Whether dramatic, monumental, whimsical, pristine, quietly contemplative or bold and enveloping, public art works allow us to explore the diversity of creative expression,
the richness of our communities and our own perceptions of the world in which we live. This collection of 20 pieces of art on view in the metropolitan St. Louis area, produced over a period of about 100 years, can be seen as a public sculpture timeline. Starting in the early 20th century with the majestic Meeting of the Waters by Carl Milles, the Kit illustrates and illuminates representative styles up to and including Olafur Eliasson’s 325-foot light sculpture, Ohne Title, installed at the beginning of the 21st century.
The range of stylistic approaches, techniques and materials employed by the sculptors make the Kit an ideal catalyst for learning in all content areas.

Inquiry-based and object-centered, the Public Art Curriculum Kit was created as a tool for teachers to help students both appreciate public art and also to increase their understanding of art’s complex role in our society. It is a unique opportunity for educators to focus attention on issues related to public art in their own communities.

Through slides, locator maps, posters, teaching suggestions and information about each artwork, the Kit is designed to encourage teachers and their students to explore the nature of public art and to establish a context for understanding it. The suggested activities focus on aesthetics in the Looking at Art section, as well as social studies, language arts, math, science, technology, performing arts and art-making activities.

While the order of the Object List is based on the geographic location of each sculpture, there are a number of thematic approaches around which the works can also be discussed and organized. For example: site/environment, metaphorical or historic works, figurative/abstract, etc. Delineating by materials and techniques also provides another way to begin an investigation.

Customizing Curriculum
The structure and format also enables teachers of various content areas to work outside their own disciplines. An art teacher, for example, can begin to help a student who has little interest in math and science see how these areas are relevant to art production. Additionally, teachers from different subject areas can use the Kit to collaborate in creating their own units of study. It is possible that as a team, a music teacher and a drama teacher might plan a unit for their combined classes using several sculptures as a starting point. The teaching suggestions are written for middle school students and can be adapted for use with elementary, high school and adult students. Teachers will find many ways to customize and integrate relevant ideas into existing curriculum.

Pre- and Post-Visit Materials
It is our hope that students will have the opportunity to visit as many of these works as possible. The information, materials and activities in the Kit can be used as preparation for a visit and as follow-up activities. The Looking at Art activities are designed to be used either as on-site activities, and/or in the classroom with posters and/or slides.