Sample Assignments

1. AR-473- Electronic Imaging

Visit the QCC Gallery and take some time to see the work on display, including the permanent exhibition (African art). Find one object that you respond to, make notes, and then write a description of it as if you were describing it to someone who cannot see it or cannot see. Is this a well-crafted object? What place does it have in culture? Is it art? If so why? Does it speak to a specific culture? Does this object have a function, (i.e., clothing, vessel, etc.)?

2. SP-321- Oral Performance for the Actor and Speaker

Character Analysis Assignment: This assignment may be used to prepare students for their performance reading of a dramatic scene. This simple character analysis assignment is one of several in-class and homework assignments that may be given to help students prepare their performances. The class visits the Art Gallery as a group for an hour during class time on a date after which students have read the assigned plays and know the roles they will be preparing. Students are instructed to observe the different exhibits in the gallery and select one artifact or work of art that his or her character might own. If the text of the play negates the possibility of the character owning an expensive work of art, the instruction may be adjusted (e.g., “select one artifact or work of art to which his or her character would have a strong reaction”). Students are advised to make notes while in the gallery about anything that strikes them as relevant to their characters. In class, students have a half-hour to compose a brief (1-2 page) description in the voice of their character describing the piece and the character’s “history” with it. The remainder of the class time is spent listening to the student actors reading aloud their descriptions. In addition to helping students learn what is necessary for an actor to do to properly develop his or her subtext, this assignment also incorporates low-stakes writing and exposes students to the Art Gallery.

3. EN101- English Composition 1

This assignment works well following class discussion of popular culture and its influence on Americans. Arrange for Arthur Flug, executive director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives, to offer a short background talk on the time period. This is followed by watching five to seven minutes of an old Nazi propaganda film. The discussion following the clip will address the following points/questions: A) Which images stand out from the video and why? B) What objective do you think the video has? Do you think it is obvious that it is propaganda, or does it mask itself as something else? and C) Can you imagine what it was like watching this video then? How do you respond to it differently now? After discussion, students will break up into groups and come up with two lists. The first is one of images from contemporary popular culture meant to create/perpetuate stereotypes. The second is a list of elements of popular culture that do positive work. Once students come up with the lists and share them, lead a discussion about the role popular culture plays in the conception of race/ethnicity and whether or not it has a responsibility to perform a positive function.

4. LS111- Elementary Spanish 1

For Introduction to Spanish classes, the lesson uses the Gallery to help students describe objects or people. Have students visit the Gallery and describe some painting they like and write something about the artist (e.g., origin, nationality, etc.).

5. LS315- Readings in Contemporary Spanish-American Literature

For an Introduction to Hispanic Literature class, use the Art Gallery and the Gallery’s small and beautiful movie theater for film showings. In some cases, students are asked to compare the adaptation of some Latin-American novels. Students may also be asked to choose one or two of the paintings in the gallery and to describe them. A good film to help students to expand their comprehension of a new culture is Frida, which is about the famous avant-garde Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo. After a viewing and discussion of the film, students visit the gallery and write about Kahlo’s paintings in the film and those in the gallery. Students can then read their compositions aloud in class.

Cultural Centers

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Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

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QPAC: Performing Arts Center

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

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QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for the Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.