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Teacher Workshops

Workshops are designed to help teachers find meaning and enjoyment in the visual arts that they can share with their students. These programs introduce art in the Gallery’s collection and in special exhibitions, explore interdisciplinary curriculum connections, and model methods for teaching with art. All programs include teaching resource materials for educators to take home.

Teachers of all subjects and grade levels (pre-kindergarten through grade 12), homeschoolers, and pre-service educators are welcome. For more information, please email us at [email protected].

Upcoming Programs

Please note: The format of these programs is an online Zoom meeting. This means that your image and voice may be recorded if you choose to turn on your camera and/or microphone. By registering, you give consent for the National Gallery of Art to use that recording in any media, including on the Gallery’s website and social media accounts, as well as in a noncommercial educational online course that will be made available to the general public on a third-party platform.

Made with mostly square or rectangular pieces of patterned paper in shades of asparagus and moss green, sky blue, tan, and ash brown, a man with brown skin sits in the center of this horizontal composition with a second person over his shoulder, in the upper left corner of this collage. The man’s facial features are a composite of cut-outs, mostly in shades of brown and gray, as if from black-and white photographs, and he smokes a cigarette. He sits with his body angled slightly to our right and he looks off in that direction, elbows resting on thighs and wrists crossed. His button-down shirt and pants, similarly collaged, are mottled with sky blue and white. One foot, on our right, is created with a cartoonish, shoe-shaped, black silhouette. The paper used for the other foot seems to have been scraped and scratched, creating the impression that that foot is bare. A tub, made of the same blue and white paper of the man’s suit, sits on the ground to our left, in the lower corner. The man sits in front of an expanse made up of green and brown pieces of paper patterned with wood grain, which could be a cabin. In a window in the upper left, a woman’s face, her features similarly collaged, looks out at us. One dark hand, large in relation to the people, rests on the sill with the fingers extended down the side of the house. The right third of the composition is filled collaged scraps of paper patterned to resemble leafy trees. Closer inspection reveals the form of a woman, smaller in scale than the other two, standing in that zone, facing our left in profile near a gray picket fence. She has a brown face, her hair wrapped in a patterned covering, and she holds a watermelon-sized, yellow fruit with brown stripes. Several blue birds and a red-winged blackbird fly and stand nearby. Above the woman and near the top of the composition, a train puffs along the top of what we read as the tops of trees. The artist signed the work in black letters in the upper right corner: “romare bearden.”

Romare Bearden, Tomorrow I May Be Far Away, 1967, collage of various papers with charcoal, graphite and paint on paper mounted to canvas, Paul Mellon Fund, 2001.72.1

On-site workshop for local educators
Connecting to Afro-Atlantic Histories
April 28, 2022
4:00–7:00 p.m.
Register here

Description:

Join fellow educators for a special evening program to explore the Afro-Atlantic Histories exhibition. In the exhibition space—surrounded by powerful works of art—you’ll discuss, brainstorm, and exchange ideas with colleagues from across disciplines. You’ll also learn techniques for using art as a platform to address difficult topics with your students.

We’ll send you home with a resource packet that includes art reproductions, a poster, conversation starters, and additional information about the exhibition. Refreshments will be served.

This program is open to all DC-area educators. It is free of charge, but we do require advance registration.

Program Schedule:

4:00-5:00 p.m. - Check-In and explore the exhibition with guided prompts

5:00-5:30 p.m. - Refreshments and program introduction

5:30-6:15 p.m. - Facilitated, small-group discussions in the exhibition galleries

6:15-6:45 p.m. - Brainstorming and exchanging ideas with colleagues

6:45-7:00 p.m. - Reflection

Questions about the program? Email Meghan Lally Keaton at [email protected].

Past Programs

Jacob Lawrence, Lou Stovall, Amistad Research Center, Toussaint at Ennery, 19891989

Jacob Lawrence, Lou Stovall, Amistad Research Center, Toussaint at Ennery, 1989, color screenprint on wove paper, Gift of Alexander M. and Judith W. Laughlin, 1993.30.2

MOOC Meetup: Live via Zoom
Connecting to Afro-Atlantic Histories: Pictures of Practice from Local DC Educators
Thursday, April 7, 2022
4:00–5:30 p.m. ET

Description:

Join National Gallery of Art museum educators—along with an online community of education professionals across the United States and global participants from the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Teaching Critical Thinking through Art—for a live, virtual teacher workshop and MOOC Meetup session for a deep dive into strategies for connecting works of art to classroom practice.

This spring 2022 virtual teacher workshop, the third of a series of three, will offer an overview of our upcoming special exhibition Afro-Atlantic Histories, which explores the vast range of historical experiences and artistic expressions of Black and African people since the 17th century.

In this workshop, local educators from Washington, DC, will share their experiences applying works of art from the exhibition in their teaching contexts. Participants will then use a thinking routine from Harvard’s Project Zero to foster a deeper exploration of one work in the exhibition and will discuss ways to apply the documentation that the local teachers present. Registrants will receive access to digital teaching resources related to the exhibition. While all educators are welcome, this workshop will be especially relevant to those who teach K–12 and social studies curricula.

