April 26, 2020

From Google Art Project, Public Domain. Artist: Mary Cassatt, American, painted in 1893, oil on canvas.

The Child’s Bath (Mary Cassatt)

Mary Cassatt was one of the few female artists painting during the Impressionist period. She was influenced by Edgar Degas (see sculpture below), and her subjects were most often women and children.

LOOKING AT THE PAINTING

  1. Describe what you see in the painting, what elements it has.
  2. How has Cassatt used patterns and colors and brush techniques to create this painting?
  3. What moment or story is the artist describing here?
  4. What can you, the viewer, take from this painting?

REFLECTIVE WRITING PROMPT: Write about a shared moment with a family member and its impact on you.

April 26, 2020

Queen Bee and the Honeylovers

Queen Bee and the Honeylovers is an Asheville, NC, swing band. They just released an album called Asheville, with original songs with a swing beat based on Asheville history. The song below, is called “Asheville (North Cackalacky)” and was recorded at ISIS Music Hall in Asheville. Click on the photo below to link to their YouTube video. Give the whole album a listen. The songs tell the stories of Asheville.

Click on this photo of Queen Bee and the Honeylovers to go to their YouTube video.

You can stream the album on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/28X5SWsSzQjGDt3xuR2NAO

You can go to their website and download the album here:

https://www.queenbeeswing.com/

LISTENING TO THE MUSIC

  1. What emotion does this music evoke in you and how is that expressed in your body? (e.g. goosebumps, energy, relaxation)
  2. Concentrate on holding those feelings while you listen.
  3. Watch how and if feelings change during the piece.

REFLECTIVE WRITING PROMPT: Write about memories or feelings evoked by this piece of music.

April 17, 2020

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, based in New York City, has made their work open to access on their site through YouTube during this time. It’s amazing. Click on image to visit Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Hip-hop choreographer Rennie Davis created this two act ballet, based on the life of Alvin Ailey.

April 17, 2020

LITTLE DANCER AGED FOURTEEN (side view and front view) from National Gallery of Art, open access, artist: Edgar Degas.

Edgar Degas (French, 1834 – 1917), Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1878-1881, pigmented beeswax, clay, metal armature, rope, paintbrushes, human hair, silk and linen ribbon, cotton faille bodice, cotton and silk tutu, linen slippers, on wooden base.
Edgar Degas (French, 1834 – 1917), Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, plaster cast possibly 1920/1921, after original wax modelled 1878-1881, painted plaster, fabric, metal armature, on plaster base.

This mixed media sculpture is the only sculpture Edgar Degas was known to have exhibited. An article by the National Gallery of Art says it was non-traditional in the materials used to create it and in choosing a working-class subject in the “opera rat,” the young dancer of the Paris Opera ballet.

LOOKING AT THE WORK

  1. Enlarge and study this sculpture carefully, looking at the materials and the details shown.
  2. How does the sculptor show she is trained in ballet? How does the sculptor show show she is of the working class?
  3. What is Degas trying to tell the viewer in this sculpture?
  4. How does this sculpture make you feel about the subject? About the artist?

REFLECTIVE WRITING: Write about what a sculpture of you would look like, be made of, and reveal about you.

April 16, 2020

Artist: Kriste Sveen, American, painted in 2020, oil on canvas.

DO NOT YIELD TO DISCOURAGEMENT

“They looked…and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.” – Exod 16:1

LOOKING AT THE PAINTING:

  1. Observe the elements in this painting.
  2. What techniques of brush and color did the artist use to depict this scene?
  3. Given the painting itself and the quote above, what might the artist be saying in her work?
  4. What does this painting say to you?

REFLECTIVE WRITING: Write about a time you found a silver lining in the clouds during a difficult time or experience in your life.

April 6, 2020

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection, Open Access. Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Netherlands, painted in 1565, oil on wood.

THE HARVESTERS (Pieter Bruegel, the Elder)

Bruegel’s paintings were a great deviation from the works that came before him because his work was humanistic and had secular rather than religious subjects.

LOOKING AT THE PAINTING:

  1. Determine what is being depicted in this painting–the event, what is happening, who takes part, the location.
  2. Think about how the artist painted the scene. (e.g. What is detailed and what is less detailed? What is prominent in the scene? What colors are used and why?)
  3. What is the story this painting is telling?
  4. What does the painting make you think about and feel?

REFLECTIVE WRITING PROMPT: Write about an experience gathering or working with others in the summertime.

April 4, 2020

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 800px-beethoven.jpg

Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820, public domain

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) German composer

Beethoven String Quartet No. 6 in B-Flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6 was written between 1798 and 1800 and published in 1801. The fourth movement is the crux of the piece and possibly the highlight of Op. 18. Marked Questo pezzo si deve trattare colla più gran delicatezza (this piece is to be played with the greatest delicacy) it develops in three parts. (from Musopen, Royalty-free music)

Enjoy listening to this Beethoven String Quartet.

If you want to, listen to it again, this time imagining it as a story with musical backing. Create what happens in this story in your mind. You can do this over and over, making up different stories each time. You can also write to the music, write what the music makes you think and feel.

April 3, 2020

Emily Wonder plays Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah.” Click to play, and click again on the link to go to YouTube.

Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” is lovely on any instrument, including the voice; however, it is spectacular on the harp. Emily Wonder plays multiple variations on the theme. Click on the video to play, and then click again on the link to take you to YouTube.

LISTENING TO THE MUSIC

  1. What emotion does this music evoke in you and how is that expressed in your body? (e.g. goosebumps, energy, relaxation)
  2. Concentrate on holding those feelings while you listen.
  3. Watch how and if feelings change during the piece.

REFLECTIVE WRITING PROMPT: Write about memories or feelings evoked by this piece of music.

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March 29, 2020

Wheat Field and Cypresses (1889)
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection, Open Access. Artist: Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, painted in 1889,  oil on canvas.

WHEAT FIELD WITH CYPRESSES (Vincent van Gogh)

LOOKING AT THE PAINTING

  1. Name the elements you see in this landscape painting by Vincent Van Gogh.
  2. How did Van Gogh make this scene come alive?
  3. What was Van Gogh trying to convey about this scene?
  4. How does this painting make you feel?

REFLECTIVE WRITING PROMPT: Walk into this painting in your mind. From anyplace you choose to stand, write about what you see, hear, and feel.