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A Community of Learners: Writing Inspired by Art

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Third graders from the Ray School in Hanover, New Hampshire, on a tour of the exhibition Crossing Cultures: The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art. Photo by Rob Strong.

Hood Quarterly, winter 2009

One of the goals of the Hood is to provide multiple and varied ways for visitors to engage with and learn about original works of art. To this end, Kris Bergquist in the education department created a resource called Creative Space: Art + Writing. The sixteen-page booklet is available at the museum free of charge and invites visitors to respond to art through their own creative writing. It is designed to work for all ages, though it may work best for younger children to use it with an adult companion.

The booklet includes five creative writing prompts to help you discover within yourself the words to express what you are seeing, feeling, and thinking as you look at works of art. No previous creative writing experience is necessary, as the booklet provides instructions for each exercise. It also contains samples by other visitors who were inspired to write about art, such as this cinquain (five-line poem) written by a fifth grader in response to a still-life painting:

Raspberries and Cherries
Juicy, tasty
Ripening, spilling, rolling
Destined to be in a stomach
Delicious

We invite you to enter into the creative space of the museum and reflect on works of art through writing.We hope that this new resource will provide an enjoyable opportunity, and that it will help you to see and respond to art in new ways.

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