Postmodern Principles:

Olivia Gude's summary of 8 postmodern "principles" quoted at**

1.) Appropriation:

- using surrounding appropriated materials such as recycled imagery, etc.

2.) Juxtapostion:

- explores intentional clashes or random happenings in life

3.) Recontextualization:

- position familiar image with other images, text, symbols not usually associated with-generates meaning

4.) Layering:

- piling of images - evokes complex human unconscious mind

5.) Interaction of Text and Image:

- interplay between elements generates rich and ironic associations-disjuncture between these modes is a source of meaning and pleasure

6.) Hybridity:

-mixed media, cultural blending

7.) Gazing:

-"act of looking" Who is looked at? Who is doing the looking? Issues of knowledge and pleasure, power and control of perceptions

8.) Representin':

-"strategy of locating one's artistic voice within one's own personal history and culture of origin" It is important in art classes that students have opportunities for meaningful self-expression. "Postmodern thought embraces the heterogeneous. It affirms the choice making capacity of individuals who select from the past those things that will best serve them as starting points for today."

*Introduction to post modern principles will allow students to develop the ability to participate in and shape "contemporary cultural conversations" and projects

*Here is more information on Olivia:

Postmodern Concepts Embedded-Projects:

Mail Art

The Abraham Lincoln Magic Project**

Have you heard of the artist/film director Miranda July? She has a website called , you might enjoy checking out. She posts 'assignments' for the public to do and they send them into her, and she posts them on her website. Many of them require making something and I thought this would be a great thing to incorporate into a secondary classroom (maybe elementary too). Or even something for students who finish early to work on.

Some of the assignments are better than others, but I like the idea. I'm sure students would like seeing their work online and part of a collection.

Ms. Julie Kruszewski (’07) is an Art Teacher in the Warren School District in Warren, PA. She is teaching at Youngsville High School, the Learning Enrichment Center and the South Street Early Learning Center. She attended the 2008 Governor’s Institute for Art Educators and co-wrote a state curriculum unit of instruction and assessments posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website. Julie also co-published an article in SchoolArts magazine related to Postmodern Art.


Seventh through twelfth graders participated in an art project called “Pop Culture Peeps.” The seventh grade students sorted through popular magazines to find celebrity pictures before deciding which celebrity they would make into a peep. It was suggested that they look for pictures of celebrities that show distinctive characteristics. For example, the person who chose to create the Cameron Diez peep did so because in the picture Cameron had on a ‘pretty interesting floppy hat’ and a necklace that ‘looked fun to construct.’

High school students were also able to get in on the fun. They chose an artist or artist’s work to represent as a peep. Since not every famous artist is known by everyone, pictures of artworks or the actual artist are on display behind each of the framed peeps.

This entire lesson was inspired by an article in the Erie Times Newspaper entitled “Pop Culture Peeps,” which blends popular culture with a traditional holiday delight, the marshmallow peep! Make sure to check the papers for Union City students’ peeps in the Erie Times Newspaper!

external image pdf.png Pop_culture_Peeps.pdf


Things to Read About Postmodernism

Congdon, Kristin G. (2003). “Zinesters in the Classroom: Using Zines to Teach about Postmodernism and the Communication of Ideas.” Art Education: The Journal of the National Art Education, vol. 56. no. 3: 44-52. May.

Freedman, Efland & Stuhr. Postmodern Art Education: An Approach to Curriculum

Gude, Olivia

Stewart, Edward O. (2003). “The Matrix: A Secondary Postmodern Primer.” Art Education: The Journal of the National Art Education, vol. 56. no. 3: 36-43. May.

Stewart, Marilyn (and Walker, Sydney). Rethinking Curriculum in Art Education by

Walker, Sydney. Postmodern Art Education

Other Resources