In some cultures red means love, in others it means hate, in some national pride, and in some death. The ambiguity of meaning and expression within art is important and is an incredible tool for helping students see their own cultural and personal identity in the way they walk in the world. When we interpret art, I find that it is important to allow the audience to interpret through their Lens first. Talking about what the artwork speaks to them and why. Only once they know their position and perspective, once they understand their own eyes, then they can take flight and explore the work through the eyes of another. Seeing that you can be right to see it and feel it through your own experience and then learning that the artist had a completely different way of seeing the world and through their culture and perspective, communicated something very different, should open up the wonder and awe of the piece. Art is not about right and wrong but about empathy and depth and complexity and understanding. The way art communicates the things that make us the same and the things that make us different is what makes it so powerful. It builds bridges and if taught right, at any age, unpacks invaluable lessons that impact to how we view not just art, but all aspects of life.
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