ROCK HILL, S.C. - When the classroom can’t come to the exhibition, sometimes the exhibition can go to the classroom – online.
That was the idea fueling the creation of an educational website, http://www.birdnest.org/Lewandowski, based on Winthrop University Galleries’ three-month "Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond" exhibition. Designed by Department of Fine Arts faculty members Greg Schauble and Mark Hamilton, the website provides art, South Carolina history and general history components that Rock Hill District 3 K-12 teachers can work into their curriculum.
Past exhibitions have offered grade-level educational components for local students, including bussing students to the galleries to see artwork and hear presentations. Reduced funding has made such trips more difficult, so one year ago Department of Fine Arts chair Tom Stanley met with art educators in District 3 to initiate the idea of creating a website. Schauble and Hamilton handled the site’s design while several fine arts faculty members developed an educator’s guide to how to work Lewandowski into their curriculum.
The goal, Stanley noted, was to create a permanent website with information so that teachers could use the site and customize the information to fit their curriculum. At an Oct. 8 in-service, District 3 teachers visited the galleries for a walk-through of the exhibition, a hands-on lesson plan workshop, a talk by Jimmy Matthews, one of Lewandowski’s former students and an overview of how to use the website.
The site includes a detailed biography on Lewandowski’s life and career; sections on the Works Progress Administration murals the Precisionist painter created in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin as well as Lewandowski’s mosaics (including images); a gallery of select Lewandowski works from 1937-98; an educator’s guide to teaching about Lewandowski, his art, process, techniques and historical relevance; and a film that documents Lewandowski’s artistic process in 1939 from the initial small image to completion of the large-scale mural "S.S. President Van Buren."
Both the website and the exhibition capture Lewandowski’s enduring affinity for the industrial landscape, said Stanley.
"Ed really loved the idea of the man-made and objects, and in much of his work you see that clearly," he explained. "His work says something about a particular time and place that in a digital age doesn’t exist quite the same way."
Stanley said that the website will remain online indefinitely for Rock Hill educators to use in their curriculum. He hopes that Lewandowski and his art will become infused into the curriculum.
"Ed oftentimes described his version of Precisionism as a means of documenting the industrial age of this country," Stanley said. "His artwork is a historical record."
"Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond" has been made possible in part by Williams and Fudge, Inc., Rock Hill and other donors.
For more information about "Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond," contact Karen Derksen, gallery director, at 803/323-2493 or email@example.com.