The Expressart project is based on a series of didactic exercises that can be carried out in the classroom with the help of a set of materials (three-dimensional objects, images and texts) that come in a box (available through Educational Services and Centres for Pedagogic Resources).
The main objective of Expressart is for students and teachers to enjoy the artworks and to set up a dialogue with them based on their own experience, as well as to awaken a sense of respect and an interest in art as a means of expression, play, representation and experimentation. Another objective is to enable children to become aware of their own capacity for self-expression and to develop it freely with as few external impositions and restrictions as possible, encouraging them to use some of the elements and processes that artists employ. This project allows teachers to raise issues related to contemporary art in relation to the students’ subsequent direct experience of works from the MACBA Collection.
Open to all learning areas
The teaching-learning situations that the project puts forward are not linked to any specific area of knowledge. Although contemporary art is the point of departure, Expressart resources can be approached from many sides – oral, numeric or geometric languages, as an introduction to notions from physics, etc. – in terms of both concepts and processes. The idea is for students to play and work around artworks and images, and then formalise their own ideas, opinions and feelings using any of the languages within their grasp, including artistic languages.
The overall objective is, on one hand, to provide the teacher with tangible resources and information with which to carry out a series of exercises and activities, and, on the other, to allow teachers to introduce the content in a way that motivates students and takes into account the wide array of ways of learning.
Flexibility and dynamism
The proposed activities are highly flexible and can be adapted to the specific contexts in which they are carried out. The material can even give rise to other uses, becoming a living, dynamic resource. The activities are structured into three blocks that explore the potential of objects and materials and also compositional aspects. This project sees art as a means of expression, play, experimentation, formalisation and representation. It is based on the idea that art offers an almost infinite possibilities for formalising ideas, feelings, opinions and emotions, and can draw on the most diverse materials, objects and process which, in turn, can mean very different things depending on the artist who uses them.
We recommend that classes work with these resources before their visit to the Museum, so that the prior work in the classroom can help the children to develop processes of recognition, identification, research and observation in response to the artworks.
The aim of the classroom exercises using the Expressart box is to motivate the group to come and see the works exhibited in the Museum. The students will be able to use the reflections and knowledge that have emerged from this prior work when they contemplate the original works at the Museum.
It is important to keep in mind that MACBA has a very large collection and only exhibits part of it, on a temporary basis. The works and artists selected for the Expressart project have been included for artistic reasons, not because of their presence in the Museum galleries. But the different temporary showcases of the Collection always make it possible to work with the themes that Expressart is based on. This means that the visit to the Museum becomes the essential culmination of a project that begins in the classroom.