The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Teacher Tour

By far my favorite piece in the two galleries. This photograph depicts an elementary classroom on Chicago’s South Side. #Chalkboard


The combination of simplistic color and geometric shapes drew me to these two pieces.
This piece has Coe College written all over it. Bleed Crimson, Win Gold (Metallic Paint).
I initially wrestled with the concept that these lines symbolized something, but I the handful of lines that ended up in Lake Michigan threw me for a loop.
Chicago’s iconic CTA route map.
Even the walls were covered with color.
Art doesn’t always need to be framed.
The smallest piece at the museum, but the one I spent the most time fixated on.
This piece marked the entry into the first of two galleries in the museum. This has to be the work of Harold’s brother. Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon that is. Google it. 
Even though the museum is wedged in between skyscrapers, it is hard to miss.

I’ll preface this post with this quote, “Contemporary art is ‘of our time.’ We may not know the meaning behind the pieces we will examine today.

The stage was set: I had walked the half-mile from my apartment to  the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for a Teacher Tour. I had somehow wound up with a group of all high school fine art teachers. I can honestly say that I have never stared at a piece of art with such intensity only to become completely turned around while discussing my reactions with the other in my tour group. But that is the beautiful thing about art: there are so many different ways to analyze and interpret a single piece.

This what makes contemporary art so much more accessible to elementary students. Most of the pieces we examined during our tour were made of “non-traditional” art materials: yarn, push pins, neon paint, glitter (a ton of glitter), and clay. As our tour guide put it, “Most of us could make all of the pieces we are looking at today. We didn’t. But we could have if we wanted to.” How awesome is that?

For students who may walk into an art museum and be unimpressed by the world-renowned artwork, they may find contemporary art more engaging. When interpreting contemporary artwork, there is no “right answer.” Again, think back to our definition of the word contemporary: of our time. You (the universal you) are just as informed about the piece as anybody else.

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