SEEING POETRY


 
Grades 4 – 12

This ongoing project begins with a visit to Carl Andre’s permanent installation Words. Andre’s project contains 270 typewritten or handwritten poems, each one an exploration of the graphic field of text and the power of language. After viewing Andre’s installation, students walk to the Chinati Art Lab where they learn the screen-printing process. This hands-on demonstration quickly takes students through every element of screen-printing, from burning a new screen in the darkroom to prepping screens and pulling a final product.

In this initial Art Lab meeting, students are given two graphic examples of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel.” Each graphic representation of the poem has its own rhetorical punch. Students are asked to discuss how these different visual representations can alter the meaning of the poem, and how this can change the reading of the same words.


 

With guidance from classroom instructors and support from Chinati educators, students write, workshop, and graphically compose their own poems. When their texts are edited and revised, the students return to the Art Lab to print an edition of their work. A public reading and showing of the work completes the program.

For classrooms beyond this region, much of this workshop can be executed remotely using snail mail, Skype, and reproductions of Andre’s work. One successful partnership, with Del Valle High School, near Austin, spanned 400 miles until the class traveled to Chinati for an end-of-project printmaking workshop.

Chinati strives to engage students with the museum’s collection. This program may be tailored to individual classrooms and teacher objectives, in grades 4 – 12.


 
 

Chinati’s educational and public programming is supported with generous grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Brown Foundation, the Cowles Charitable Trust, the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, the Permian Basin Area Foundation, the Warren Skaaren Trust, the Susan Vaughan Foundation, and the City of Marfa.