What's the Big Idea?
In this assessment, students will select three works from their portfolio that demonstrate a single central intent, focus, meaning, theme, or “big idea.” They will identify that unifying idea and describe how they have used it in their art. The content standard states “quality works of art.” Quality in this assessment is used to describe the application of art methods to sustained thematic investigations over a number of works, which are then prepared for presentation with accompanying artist statements.
This assessment assesses each student’s ability to describe specific ways that a meaning was explored in depth and evidenced in his or her art in preparing to present the work for exhibition, publication, web-based public portfolio, or the artist’s website. The meaning the works share may be a subject, an idea, a belief, a theme, an intent, an exploration of a style, an “ism,” or whatever concept unifies the work as a series or body of work.
This assessment is ideal for use in programs that incorporate the teaching of meaning in art education. Programs using theme-based unit plans, where students explore a theme or big idea over a series of artworks will prepare students for this event. Any program that has students creating works with social meanings that run across multiple works or series would also be appropriate. Students should be experienced in writing interpretive responses to artworks and/or in writing artist’s statements as part of presenting their art production.
This item has not been field-tested by Michigan teachers.
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