Sheldon Art Association

The logo for Sheldon Art Association

All around us teens are showing they are ready to embrace the world, to engage in important conversations, and make a difference in their community. Art can provide new and thought-provoking ways to think about the world. It can attract people to join conversations that explore critical issues. Sheldon Museum of Art's "Art Forward" project will create a platform for teens to experience art and the ways it can inspire them to explore our world. It will engage high school teachers in developing curriculum to integrate visual art across all subjects in the classroom to meet state learning standards.

Teens will work directly with Sheldon Museum of Art generating ideas, planning extracurricular programs, and serving as ambassadors for the museum. Tours, social events, discussions, and art-making opportunities will engage teens in expanding their understanding of art as well as encouraging them to feel comfortable in the gallery as a place to reflect, meditate, or connect with others. In line with their connection to and affinity for using digital platforms, social media applications, and technology, teens often have a nuanced understanding and skills in creating and manipulating images. Engagement with the museum will play a meaningful role in helping shape their developing lenses of critical thinking and visual literacy.

In the classroom, art can be used to engage students across a wide variety of subjects. The issues high school students explore in their classes, and grapple with as burgeoning adults, are well-suited to study through visual art. This project will develop curriculum modules using works of art to meet state standards in subjects including social studies, history, English, psychology, biology, chemistry, and more. By leveraging technology, the curriculum will be available in an online catalog on Sheldon's website, searchable by theme, learning objectives, keyword, and academic level. Educators will have access to a wealth of resources for their classroom. Museum staff will help teachers make connections to their classroom objectives and to student success.

This project builds on Sheldon Museum of Art's world-class collection of over 13,000 works of art. Its exhibitions and programs, open free to the public, serve as a resource for the community to engage with art and one another as they explore contemporary issues.

As teens grow into the next generation of engaged citizens, let's give them all the inspiration and tools to expand the dialogue and embrace their communities and the world.

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