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Exploring the Gallery

Discussion Questions

  • What stands out to you about this piece?
  • How do the materials the artist selected impact your understanding of the piece?
  • What associations do you have with light bulbs? What might they represent in this artwork?
  • This artwork has been interpreted as a memorial to the artist’s partner. Compare this work to other memorials you’ve seen. How is it similar or different? In what ways have you memorialized people you’ve lost?

Classroom Activities

  • Research and compare memorials (Maya Lin, Christian Boltanski, yartzheit candles)
  • Design your own memorial—what materials would you use? What would they symbolize?
  • This could be understood as a memorial, how else could you understand the piece?
How to explore the gallery
Try these fun activities while looking at the artwork in Beyond Belief. Let your children choose what interests them and don’t worry about seeing everything. Even stopping at one or two artworks can have a big impact.

Ask questions
  • What do you see? What words come to mind when looking at this piece?
  • Why does it make you think about those words?
  • Does this art remind you of a person, object, or place you’ve seen?

Look closely:
  • Take your time and see if you can look at one work for three minutes.
  • Name the colors and shapes you see.
  • Describe the textures in the work—is it smooth, rough, fuzzy?
  • List the materials used in this artwork.

Use your senses and body:
  • Think about how it might feel, sound or, smell if you were inside the artwork.
  • Imitate how the artist might have moved his/her body to create this work. Pose like or imitate a facial expression of a figure in the artwork.
  • Try viewing the art from different angles and distances. Does it look different from far away?

Play games:
  • I Spy: Identify shapes, colors, and objects and describe them to see if someone can guess what you are looking at.
  • Look and Remember: Look closely at a work for two minutes then turn your back and try to name everything you remember.
  • Storytelling: Make up a story about the artwork. What happens at the beginning, middle, and end?

To help kids appreciate the art they’ll see, explain these rules, as well as the reasoning behind them:
  • Don’t touch the works of art. The Museum needs to help protect these objects from the natural oils and dirt on our skin that can damage them and leave harmful prints.
  • Remember to stay at least an arm’s length away from art objects so you don’t accidentally bump into anything.
  • Only pencils are allowed in the gallery. Other writing instruments can leave permanent marks. If you need a pencil, pick one up at the Shenson Welcome Center on the main floor.
  • Don’t run inside the museum; you might collide with or miss something.
  • Don’t bring food and drink into the gallery; they attract bugs that can cause damage. On nice days, enjoy a picnic outside on Jessie Plaza or purchase food from our café, Wise Sons Deli.
  • Use inside voices to talk about the art. The Museum is for everyone so it’s important to keep voices low.
  • Photography is allowed in some exhibitions, including Beyond Belief, but please be careful not to get too close to the artwork when taking photos.