Artist Danette Montoya in her studio

Storytelling Through Art

Artist Danette Montoya in her studio

Danette Montoya

Danette Montoya is a local artist who participated in the Cuatro[4] series of artist interactions. Each of the four artists brought our pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art collections to life through their own artistic practice. Danette explored her own personal identity through this project with the inspiration of artists who came before us.

I love the Mesoamerican collection. I go in there and it’s awe inspiring to me because these relics are so old and ancient and they have carried on through the age with this spirit and story in them.

— Danette Montoya

Danette looked to the past to explore identity and remembrance. Encourage your students to explore the idea of looking to the past and the stories art has to tell.

Guiding Questions:

  • How can you encourage students to think of what stories art objects can tell?
    • For example: encourage students to use descriptive words to describe the art. The colors, expressions, mood, etc.
  • How do the descriptive words help tell the story?
  • Are there objects in their homes that have a story?

TIP: Choose an art object and have your students work together to tell a story about the object. Try starting with a word building activity such as Ten Times Two.

Related Creative Activities

Portrait of a man
Lesson Plan

A Portrait of One’s Own

After spending time exploring aspects of the Ancestor Portrait and the importance of ancestor portraits in the Chinese tradition, students will create an ancestor portrait using mixed media materials and present it to the class.

Lesson Plan

Combining Human and Animal Forms

Students will use visual observation skills to carefully examine the Assyrian Bird-Headed Deity limestone relief and explore the movement, sounds, and traits of different animals. They will first explore these aspects in humans and birds of prey, as seen in the limestone relief, and will then do the same with “animals” they create from two or more animals. This lesson enables children to draw upon previous knowledge and imagination in order to act out the movement, sounds, and other traits of the animals they create.