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Lesson: How to bring Art History into a Project

I know that I’m onto something when students thank me for creating and project, and continually tell me how much fun they’re having. That’s what happened with this Illuminated Manuscript Project.

While most of the time my class is choice/TAB ( teaching for artistic behavior), where students develop their own ideas and prompts, every once and awhile I bring in much more specific constraints, which often pushes their work in directions that it would have never gone on their own.

When reflecting on Teaching for Artistic Behavior, I often pause, and think about my own practice as an artist, how can that be reflected into the classroom?

While I tend to turn down commission work, it’s a large part of many artists careers. More focused projects like this one, can be approached as students working on a commission piece. I still want them to develop their own style and bring their vision, but I provide more constraints, just as someone that hires an artist to do a commission piece would.

After looking at some historical examples, students created their own version of an illuminated manuscript.

This is a great video on quill making

This is a bit long, but is an interesting look at making gold leaf

You can grab the full lesson here