I ask college students if they consider themselves creative, the most common response is, “No, I can’t draw.” So, of course, I spend a lot of time and energy helping them understand that creativity is important in all disciplines. As a result, I sometimes worry that I neglect some of the areas in which creativity is most obvious. So, this week I continue my ponderings about art adventures.
Have you ever been puzzled looking at modern art? Ever thought, “What is that all about? Or “I wonder if I could do that?” Ready to try?
The kit Art Rules (And How to Break Them) can help. The kit is subtitled “How to Think Like a Modern Artist,” but it will help you (and your family or your students) do more than just think. There is a booklet introducing basic information on principles underlying contemporary art, but the heart of the kit is the cards. There are seven sets of six cards, each containing a master card and five game cards. Each master card describes the general ideas behind the works in the set. The game cards introduce other works in the genre and give you strategies to create art of your own.
For example, one set introduces the basic ideas behind collages, then gives examples and suggestions for making collages from cut paper, paper poems, scrapbook collages, fantasy postcards, and torn paper abstracts. Other sets of images introduce different types of photo art, surrealist games, art from found objects, and more. While the directions (and information on each work) are targeted at adults or older students, there are projects that can be adapted for artists of any age.
As an adult whose understanding of contemporary art is limited, I find I learn something new each time I pick up the cards to browse. I’m anxious to try some of the projects. I’m also anxious to go back to art galleries where I’ve (to be really honest) generally avoided the contemporary collections in favor of art I understood more readily. I feel as if I’ve been given eyes to see in new ways.
If you’d like to explore the world of modern art with your eyes and your hands, here’s a place to start. There are enough projects to keep you busy all summer. Enjoy!