Outside In

Contemporary Landscape Art

What is the role of place in who we are? How do contemporary artists explore the ideas of place and landscape? In Outside In: Contemporary Landscape Art, see art objects of all shapes, sizes, and mediums to inspire your imagination and spark memory. Learn about yourself and the artists whose creativity is on display.

Use this page to learn more about the art objects and find resources for teaching and learning.

Lesson Ideas

Crazy About Clouds
Lesson Plan

Crazy About Clouds

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 30 minute lesson

In this lesson children will have an opportunity to linger outside and watch the clouds go by. They will then use shaving and/or whipped cream to shape and sculpt the clouds that floated by, paints to explore the color of the sky, and movement to feel like a cloud.

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A Spider’s Perspective
Lesson Plan

A Spider’s Perspective

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will first pay attention to details about the Denver Art Museum’s North Building and then imagine they are a spider, or other small creature, and write a short piece about exploring the outside of the building from this new perspective.

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Before You Go…Travel Recommendations from the Experts!
Lesson Plan

Before You Go…Travel Recommendations from the Experts!

Elementary (grades K-5)
Two 50 minute lessons

By making their own Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone drawings in small groups, students will develop a better understanding of the scope and size of the original painting. They will then use the painting as inspiration for writing creative travel guide entries.

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City or Country
Lesson Plan

City or Country

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 40 minute lesson

Students will examine the artistic characteristics of Childhood Idyll, describe the characteristics of a city and of the countryside, and classify pictures as being from a city/urban area or from a countryside/rural area.

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Construcción con objetos naturales encontrados
Exploraciones artísticas

Construcción con objetos naturales encontrados

Esta exploración independiente contribuye a que los niños experimenten con formas, estructuras y materiales cuando construyen y equilibran objetos que encuentran en la naturaleza.

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American Grasslands: Prairie, Pasture, Crop and Lawn, Karen Kitchel, 1997, oil paint
Lesson Spark

A Walk in Nature

Karen Kitchel's creative process required close looking and attention to detail. Recreate this experience with young children to give them tools for close looking.

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Justin Favela, Fridalandia, 2017. © Justin Favela
Lesson Spark

Home and Identity

Justin Favela is one of 13 contemporary artists whose work was featured in Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place featuring installations that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West.

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So Much to See, So Little Time
Lesson Plan

So Much to See, So Little Time

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will use American Grasslands to inspire their own investigation and representation of one square foot of natural space. The paintings will also serve to facilitate a discussion of the impact of living beings (humans and other animals) on the land.

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Wondrous Water
Lesson Plan

Wondrous Water

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 30 minute lesson

Students will enjoy moving like the birds in Blumenschein’s painting Mountain Lake (Eagle Nest). They will then use their powers of observation to learn what water looks like when it’s still versus when it’s moving and apply what they learn when examining the lake in the painting.

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Tête et Oiseau (Head and Bird), Joan Miró, 1967
Art Exploration

Building with Natural Found Objects

This self-directed exploration supports children’s experimentation with forms, structures, and materials, as they build and balance found objects from nature.

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Creating a Local Garden
Lesson Plan

Creating a Local Garden

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will examine the artistic characteristics of The Water Lily Pond; explain how the natural resources that appear in the painting, particularly the vegetation, correspond with the climate of France; and design and create a collage of a garden including different vegetation that co

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El hogar y la identidad 
Inspiraciones para la clase

El hogar y la identidad 

Justin Favela es uno de los 13 artistas contemporáneos cuya obra se exhibió en Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place (Mi Tierra: artistas contemporáneos exploran el concepto de lugar), la cual constó de instalaciones que expresaban las experiencias de la vida contemporánea en el Oeste estadounidense.

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