Understanding Public Art
In recent years, passionate conversations about social justice and identity have coalesced around historic monuments and other public art. There are questions about what historic moments deserve to be commemorated in the public space and how a critical lens can be applied to public art amid changing values. Participants will look at three monuments on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and discuss ways to help students think about the value and purpose of public art. Reading materials and prompts will be provided that are suitable for any grade, elementary through high school.
Constance Vidor has been an educator for many years, most recently as director of library services at Friends Seminary, where she has collaborated with classroom teachers on programs involving history, art, writing, and civic education. She is particularly interested in how art can engage students both emotionally and intellectually. She is a winner of the American Library Association’s 2016 Jaffarian Award, the Follett Library Company’s Information Pathfinder Award, and the United States Board on Books for Young Readers Bridge to Understanding Award.