The Magic of Cinematography: Becoming a Film Major

AAEP 1600 Art and Music since 1945 Art Worksheet



Type your responses directly on this worksheet where you see GREEN TEXT.

Write your name:


This worksheet is designed to teach you the critical skills you need for analyzing a visual artwork. Follow the steps in this worksheet carefully to organize your thinking. This assignment is worth 100 points. Use the checklists throughout to be sure you meet all requirements.

In Step 1, you will tell a story about the work or tell what the work means to you in some way. If you are allowed to take pictures in the exhibition space, include a picture of the work in this assignment.

In Step 2, you will re-examine the art work in more detail. Connect specific elements of the artwork to your story and tell how the artist made them more or less important in the work.

In Step 3, you will go beyond what the work means to you and judge the work. How is it art and how does it make sense to you?

The combination of these three steps is a strategy for writing about visual art in your own words.

REMEMBER: late assignments will not receive on-time points AND you will lose additional points as follows:

1 day late:     -20%

2 days late: -40%

3 days late: -60%

4 days late: -100%




The art work you chose must be created in 1945 or later.

As you know, museums and galleries are closed during the pandemic, but we still have options. Any public art work made after 1945 will do. You may also look for an image on our course website. Each webpage about an artist usually contains links to web galleries of their art works in the “Learn More …” section. You may also select an art work from a collection of street art murals at Mural Arts Philadephia ( ).

It will be much easier to write this assignment if you choose a work you feel an affinity for.

REMEMBER: if you want to quote someone else’s words (on a webpage, brochure, etc.) you must tell where you got that information with citations and references according to MLA or APA style.

Need help with citations? Look here…


Now that you’re set up:

Type your responses to all three (3) steps in your word processor and upload it in Carmen.

Save the file in Word (doc, docx) or Rich Text (rtf) formats.

If you write your worksheet in Pages (on a Mac) please export your paper in Word format.


In Step 1, you will focus on your interpretation of the work. You will interpret the artwork through writing a story about it or telling what it means to you. Explain what you think is going on in the piece, and what it is about. Your story can be personal, true, fictional, fantasy, a diary or journal entry. Tell us your story in Steps 1.a., 1.b., and 1.c., below:

Step 1.a.

If you are allowed to take pictures of the artworks, insert an image no larger than 5 inches high or wide. If cannot take a picture of the artwork, please explain this.

<Insert image here>

Tell your story about the work:

Enter into the piece and tell what you think is going on.

Remember to describe the parts of the artwork that tie to the story.

(Write your response here in at least 250 words)

Step 1.b.

Make a brief statement of how your story relates to the piece:

How does telling a story help you understand artwork?

Do you think other viewers would make a similar story or is yours different?

(Write your response here in at least 200 words)







Step 1.c.

Tell the title of your story:


Your work for Step 1 will be evaluated with this rubric:

30 POINTS: States a clear, plausible narrative/story that relates to the work, distinguishing fact from opinion.


For Step 2.a and 2.b, you will analyze the artwork, focusing on literally what you see.

Step 2.a.


Answer these questions:

  1. In what year was the work created?
  2. Who is the Artist
  3. What is the title of the work?
  4. Where is the work exhibited?

Now, think about the questions, below, and write sentences identifying 10 elements in the work (objects, colors, light, dark, textures, etc.).

If you need a way to get started, study the work and think through what you wrote for Step One. Find specific elements of the work and tell how the technical effects led you to your story.

Think of different or familiar objects that you could refer to for comparison.

Be very specific in your descriptions of basic colors and shapes. For example, instead of just “green,” write “lima bean green” or “grass green.”

Where does your eye move through the work as you put together the interpretation? What did you notice first and what makes it more noticeable than other areas of the work?

Instead of “six inches wide” or “thirty feet high,” “write tall as the ceiling” or “a two-story house, large as a laptop, small as my cell phone,” etc. These relationships help you identify exhibition context of the artwork.

Write your 10 complete sentences, below:


Step 2.b

From the elements you described in Step 2.a., summarize your descriptions in five well developed sentences that tell:

  1. What you perceive as movement within the work (the pattern your eye follows) or actual (physical) movement in the work, itself.
  2. The relationships between elements you have described

Write your five (5) complete, well-developed sentences below:

Sentence 1

Sentence 2

Sentence 3

Sentence 4

Sentence 5


Your work from Step 2 will be evaluated with this rubric.

DESCRIPTION (40 points possible for this section)

15 POINTS: States the name of the Artist, the year the work was done (or that the date was unavailable), and where you found the image.

15 POINTS: Describes elements in the work with rich language, as related to Step 1.

10 POINTS: Articulates the way their eye moves through the work and/or any physical movement in the work.

Step 3

In steps 3.a and 3.b you will determine how you make sense of the artwork.

Explain how you think this work is art, what meaning it provides, and WHY you like or dislike the work.

Step 3.a. How is it art?

Discuss how you think this artwork might be an art form. This is your opinion and it is up to you to explain how and substantiate why you came to such a conclusion.

Tell how location and context impact the meaning of the work. Where is it displayed?

Tell how its meaning would change if it were in a different location?

In this section be sure to include:

How is the work art?

Why or why not — because of it’s beauty or ugliness? What it means to you? Its style?

(Write your response here in at least 150 words)


Step 3.b. Judgment

In this step, you are to discuss whether or not you like the artist/artwork and explain why you like or dislike it. Explain your reasoning and go beyond basic statements such as: “it’s truly beautiful,” “It caught my eye,” “It’s ugly.”

Expand on your judgment and refer to specific things in the artwork, as well as your interpretation of the piece that makes you think that way about it. That is, how does all this make sense to you?

  1. In this section be sure to include:
  2. Whether or not you like the artist’s work(s).
  3. Why or why not?
  4. How do you make sense of the art form? Give specific reasoning referring back to the work(s).
  5. Did your judgment change?

(Write your response here in at least 250 Words)