Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Testament in Art – Some guidelines for excellent presentations

1. Find a relevant, interesting artistic work. Use the websites to look for an image of a story or idea from the New Testament that strikes you as interesting and thought provoking. Multicultural or irreverent images often bring up the best conversations in class.
2. Study the image and context of its production. The following set of questions will help you better analyze the significance of the portrayal of the story:
a. What is your first response to the image? What do you notice as striking or unusual?
b. When and where was the image produced? Are these circumstances reflected in the work?
c. What do we know about the artist? Why did the artist produce the work? Devotion? Instruction? Controversy?
d. What is central to the work? What is peripheral? Is this significant?
e. What biblical text provided the inspiration for the work? Is it a simple retelling of the text? In what ways does it seem to interpret the text?
f. What theological issues does the work address? Does it provoke new conceptions of that issue? Is there a cultural perspective being invoked in the work?
3. Write your 2-3 page analysis of the work. This should include a description of key features of the work, a brief contextualization of the artist and time period, and your analysis of its significance.
4. Prepare to present the image and lead your discussion.
5. Some guidelines for great conversations:
a. Be prepared to ask three thought out questions
b. Aim for great discussion, not just responses to questions
c. Allow for silence – it often means students are contemplating the question
d. Get multiple responses – allow students to respond to each other
e. Move from an observation question (noticing elements of the work) to evaluation and analysis (the important messages of the work)
f. The I.C.E. method is a good place to start:
I – Information and observation questions
C – Connections to text, theology, experience
E – Evaluation of larger implications of the work and analysis of its viability in light of what you know from experience or class.

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