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Tour Resources: O’Keeffe Exhibition Grades 6-12 (Quick Tip)


O’Keeffe as Influencer (grades 6-12, maximum of 50 students) FULL

How many followers does it take to make an impact on the world of art? Students will analyze O’Keeffe’s works alongside contemporary art to discover how she continues to influence artists.

Download this handout for a complete list of standards, pre-visit activities, and post-visit activities created specifically for this tour.

Tour and Studio Programs

Making a Mark on Modernism (grades 6-12, maximum of 30 students) FULL

Learn about O’Keeffe’s groundbreaking compositions through a docent led discussion and then create original abstract designs inspired by her use of color and cropping.

Download this handout for a complete list of standards, pre-visit activities, and post-visit activities created specifically for this tour and studio program.

Pre-visit Activities 

Before your visit, consider doing one of the activities listed below to help prepare your students.

Meet Georgia O’Keeffe: Use NCMALearn to learn about Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and work. Then, view this two-minute video of O’Keeffe in New Mexico talking about her inspiration and painting.

Meet the Contemporary Artists: Watch video interview with the contemporary artist in the exhibition on NCMALearn‘s story for The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art exhibition.

Influence web: Ask students to identify something they do because they were influenced by one or more people, and then to represent it visually. If they’ve influenced someone else to do the same thing, ask them to represent that, too. Offer a graphic organizer like this one if desired; students can put themselves in the center and identify the different influences on them and their influences, too.

What makes it an O’Keeffe? Look at Cebolla Church by Georgia O’Keeffe and read the quote from the artist. Based on this work, what principles or guidelines did O’Keeffe set for herself when she painted? What do you think she wanted you to understand about this building?

Sense of place: View a time-lapse video of Georgia O’Keeffe’s home at Ghost Ranch. Look at Cebolla Church in the North Carolina Museum of Art’s collection. Based on what you see in the painting and the video, how do you think living in this environment influenced O’Keeffe as an artist? What did she bring to her painting from her experience in New Mexico?

Post-visit Activities 

After your visit, consider doing one of the activities listed below to extend learning.

Convince an Artist: Georgia O’Keeffe was struck by the landscapes she saw in New York City and New Mexico. What would you say to a contemporary American artist about North Carolina’s landscapes or other natural wonders to convince them to come here? Write a postcard explaining what makes North Carolina worth a visit. On the other side, draw or paint the place this artist should visit.

O’Keeffe-Inspired Still Life: Encourage students to bring in natural objects from home, or take a walk around the school building to collect found objects. Have students work in small groups to make a collaborative still life. Create a viewfinder by cutting a square or rectangle out of an index card or tagboard. Have students move the viewfinder around to select one small portion of the image covering unwanted parts of the picture. Create an abstract composition inspired by O’Keeffe’s use of tightly cropped compositions and flat colors.

Close to Home Landscape: Find images of Raleigh or your home. Make a drawing of that place in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe, by using cropping, removing detail, enlarging the subject, and other techniques she used to create her works.

Who’s Not There? The website The Art Story includes an influences and connections chart for each featured artist. Look at the chart for Georgia O’Keeffe. What contemporary artist or artists do you think should be added to the “influenced by” portion of this website? Explain why. If you have digital capabilities, allow students to post a new “influenced artist” slide and their explanation in a collaborative slideshow such as with Google slides or Microsoft PowerPoint.

O’Keeffe’s Influence on Pop Culture. Georgia O’Keeffe’s influence extended beyond the visual arts to affect fashion, design, and even food. Watch this video from PBS to see how a cooking show found inspiration in O’Keeffe’s art.

Modernist Motivational Posters: A well-known quote from Georgia O’Keeffe is “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Discuss with your class its meaning. Then, have students find quotes by O’Keeffe and illustrate them, thinking about their choice of color, line, shapes, and typography to evoke meaning. If technology is available, students could create digital posters to display throughout your school.

What Would Georgia Do? Create a drawing or painting that uses some of the same techniques that Georgia O’Keeffe used (cropping, enlarging, and omitting details) to depict a flower, still life, or landscape. As you create, consider how to incorporate one or more of the following qualities: cropped, larger than actual size, abstract, fluidity, crispness, spiral, convergence, rise, movement, stillness, or curviness.

NOTE: The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art includes painting and sculpture by Georgia O’Keeffe and 20 emerging artists, selected for their individual approaches to the themes of flowers, bodies, still life, landscape, and abstraction. Some work contains nudity and may not be suitable for all audiences.