Making Art Together: How Collaborative Art-Making Can Transform Kids, Classrooms, and Communities

Making Art Together: How Collaborative Art-Making Can Transform Kids, Classrooms, and Communities

by Mark Cooper, Lisa Sjostrom
     
 

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Artist Mark Cooper aims to change the way you think about making art with kids.

Working with schools around the country, Cooper has brought together scores of teachers and hundreds of children to make remarkable collaborative art that has enlivened classrooms and public spaces and been displayed in the nation's most prestigious museums.

In this inspiring,

Overview

Artist Mark Cooper aims to change the way you think about making art with kids.

Working with schools around the country, Cooper has brought together scores of teachers and hundreds of children to make remarkable collaborative art that has enlivened classrooms and public spaces and been displayed in the nation's most prestigious museums.

In this inspiring, practical, idea-filled book, Cooper shows how any teacher—not just art teachers—can imagine and execute similar projects in their own classrooms.

But more than that, Cooper transforms our sense of possibilities, arguing for a new view of art in schools. Making Art Together is a book about art education structured around big ideas: that adults can flourish in the role of Master Artist, that the perspective of contemporary art offers liberating possibilities for rethinking art in schools, that art can and should be about the larger world, and thus naturally ties in to all areas of the curriculum.

Most of all, Cooper shows us the power of collaboration. From mammoth, freestanding sculptures to billboards against violence to maps of the world, the projects here are all planned, designed, and completed by children themselves. The resulting artwork is complex and ambitious on a scale that would be out of reach for any individual child. Working collaboratively, using a distinctly democratic model, kids actually think and work like adult artists throughout every stage of the project. Together the sky's the limit—the artistic and educational opportunities are boundless.

Making Art Together is a bold, beautifully illustrated book that could—at a time when art budgets are being slashed—revitalize our sense of what art in schools can accomplish.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Making Art Together is a book that is both practical and revolutionary. Using the latest knowledge on holistic learning, Cooper shows how an art project can educate on a multitude of levels and unify classrooms and whole communities. Among other things, the book is a kind of bible of differentiated instruction, guiding the reader through the process of making art that challenges and appeals to many different learning styles. We also see how collaborative art-making can teach the democratic importance of mutual understanding and respect and serve as a source of great pride for individuals and communities. Making Art Together should be required reading for all elementary and secondary school teachers.—John Laughton, composer, professor, and former dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

"Every teacher, artist, or parent should have this book for their work with kids."—Henry Horenstein, professor of photography, Rhode Island School of Design, author of Beyond Basic Photography

"Brings an exciting new perspective to the dialogue on the role of art in education." —Education Review

"Students don't have to paint like da Vinci to make worthwhile art, and teachers who have never picked up a paintbrush can still use collaborative art projects to enrich their teaching and the world at large . . . that's the upbeat message of this humane book . . . illustrated with more than 90 photos of wonderful sculptures, murals, and billboards Cooper helped students and teachers across the country create . . . 'The thrill and aha! of thinking creatively, so central to any artistic endeavor, is also essential to education,' the authors proclaim. People need to hear this more than ever now." —Howard Good, Teacher Magazine

"What sets Cooper's ideas apart are his emphasis on democratic decision making throughout the collaborative art process and his ability to make that process accessible to teachers and students alike . . . From the looks of the results, it's worth the journey." —Gwenn Mayers, National Art Education Association News

VOYA - Jeff Mann
Cooper and Sjostrom describe a detailed blueprint for creating collaborative art projects with youth in a simple, engaging, entertaining, and conversational manner. Cooper, who teaches and lectures about art, has been producing collaborative art projects for more than twenty years. He makes it very clear, however, that this book is not just for art teachers. These projects are not small craft-style projects where each child works on his or her own piece. These projects are large in scale, which can involve single classrooms, entire schools or organizations, neighborhoods, cities, and even countries, all collaborating on a single piece revolving around a universal theme. Final products can include large billboards, enormous maps, and huge sculptures. Cooper insists that five basic principles be used on all collaborative projects regardless of the leader's experience and despite the size and scope of the project. Those principles are that the teacher serves as a master artist; that a framework is used to maintain the likelihood of success; that participants work collaboratively throughout; that perspectives and techniques of contemporary art are drawn upon; and that the artwork must be tied to the larger world. Each chapter in the book tackles one of these five principles in detail. A thought-provoking book, this volume will be a wonderful and useful resource for all parents, teachers, and youth leaders. The authors do a tremendous job making these large-scale projects seem very doable. Even teachers without any art experience or knowledge will come away feeling empowered that they can tackle what is described in this book. Many pictures pepper the text and help the reader to visualizethe projects described. Information on how to tie into an existing curriculum and a section describing seventeen different themed art pieces are also included. An appendix with step-by-step specific details covering seven art projects is very useful. This resource explains the power of collaborating with youth while providing wonderful details on brainstorming, funding, making, and displaying powerful pieces of art.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807066195
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
08/15/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,262,438
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Cooper is professor of art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at Boston College. His solo work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums, and his collaborative work with children has been displayed in the Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and many other venues.

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