Visual Arts: Public Exhibition

Lesson Plan: Public Exhibition
Grade level: any
Duration: 1 week to 1 month (or more) depending on venue
Media Type: any
Subject Integration: Any/all subjects could be displayed
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see below)
Objectives: To develop a visual plan for displaying works of art to share with student community.

(website for help with writing rubrics)


4 - Standards are exceeded
3 - Standards are met
2 - Standards may be met at a very low quality or with some exceptions
1 - Standards are not met

Vocabulary (elements/principles):

  • Exhibition
  • public venue
  • critique
  • color
  • shape
  • line
  • texture
  • balance
  • unity
  • proportion
  • form
  • value
  • space
  • contrast
  • emphasis
  • movement
  • pattern
  • rhythm

Materials and Procedure:

Day 1:
Discuss the possibility and logistics of having a community or school wide art show. Share the following PlayList videos with students to start conversation about the importance of displaying artwork with the community. (6:22) (3:24) (4:21)

After showing the videos, start a conversation: “What did you see?” “What did you notice about the artists and their work?” “How do you feel about displaying your work for others to see?” “How do you feel about spreading your art ideas with people you don’t know? Or people from the community who would view your work and be possibly influenced by your ideas?”

Discuss the importance of sharing work with your community and how it builds relationships with community members. Continue conversation about having a public art show and what it takes to make it happen.

Day 2:
Review and discuss next steps for having a public art show. Compile list of tasks and have students take part in planning. Contact local venues for possible showcasing. Have students carry out matting/framing, artwork tags, etc. and other logistics for hosting community or school wide art show.

Day 3-5:
Have students write artist statements about their work. Mount artist statements on matt board and display with artwork for truly personal reflection of work. Complete all tasks and arrange for time to hang artwork. Possibly have an Art Opening to celebrate the arts. Involve other community members or representatives who would be interested in supporting student work.

Discussion Questions:
Have post art show discussion. Discuss with students: “How do you feel about how the art show was received by the community?” “What worked?” “What would you do differently?”


Visual Theology: Forming and Transforming the Community Through the Arts by Robert M. Jensen

National Standards for Visual Arts:

VA:Re.7.1.6a: Individually or collaboratively, develop a visual plan for displaying works of art, analyzing exhibit space, the needs of the viewer, and the layout of the exhibit.
VA:Pr5.1.Ia: Analyze and evaluate the reasons and ways an exhibition is presented.
VA:Re.7.2.Ia: Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
VA:Pr6.1.Ia: Analyze and describe the impact that an exhibition or collection has on personal awareness of social, cultural, or political beliefs and understandings.
VA:Re.7.1.7a: Explain how the method of display, the location, and the experience of an artwork influence how it is perceived and valued.
VA:Pr5.1.8a: Collaboratively prepare and present selected theme- based artwork for display, and formulate exhibition narratives for the viewer.

Sample National Visual Arts Standards link:

Possible local Duluth display venues:

  • Beaner’s Central Coffeehouse
  • Co-op foods
  • Miller Hill Mall
  • Duluth Art Institute
  • Pizza Luce’

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment