From lesson "Drawing as Invention" at Mt. Hope High School

Alessandra Antonelli

Exploring Meaning Making in K - 12 Visual Arts Education

Artist Statement

I am primarily both a printmaker and a darkroom photographer, though I love incorporate different mediums in my studio practice. I use multiple layers to create my work - each layer adding something new to the piece and creating a more complex narrative. In my photography, I often use various negatives to create multiple exposures - depending on the negatives I choose, the photograph takes on a whole new meaning and perspective. In my printmaking work, I frequently use different media to add these layers, especially monoprinting or oil pastels. 

I want my work to reflect the daily moments in life that we all have, the moments where we are deep in thought or brushing our teeth. By capturing these images, I seek to reflect how it feels to be in that moment - when we are alone, and our thoughts are layered and complex. We are all multidimensional, and I want to highlight that in my work. I have found in my practice that adding layers to a piece allows for its’ evolution, and every layer creates or changes the meaning of the work. I explore themes of self awareness and introspection in my work, and I seek to capture intimate moments that we seldom share. Things are not always what they appear to be on the surface - through my work, I want to inspire new perspectives and introspection.

Procrastination, Silkscreen, 2020


Procrastination, Silkscreen, 2929

Teaching Philosophy

Drawing as Invention Discussion at Mt. Hope High School, 2020


Drawing as Invention Discussion Wall

Art gives us a voice, transcends language barriers, and makes the invisible visible. Art communicates, art speaks, art has power. I believe if we share our artistic experience with children and youth and provide them with  access to the tools to create and explore, we are empowering them to speak their truths, to be heard in visual conversation, and to know themselves. I believe it is my responsibility as an art educator  to provide my students with learning experiences in which they can thrive, develop their creative capacity, explore, make meaning, and creative problem solve. It is important to me that through art education my students gain a sense of their creative selves and their individual voice that they will carry with them as essential life skills into adulthood.

Exploring Meaning Making through Distanced Learning 

Toy Photography

3 - 5th Grade

William Winsor Elementary & Old County Road School


Lesson Concept: Artists and designers can arrange toys and objects to create meaningful photographs.

      Toys are an extension of who we are and what we are passionate about. Not only are toys and objects we love decently accessible to all of us in our homes, they also enable us to make meaning in our artwork and create meaningful photographs that we connect with. Using our toys to create artwork creates a connection between us and our artwork. 

      In distanced learning, one of the most critical factors in creating lessons revolving around big ideas in art education is focusing on accessibility. In all my distanced learning lessons, I have used this factor as the foundation for my work. As artists and art educators, we are challenged in these situations to still teach impactful and important lessons that focus on big ideas and important practices in art to our students. The formatting of a distanced lesson is different, however, through modifications we can still give our students the highest quality art education. The key is to think about accessibility, connection to the students, and how we deliver information to best inspire our students to go forward and make meaning - wherever they are. We can use these new platforms to inspire students to find meaning, to question, and to use their own visual culture and objects around them that make up who they are

      Distanced learning enables us to focus on our daily lives, our objects, our routines more than we normally do. We have to focus on what we have available, we have to become resourceful and think creatively and problem solve. By using the things around us to make meaning, we are getting even more in touch with who we are, and learning how we do not need fancy materials to make - we need passion, inspiration, and excitement.


Lesson Plan


Lesson Plan 2

Instructional Materials & Resources


/Powerpoint%20Presentation /Powerpoint%20Presentation /Powerpoint%20Presentation /Powerpoint%20Presentation /Powerpoint%20Presentation /Powerpoint%20Presentation /Powerpoint%20Presentation

Student Work


/Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work /Student%20Work

RISD Grad Show 2020