By Jane Fox
Conversation Art Cards were created to stimulate meaningful and interesting conversation with English language learners using famous works of art. On one side of the card is the painting with notation as to the artist, title of the painting, dates, and location. Before one turns the card over to begin a topic of discussion, the participants engage with verbal observations about the art.
Jose Ferraz de Almeida Junior. The Guitar Player. c. 1899. Oil on canvas, 141 x 172 cm. Pinacotea do Estado de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Describe what you see in the painting; what do you notice?
What questions would you like to ask the artist?
Does the painting suggest a story? What might the story be?
There is not really a right or wrong answer and one does not have to have a background in art to make observations! Noticing facial expressions, lighting, interactions, and halos is all part of the process. I think you will be surprised what people notice and perceive.
The flip side of the card suggests a conversation topic with four questions. The first two questions asks about a person’s experience or opinion. The third question give a quote and the fourth question brings the painting back into the discussion.
I don’t think you will be disappointed with the conversations these cards bring, nor with the pleasure of looking and commenting on art, even if you’ve never before had these kinds of discussions. I recommend that you stay on this website and click on the tab named, “Conversation Art Cards,” read the introduction, and then click on one of the cards. See what you think!
I would love to hear from you with comments and suggestions.
Yours for conversations that take a twist and turn,