It Starts With a Dot

Gibbes Museum of Art “It Starts With a Dot”

Pilot Program at St. John’s High School for 100+ students

Eye Spy is an established Gibbes Museum program designed to help elementary-level students learn how to examine and converse about art. At Arts, etc.’s request, the Gibbes Museum expanded this program for the 2017 – 2018 school year, developing a pilot project called “It Starts with a Dot” at St. John’s High School

During the pilot year, a Museum educator worked in collaboration with acclaimed novelist and English professor Bret Lott, graduate students from the College of Charleston MFA program in Creative Writing and the visual arts and Spanish language teachers at St. John’s High School.  Students learned to write about their observations of various works of art to support their opinions and created poems based on paintings. A publication was produced at the end of the year that showcased the high school students’ creative writing along with the corresponding artwork.

Based on the success of this project, Arts, etc. is again supporting “It Starts with a Dot”.  During the 2018 – 2019 school year, graduate students and Gibbes museum educators will work directly with St. Johns High School students to promote literacy and creative writing through art. They will meet with the students every other week and use artwork from the Gibbes’ collections and special exhibitions as visuals for thinking about and talking about art.  Literary and musical sources will be used to relate to the theme. 

The project will include a field trip to the Gibbes Museum, giving students access to an art collection that highlights works from colonial America to the present. With its new facility space, the Gibbes Museum offers an ideal setting for inquiry-based learning and a center for creativity. For this group, the field trip will be an integral component as poetry writing activities take place in the galleries. Transportation will be provided.