Works of art can provoke inquiry into the forces that shape civic life. These forces include the values, social conventions, power dynamics, institutions and systems that shape how we live together—and how we aspire to live together—at every level of community life, from the local to the global. The Arts as Civic Commons (ArtC) project offers strategies and resources to help learners explore civic life through looking at and making art. ArtC materials can be used in person or online, and are suitable for use in school, museums, galleries, or anywhere else people of any age gather to explore art together.

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ArtC Framework Video

A short animated video that illustrates the three dimensions of the ArtC Framework.

Banner Image: Featured artworks created by students from Independent Schools Victoria. Thank you to Josephine Gullan, Amelia Lim, Cara Thomas, David Bennie, Caitlin Preyser, Alexandra Ragg, Jackson Palmer, Yukako Sunaba, Darcy Thomas, Isobelle McGrath, Louise Ying She Lai, Ally Wu, Jackson Bleasby, Madeleine Moraitis.

Handbook Introduction and Overview

In classrooms and studios all over the world—in museum galleries and public parks, at community events and in conversations among friends—people use art to explore and expresscivic ideas. Sometimes this happens when people engage with artworks that are explicitly designed to evoke civic themes, such as a public sculpture that celebrates the power of community or a painting that captures the cruelty of political oppression. Sometimes it happens when artworks inspire us to reflect on our own civic lives, even if such reflection may not have been the main intent of the work, for example the way a landscape painting might provoke us to think about our responsibility for climate change, or a family portrait might invite us to reflect on gender roles. Whatever the spark, the materials developed by the Arts as Civic Commons project—familiarly called ArtC—aim to amplify the power of arts experiences to provoke inquiry into the forces that shape civic life. These forces include the values, social conventions, power dynamics, institutions and systems that shape how we live together—and how we aspire to live together—at every level of community life, from the local to the global. Continue reading...

Thinking Routines

See|Think|Me|We

A thinking routine for making personal and community connections with works of art.

Lenses for Dialogue

A thinking routine for looking through lenses and exchanging perspectives.

Values|Identities|Actions (VIA)

A thinking routine for exploring values, identities, and actions.

Making the Future

A routine for constructing and reflecting on civic perspectives.

See|Think|Make|Discuss

A thinking routine for thinking about civic art through making.

Thinking Arcs

A little longer than thinking routines

Civic in 3D

An arc for exploring 3 dimensions of civic life through art.

Exploring Civic POVs

An arc that surfaces civic points of view with works of art.

Art to Systems & Back

An arc for exploring connections between a work of art and civically-related systems.

Dialogue Moves

Short strategies to deepen dialogue. For use by educators and students whenever it's desirable to scaffold a respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives between two or more people.

Viewing Moves

Short strategies to deepen observation. For use by educators and students whenever it’s desirable to sustain and enrich the solo or collaborative process of close looking.

Making Moves

Making something is a way of thinking with your hands. These short activities encourage learners to explore civic themes through simple, non-technical artmaking experiences. They can be used as part of the MAKE step found in several of the ArtC thinking routines.

Civic Thinking Through Making

More artmaking activities, with connections to works by contemporary artists.

 

Project Info

Project Dates: 2018 - 2020
Principal Investigators: Shari Tishman, Carrie James
Funder: Independent Schools Victoria

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