I. Identity
Protest and Persuasion*
Art and Technology
Other Voices
Art for Hire
The Natural World
Spirit Worlds
Mining for Ideas


The THEMES listed above provide content and focus to the sequence of UNITS found in each of the Studios. Clicking on a given theme takes you to a page that provides a variety of resources. Each theme page includes a relevant quotation, a discussion that develops the ideas of the theme, a series of inquiry questions, related artCore projects, a list of relevant artists and cultural works, and recommended reading ("references").

Individual UNIT PROJECTS are designed to emphasize particular THEMES. For example, in the 2D Matrix, you will find projects that address the themes of "Identity" (e.g., Signature Style), "Protest and Persuasion"* (e.g., Making Art That Matters), "Art for Hire" (e.g., Logo Design), etc.

According to Dr. Mary Erickson, professor of Art Education at Arizona State University, Themes help learners to integrate their understanding by:

* connecting a learner's prior experience with new ideas and experiences.
* connecting art making and art history lessons.
* connecting artworks from very different cultures.
* connecting ideas in art with ideas in other areas of the curriculum.

Key to fully tapping the potential of each theme is the idea of "inquiry-based teaching," a method that, in the words of Dr. Erickson, "puts control and direction in the hands of the learner." While the inquiry questions provided may catalyze discussion, students are encouraged to formulate their own questions regarding particular themes.

Credits and Acknowledgments

Dr. Mary Erickson, professor of Art Education at Arizona State University, has been of invaluable assistance in helping to conceptualize a "thematic, inquiry-based approach" to the artCore.

*Mary Erickson and Gary Keller Cárdenas, a professor at Arizona State University in the Hispanic Research Center, are the primary authors of the theme on Protest and Persuasion. See their full website at