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These activities focus on works of art in the Whitney’s collection and special exhibitions. Through discussion, research, art making, and writing activities, we hope to encourage close looking, foster conversation between students, and connect artwork to classroom learning. Learn about our four artist-centered themes.

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Consider your personal definitions of art

The 2014 Biennial exhibition features the work of artists who explore different ways of experiencing and interpreting the world around them. Some artists experiment with unusual materials and playful approaches, other artists draw our attention to important social and political issues, while others ask us to pause and reflect. These artists often challenge our ideas about what art can be.

What makes something a work of art? What characteristics does a work of art have? Who decides? Ask your students to spend time thinking and writing about their personal deifnitiions of art. Share and discuss students’ writing and ask them to save it for a further discussion after their Biennial visit.