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Department of Art


Guidelines for writing a one-page report on an exhibition visit
The visit and paper – if approved – will count for not being able to attend one Art Forum class session.

1)  You must visit one of the following museums:
          Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas
          Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, Kansas
          Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas
          Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
          Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
          Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas
          Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas
          OR
          another museum, subject to instructor approval

2)  The visit must be approved by the instructor in charge of Art Forum.

3)  Along with turning in the paper on the museum visit, you must bring an admission ticket (if
      there is one) or a current exhibition publication from the museum or a photograph of   
      yourself in front of the work you are writing about, if it is in the permanent collection. Note: 
      Copying information off the web will result in a grade of “U” for the class.  You will be
      asked questions about the museum itself.

4)  Your paper must address the following questions in essay form:
     A.   Artist, title, date, medium
     B.  Where does this work fit in the artist’s oeuvre?
     C.  What is the content of this work?  What do you know about its iconography?  Is there a    
          recognizable subject and, if so, how is that subject treated?  Are there symbols, and can
          you decode them?
     D.  What are the most prominent art elements in this work?  Lines?  Shapes?  Values? 
           Colors?  How do these elements influence your reaction to the work?
     E.  Does this work seem unified, and is there enough variety to sustain interest?  How has the
          artist balanced the composition?  What is the focal point(s), and how did the artist create
          them?  Do you sense a particular kind of rhythm?
     F.  Are the materials of this work important to its type of expression and its overall effect? 
          Does the work seem well-crafted?
     G.  Do you like it?

5)  Each essay should be approximately at least 600 in a  standard  12pt. font, double-spaced pages, carefully proofread and hand-delivered or emailed to the Art Forum instructor.

6)   Papers are due no later than Friday, December 7th, the last day of regular classes.
     

Tips for successful writing:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Take notes before you start writing.  These will give you a foundation from which to work. 
    These should have been taken at the museum in front of the work.
  • Pretend you are writing this for a reader who knows nothing about the material.
  • Proofread your essay, preferably out loud to another person.  Reading out loud helps you determine whether your sentences flow smoothly, whether your word order makes sense, whether you need to add or eliminate punctuation, break up your sentences or paragraphs, and so on.  The other person is useful because s/he can tell you whether or not what you have written makes sense.