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McGillis 6th Grade Students Explore the Intersection Between Art and Math

by Paul Chung and Jill Saxton

 

“What the heck does art have to do with math?”

~Anonymous McGillis 6th Grader

 

Great question!

 

McGillis 6th Graders teamed up with six artists from the Phillips Gallery to create a unique experience: an exploration of the intersection between art and math.

 

THE PROCESS

As teachers from two seemingly different fields of study, we have enjoyed combining our Wonder-Twin-powers to collaborate on a learning process between art and math. Applying what they have already learned in statistics, students studied an original work of art by a local artist, created a statistical question, collected data and finally interpreted statistical measures for center and spread. Sounds impressive, right?

 

Artwork studied by students included:

 

Students then created original works of art from this same data to demonstrate their mastery of both subjects. Once students created their “math-art-work”, local artists from the Phillips Gallery visited McGillis, where students shared their findings and welcomed critical feedback and direction. 

 

"The differences in result was as much fun to see as the similarities. It was a joy working with these sharp students.”

 

THE OUTCOME

This collaboration culminated in a private reception at Phillips Gallery showcasing students’ creations, followed by a month-long art show where students’ original artwork appeared alongside peer artists from the Gallery.