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Vivian Ladd taught audience art methodology “Learning to Look” for new insight

When some people look at a piece of art work they may see shapes, colors, lines, and objects.

But Vivian Ladd went beyond the basics during her presentation of the five step methodology called “Learning to Look” Monday night.

Ladd has been an art museum educator for the past 25 years. She is on staff at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Currier Museum of Art and the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College.

“You are demystifying what it means to look at a piece of art,” Ladd said.

The 5 steps of “Learning to Look” consists of the following: close observation, examining details, happy to share, interpretation, and critical assessment/personal response, she said.

“You present this five step methodology to your students by not letting them scan,” Ladd said. “Ask your students what do you think? How does it come together? What do you see? and What do you like?”

Ladds presentation did just that.

She let the crowd analyze two pieces of art work asking the audience numerous questions that had more than one answer.

The crowd participation was a method used to help students become knowledgable about the information that was presented. She let more than one student answer while she kept asking other questions that the audience was able to build off of.

“With this five step methodology you have more knowledge about interpreting, and abstract,” said Jessica Swart, senior.

Swart, also a student teacher at Eastwoods Highschool in Luckey, Ohio said “this is a nice transition that I can teach my students.”

The audience included museum employers, professors, and students.

“I thought the presentation was great, it taught me how to engage the students better,” said Amanda Fleming, an employer at Toledo Museum of Art. “I learned the right age appropriate questions to ask to get the students engaged more.”

Ladd is also an author who has written adult, children, students, teachers, and families publications.

“Because of this presentation I am more comfortable with identifying with what a person sees; it’s more inevitable,” Swart said.

We can teach them these steps for beneficial experience and it makes it fun, Swart said.

These questions will not only challenge teachers, but it will engage students to learn more about a specific pieces of art work.

“When I teach this message to a group, I try to increase visual awareness,” Ladd said.

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