LTA partner schools host two residencies, and each week the artist in residency works for 90 minutes with at least three separate classrooms. The residencies are conducted at the same grade level each year to ensure that all students at the school have the opportunity to participate as they matriculate to the grade being served.
LTA assistants – dedicated volunteers studying arts educations in college or graduate school – provide vital support to the teaching artists, assisting with arts projects, preparing and cleaning up materials, answering student questions, and proving one-on-one guidance to children or other aid as needed. Classroom teachers also take an active role in LTA lessons, promoting student comfort and engagement with the program.
The weekly LTA sessions are structured to allow students to engage in a range of learning activities that include:
- Observation and discussion about a key artwork or artist related to the Museum that helps to anchor the lesson;
- demonstration of particular artistic medium, such as collage, painting, or sculpture;
- work time, during which the students create their own artwork; and
- reflection, which occurs either during the lessor to explore any challenges or discoveries about the artistic mediums, or following the lesson, with a focus on students’ creative processes and their finished works of art.
As they guide students throughout the year, teaching artists use an inquiry-based method of instruction asking open-ended questions and promoting the understanding that there are no “right” or “wrong” answer about art. Additional projects helps students explore other topics being addressed during the school year, and all projects invite experimentation with a broad range of artistic mediums and techniques.
In May of each year, the Guggenheim presents A Year with Children, an exhibition of approximately 100 LTA student works of art created during the school year. This is a very exciting opportunity for youth to see their artwork on display in the Museum.