Invisible Art

#NipRockArt students learned about Invisible Art today.  Listen to CBC’s podcast:


I think it’s safe to say that Lana Newstrom’s artwork left an impression on my classes.  The image below includes some of the most common words found throughout their written reactions:

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No matter what sort of art is studied, my students use the critical analysis process to respond in a way that helps them digest what they see (or don’t see).

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We focused on our initial reactions today, which were filled with descriptions that included a wide array of responses.  Students weren’t shy to share their concerns, questions, admiration and even outrage.




When we looked at Newstrom’s website, we read about the purpose of her exhibit:

All proceeds go directly to some worthy causes. Today it is EFF… and, of course, you’re free to contribute to a cause of YOUR choice.
You’ll get to own one of my works once you let me know where you contributed and how much.

For some students, this information provided a chance to see things differently.  For others, their original opinion remained intact.


I believe it’s more of a story than art.  And she’s the only one who can tell it because no one else can see what she has created unless she is there to explain it to them. (student)

I believe [people] enjoy the feeling and connection they have with a piece when they imagine what Lana sees.  I think her description allows you to experience the piece for how you want to see it. (student)

I can see her point.  A way of being able to see what you cannot see.  And I like the idea.  It’s just not art.  (student)

I find it pretty awesome that even though she tells the same description, everyone is going to interpret it differently.  …Also, the fact that she donates to charities is pretty awesome.  All in all it’s a pretty awesome idea.  Kinda.  (student)

I’m looking forward to many more discussions about artworks that intrigue, challenge and inspire us.

*thanks to a fantastic group of art educators who provided a huge list of artists that are surrounded by controversy:  Jackson Pollock, Yoko Ono, van Gogh, Shia Labeouf, Marcel Duchamp, Norman Rockwell, Jeffrey Koons, Goya, Barry McGee, Richard Serra, Rousseau, Manet, Rothko, Damian Hirst, Chris Olifi, Ai Weiwei, Andy Warhol, Kostabi, and so many more!

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