Art and Social Change

Personal Manifestos

Students create a manifesto that conveys the views of a character from an artwork or novel.
Artist(s): Judy Chicago

Public Manifestos

Students write their own manifestos, make them public, and reflect on the response.
Artist(s): Jenny Holzer

Revolutionary Words

Students analyze one of several modern and contemporary artists who wrote manifestos to express revolutionary ideas.
Artist(s): Piet Mondrian, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros

Writing Character Manifestos

Students create a manifesto that conveys the views of a character from an artwork or novel.
Artist(s): Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros

Artists as Rule Breakers

Creating a Readymade Exhibition

Students create a label for a readymade object of their choosing and make a character sketch of an artistic alter ego.
Artist(s): Marcel Duchamp

Who Says It's Art?

Students determine where they stand on the issue of "Who Says It's Art?" and defend the position in a letter to the editor.
Artist(s): Marcel Duchamp, Jeff Koons

Self and Society: Tracing Identity

Frida Kahlo: The Loves of Her Life

Students examine Kahlo's life and paintings, and write a poem about the role of love in her work.
Artist(s): Frida Kahlo

Interpreting the Heavens

Students write an essay contrasting the ways in which Joseph Cornell and Anselm Kiefer address humanity's relationship to the heavens.
Artist(s): Joseph Cornell, Anselm Kiefer

Personal Symbols, Personal Mythology

Students create poems that center on their own personal symbolism.
Artist(s): Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Philip Guston, Chris Johanson

Unearthing Silenced Histories: Profile

Students analyze how artists delve into the past to tell new stories about themselves and their communities.
Artist(s): Glenn Ligon, Doris Salcedo, Kara Walker

Shifting Perspectives

A Play in One Act

Artists tell stories visually just as writers tell stories with words. You'll write your own one-act play that reveals a missing perspective.
Artist(s): Romare Bearden, Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker

Human Beings versus Nature: A Short Play

Students write a short play and include ephemeral elements such as lighting, sound, and smell.
Artist(s): Olafur Eliasson

Sensory Writing Over Time

Students generate a descriptive essay in which they record close observations of a room at three different times of day.
Artist(s): Olafur Eliasson

Writing from Art

Students use Jeff Wall's photographs as inspiration for a piece of creative writing.
Artist(s): Jeff Wall