"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
The following activity ideas can be used to engage audiences in a hands-on approach to processing the ideas presented in the artist's film segment. They were compiled from our Educators' Guides and Screening Toolkits. Activities include not only visual art strategies but writing, research, and other disciplinary methods. Additional resources and strategies for teaching with films and working with contemporary art can be found in Teach.
Create two paintings, using two different approaches. First, create an abstract image, and title it after you are finished. Second, create a title, and then create an abstract image. How do the processes and finished works differ from each other?
Assemble a collection of works that juxtapose abstract and representational images—found, drawn, painted, or created digitally. Narrate a story based on the sequence of the images.
Mary Heilmann reflects on her Catholic upbringing and makes a strong connection between abstract art and religion. The artist says: "An artwork can transport a person in a soulful, rich way without having any fear of punishment or hell or sin or any of those other good things." Consider this statement, and write stories or share experiences about works of art that have transported you.