Ask students if they have ever been to a museum. Share responses, asking for clarification about type of museum, the location, theme, etc.
Explain that museums are a wonderful way to learn about history, people, inventions, science and nature. Tell students that today, they are going to do an activity related to a unique type of museum called an art gallery.
Share any information or experiences they may have had in an art gallery.
Explain that Canada has many visual artists, each with their own individual style. They may use charcoal, acrylics, water colours, oils or a combination of many different mediums. They may be painters or sculptors or print-makers. They sometimes have a theme that is seen throughout their work. It might be nature, or movement, or history or personal experience—anything that interests them. Artists may also create abstract work, meaning works that express the artist’s feelings or emotions, using shapes, forms, colours, and textures.
Share samples of Canadian abstract art (e.g., try an online image search with the keywords “Canadian abstract art”).
Challenge students to create their own abstract artwork. Invite them to use paper, art supplies, and other materials such as string, pieces of fabric, twigs, glue, ribbon, etc.
When they have finished, ask each student to name their artwork and to explain what emotions, thoughts or feelings it was intended to convey to the viewer.
- What did you like/dis like about this activity? Why?
- Is abstract art something that you would enjoy seeing in an art gallery near you? Explain why or why not.
Close by reminding students that there are many forms of visual arts and that it is interesting to learn about the different types before visiting an art gallery so that you can appreciate each style.
You may also find it helpful to view online video tutorials on various abstract art techniques suitable for young people. For example: