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A Journey of a Lifetime Shared with Students in Real Time!

by Kathleen Mills, Grade 7 Art Teacher – STEM Academy

Two days after school let out for the summer, I embarked on a journey of a lifetime….a month-long exploration of art and architecture in Europe.   On July 27th I landed in Lisbon, Portugal. From there I worked my way East for a month and hit all sorts of places in Spain, Italy, Austria, and Czech Republic. Along the way, I recorded my journey through images of art and architecture I came across.  And, using easily accessed technology, I shared my art explorations with my students.

During the school year, I had created a class Instagram account.  I told my students that they were welcome to follow the account if they’d like. The purpose of the account was for students to see constant art inspiration – in hopes that it would act as inspiration not only in the classroom, but at home as well. Some posts were works of art done by professional artists while most were samples of current student artwork in the class. The students really enjoyed the class Instagram. It was was a great way to make sure they were easily and constantly exposed to new artworks, peer work, and often inspirational messages.

So when summer began, I decided I wanted my students to still see posts from the AwesomeArtRoom104.   Some pieces of art were famous, such as the statue of David, done by Michelangelo in Florence, Italy. This was one that many students recognized because one class did their “Large Materpiece Grid Project” on this sculpture. Other works of art were more contemporary; some posts involved graffiti and others were quotes I found on the side of historic buildings.
It was great to have the students following the art and architecture with me around Europe. I tagged #ArtAroundTheWorld along the way. Not only did it broaden their horizons of artwork, but I’m hoping it also inspired them to travel and introduced them to unique places and cultures in the world. After all, the best way to learn and appreciate about the world around us is to experience it first hand.
The Instagram account is AwesomeArtRoom104, which features middle school artists from the STEM Academy, Art inspiration and middle school survival tips 🙂  Parents, teachers, students and families are welcome to follow.
Click to start a slide show of some of this summer’s images: