Gallery Greats Motivational Ideas for Guides

The Gallery Greats Program introduces children to the best in painting, sculpture, and the related arts. A whole new world of pleasure is opened when we help children look at works of art with an "artist's eyes" so that they may enjoy the art quality as well as the story-telling element in all pictures.

  • Be relaxed and let the experience be happy, pleasant, warm, and friendly.
  • Make looking a discovery. Work for surprise.
  • Don't talk too long. Allow them to participate with comments. Create a safe environment for participation. There are no wrong answers when it comes to how the art makes the children feel.
  • Do not impose adult taste. Taste exists at different levels.
  • Present the picture on their level of interest and understanding and within the personal experiences of the child.
  • Provide countless opportunities for considered choices and intelligent judgments.
  • Stimulate the senses: see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.
  • Stress the emotional rather than the intellectual approach. "How does it make you feel?" rather than "What can you learn about it?"
  • Talk about the muscular sensations. We enjoy watching a skater because we feel it in our muscles. "How do you walk when the wind is in your face?" "Pretend you are pouring milk from a pitcher." "What would you do if you could go into that scene?"
  • Remember, no picture is real. Each is an organization of line, color, form, and texture.
  • Compare artist's medium and techniques with children's own way of working with art.
  • Stir up their imaginations. "What direction did the horse or man go from here?" "What pose preceded this picture?" "What are all the blue things you can think of?"
  • Teach a short song or read a book to set the stage.
  • Sharpen their sense of observation by counting, guessing, identifying, etc.
  • Many factors make up the effectiveness of the classroom visit -how you enter the room; how you say it; the expression on your face.
  • These experiences help children to understand how people have lived and thought in other times and places. Ask them to think about how the art would have seemed to the first people who saw it.
  • Help them to look at pictures with "artist's eyes" so that they may learn to enjoy the art quality as well as the story-telling element in all pictures.
  • Help them to become sensitive to texture, pattern, color, line, and tone.
  • Consider perspective – what is near & far in the painting.
  • Ask the children to consider the light source. How do the light and shadows in the painting help create the mood or feeling of the painting?
  • Ask the children where their eyes are drawn in the picture. What do they look at first? How do their eyes move around the painting? What makes them look where they look – is it colors? Lines?

Third Grade
  • This age loves to mimic family life. Loves fantasy and secrets. Still imaginative and emotionally involved with color.
  • Beginning of interest in the past, far-off places, ways of communication. Note how the artist uses color and design to express his ideas. Guide toward noticing relative sizes, shapes, and colors
Fourth Grade
  • Beginning "gang" age. Special fields of interest are becoming evident. Interest in how things are made is developing.
  • Observe how artist makes different textures. Notice differences in dress and objects according to the period of history they represent. Point out space-filling and overlapping of people, objects, etc. Point out shadows and light and repetition of colors throughout the painting
Fifth Grade
  • The long ago and far away can be understood by this age group if compared with the here and now
  • Imagine what life was like during the time the picture was painted. Imagine what the art meant when it was created.