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Pinterest for Curation in Art

Posted by sducharm on August 14, 2015

screen_shot_2015-03-07_at_12.58.59_pmIn IB Art, students need to learn the skills of curation: assembling collections of artwork that tie together somehow. There are two key parts of successful curation: exploring widely and narrowing sharply. Pinterest is an ideal tool for both parts.


What’s Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool. Websites (and videos, docs, pictures) are “pinned” onto a digital bulletin board. The view of the board shows a thumbnail image for each item. Since we tend to remember some websites by their colors and design, it’s easy to find sites you’d like to refer to again. As users pin more and more items, they naturally find themselves wanting to organize their pins around topics that fit their needs.


Exploring Widely:

To begin the process with art students, we get them set up with accounts (free with an email address) and show them how to follow some existing pinterest boards created by various museums.

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From these, students begin to see how the news feed works: each day, new images posted by museums the students follow will appear. Then we look at some good museum sites and show students how to pin from any website using the “pin it” button in Chrome.


Finally, we show how students they can upload their own images from their computer. Being able to collect images in these three ways gives students a good mix of getting information driven to them, information they’ve sought out, and images they’ve created.


Narrowing Sharply:

Once we reach a point of saturation with collecting images (maybe we are feeling overwhelmed?) it’s time to sort, organize, narrow, curate! Students look over what they have gathered and watch for connections and patterns that emerge.


These become new boards: types of media? themes? emotions? time periods? The body of works are moved onto more specific boards as needed. This is the place where students’ creativity comes through, as they create various boards, such as this one by the Tate Gallery called “Feeling Blue?”

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How to use Pinterest (video)

IB Art Resources (document)