Curating an identity: Exploration and Expression in the Elementary Art Room

byRobert Graham

Considering the idea of identity, through the creative and expressive view of art, this unit focuses on the manifestations of identities in students and how they are expressed. This unit discusses the practice of collecting as a personal act of projecting one’s identity onto objects. The idea of a narrative identity, or a personal story, is discussed and synthesized with the role of a curator. The curator’s job of assembling and organized artwork for use in a museum is use here to explain to students one way of expressing their identity through art. Addressing art’s expressive features, the unit highlights artworks, techniques, and characters that can be used to help students visualize identity and learn about ways to express it. The unit is grounded in the elementary classroom but speaks to students of all ages.

(Developed for Visual Art, grades K-5; recommended for Visual Art, grades K-12)

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