The Art Institute of Chicago Launches Interactive Website

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We were excited to view The Art Institute of Chicago’s new Modern Wing at the educator open house. The new edition designed by Renzo Piano makes the Art Institute of Chicago the second largest art museum in the United States. The layout and design of the new galleries that now house the museums 20th and 21st century art collections are impressive but, as educators we were truly amazed by the new Ryan Education Center.

The new eduction space boasts five classrooms, three huge studios, the new Crown Family Education Center and the new David and Marilyn Fatt Vitale Family Orientation Room. Not only are these educational spaces truly state of the art but, have one of the most sought after views in the city as they look onto Millennium Park. The image above was taken on my phone in one of the new studios.

Along with the fantastic educational space , The Art Institute previewed new interactive software and resources featuring pieces from their collections.  This July they lunched that material online in an interactive website for kids called the Curious Corner. The site is geared more towards the elementary age child but, also has resources for educators and parents. Visitors can choose form three different categories of interactive games such as Story Time, Match Up and Play with Art. The Match up section is one of our favorites it lets you match texture, shape or sound. Below is a short clip of some of the interactive games children can explore on the site.

(Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.)

Below is a couple of ideas for utilizing the Curious Corner in the classroom.

  • Use the “Story Time” games as an introduction to teaching children about the messages, stories and meaning behind many pieces of art.
  • Use the “Match Up” sound game as an individual activity for analyzing the parts of a work of art. As a student matches each sound to different area of a piece of art they will notice new details and better understand what is happening in the image.
  • Use the Cornell Box section of the “Play with Art” game to have students create a still life that is meaningful to themselves. Print the completed computer still life images and have students use the grid drawing processes to enlarge the image. Choose a media such as colored pencil or chalk for students to add detail to their personal still life drawings.
  • Use the “Match Up” game as an introduction or extension activity for concepts like texture and shape.

Share how you could utilize this site in your classroom in the comments section below?

Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee

The founders and primary authors of this blog are Hillary Andrlik and Theresa McGee, who both teach elementary art in the Chicagoland area. Hillary has been teaching art since 2002, received her art education degree from Illinois State University and masters from National Louis University. Theresa has been teaching since 1997 and received her bachelors degree from Northern Illinois University and masters from Benedictine University. In 2008, Theresa became a National Board Certified Teacher. Both Hillary and Theresa have earned the honor of being Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year. Together, Hillary and Theresa have presented at Illinois Art Education Association Conference on topics ranging from classroom management to technology and each have presented on numerous other occasions for other organizations.

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