The spruce-green silhouette of a broad-shouldered man standing among palm fronds looks up at a faint red star against a field of green circles radiating out from the horizon in this abstracted vertical painting. The scene is made with mostly flat areas of color to create silhouettes in shades of slate and indigo blue, lemon-lime and pea green, plum purple, and brick red. To our right of center, the man faces our left in profile. His eye is a slit and he has tight curly hair. The position of his feet, standing on a coffin-shaped, brick-red box, indicate his back is to us. He stands with legs apart and his arms by his sides. Terracotta-orange shackles around his wrists are linked with a black chain. A woman to our left, perhaps kneeling, holds her similarly shackled hands up overhead. A line of shackled people with their heads bowed move away from this pair, toward wavy lines indicating water in the distance. The water is pine green near the shore and lightens, in distinct bands, to asparagus green on the horizon. On our left, two, tall pea-green ships sail close to each other at the horizon, both titled at an angle to our right. Concentric circles radiate out from the horizon next to the ships to span the entire painting, subtly altering the color of the silhouettes it encounters. To our left, a buttercup-yellow beam shines from the red star in the sky across the canvas, overlapping the man’s face. Spruce-blue palm trees grow to our right while plum-purple palm fronds and leaves in smoke gray and blood red frame the painting along the left corners and edge. The artist signed the painting in the lower right, in black, “AARON DOUGLAS.”

Aaron Douglas, Into Bondage, 1936, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase and partial gift from Thurlow Evans Tibbs, Jr., The Evans-Tibbs Collection), 2014.79.17

MOOC Meetup: Live via Zoom
Connecting to Afro-Atlantic Histories: An Overview for the Classroom
Thursday, March 10, 2022
4:00–5:30 p.m. ET

Description:

Join National Gallery of Art museum educators—along with an online community of education professionals across the United States and global participants from the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Teaching Critical Thinking through Art—for a live, virtual teacher workshop and MOOC Meetup session for a deep dive into strategies connecting works of art to classroom practice.

This spring 2022 virtual teacher workshop, the first of a series of three, will offer an overview of our upcoming special exhibition Afro-Atlantic Histories, which explores the vast range of historical experiences and artistic expressions of Black and African people since the 17th century.

In this workshop, a lecturer will share an overview of the exhibition, describing the six main themes and highlighting key works of art that can be shown digitally in classrooms. Participants will then use a thinking routine from Harvard’s Project Zero to foster a deeper discussion of one work and consider how the exhibition can be applied across teaching contexts. Registrants will receive access to digital teaching resources related to the exhibition. While all educators are welcome, this workshop will be especially relevant to those who teach middle school, high school, and social studies curricula.

A man and a woman with black skin stand in a sage and olive-green boat that comes toward us on a wavy, dripping band of cobalt blue that spans the lower edge of this loosely hanging, square canvas. The word “WANDERER” is written in white capital letters along the bow of the boat. Closer to us, in the boat, a woman is seen from the hips up. An oval, cloud-like form covers her torso, shoulders, and the area behind her head. It is white with rose-pink swirls, and has a few black lines creating scallops around the edge. A black shape at her waist, just over a cobalt-blue skirt, could indicate that at least one arm is bent behind her back. The penis, thighs, and knees of a man are seen between the boat and the triangular, pale lilac-purple sail. The sail is painted with long, curling strokes of violet purple up its center. A long, white pennant with two gold stars flutters from the boat’s burgundy-red mast, which has a crosspiece just below the pennant. The water is painted with strokes of royal blue, which partially drip over a white skull at the lower center. The boat is set against a background layered in washes of white, shell pink, and baby blue, with swirls and thin strokes of brick red scattered across it. A yellow sun outlined in deeper gold peeks above the horizon in the lower left, and is repeated with more orbs that together make an arc that curves to the upper right corner. A few geometric line drawings hover next to the woman, on our left, such as a compass-like cross with a crosshatched oval at each end. A black number

Kerry James Marshall, Voyager, 1992, acrylic and collage on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Gift of the Women’s Committee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art), 2014.79.52

MOOC Meetup: Live via Zoom
Connecting to Afro-Atlantic Histories: Culturally Responsive Teaching with Art
Thursday, March 24, 2022
4:00–5:30 p.m. ET

Description:

Join National Gallery of Art museum educators—along with an online community of education professionals across the United States and global participants from the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Teaching Critical Thinking through Art—for a live, virtual teacher workshop and MOOC Meetup session for a deep dive into strategies for connecting works of art to classroom practice.

This spring 2022 virtual teacher workshop, the second of a series of three, will offer an overview of our upcoming special exhibition Afro-Atlantic Histories, which explores the vast range of historical experiences and artistic expressions of Black and African people since the 17th century.

In this workshop, Maria Akinyele, a professional development leader in culturally responsive teaching and Black history, will present how to teach the themes of the exhibition with sensitivity and awareness. Participants will then use a thinking routine from the Arts as Civic Commons project at Harvard’s Project Zero to foster a deeper discussion of one work in the exhibition and consider how art can support culturally responsive teaching. Registrants will receive access to digital teaching resources related to the exhibition. While all educators are welcome, this workshop will be especially relevant to those who teach middle school, high school, and social studies curricula.

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