Education

The UK Art Museum is temporarily closed, but our website and social media channels have a range of options for engaging with art remotely. On this page you will find activities for connecting with works from our collection and recent exhibitions, prompts for writing exercises, and more. Explore and share your creations using #UKArtMuseum.

Create

Pull out your favorite pencils or paints and get creative with UK Art Museum prompts based on works in our permanent collection! Download an activity below to print at home. Explore and share your creations using #UKArtMuseum.


Finish the Image



Color It In

Play

Play art-themed games and other creative thinking exercises based on pieces from the UK Art Museum's collection and recent exhibitions. Download an activity below to print at home. Explore and share your creations using #UKArtMuseum.



Spot the Difference

Write

These writing prompts use artworks from the UK Art Museum's collection and recent exhibitions as starting points for creating your own stories, poems, and interpretations. Explore and share your creations using #UKArtMuseum.

 

Write Angles

Museum of Muses 

Artist Susan King created a Museum of Muses with images of artists and writers who inspire her. Who would be in your museum of muses? Answer the following questions in the form of a short essay or story. Make drawings and find photos to illustrate your words. 

  • Who are the people who inspire you? Why? 
  • What do you know about them? (You may want to search online) 
  • What can you do to be more like them? 
Susan King, Museum of Muses, assembled 2019, postcards and images   Second shelf, far right: Susan E. King, Waiting, MUSE from the Photo Bio Series, 2009   Fourth shelf, middle: Susan E. King & Rachel Barclay, A Very Valentine, 1989, letterpress printing and thread, poem by Gertrude Stein, 1922
Museum of Muses
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Susan King, Museum of Muses, assembled 2019, postcards and images 
Second shelf, far right: Susan E. King, Waiting, MUSE from the Photo Bio Series, 2009 
Fourth shelf, middle: Susan E. King & Rachel Barclay, A Very Valentine, 1989, letterpress printing and thread, poem by Gertrude Stein, 1922 

 


Body Language 

Our Body Language exhibition, featuring the work of Kentucky artists Hunter Stamps and Mike Goodlett, includes sculptures comprised of various shapes, textures, and materials. Take a closer look at these artworks, then write out answers to the questions that the follow: 

  • Pick one of the sculptures featured on this page. What does it make you think of? 
  • If you could touch these sculptures, what would they feel like? 
  • What’s 1 question you want to ask the artist about their sculpture? 
  • If you retitled one of these artworks, what would you call it? Why? 
Left: Mike Goodlett, Sphinx, 2018, hydrostone, concrete, paint, textile band, and glass. Courtesy of the artist. Right: Mike Goodlett, Bastet, 2018, hydrostone, concrete, and paint
Sphinx (left), Bastet (right)
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Mike Goodlett, Sir Lancelot, 2019, hydrostone, concrete, and paint. Courtesy of the artist.
Sir Lancelot
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Hunter Stamps, Blaze, 2015, glazed stoneware. Courtesy of the artist.
Blaze
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Hunter Stamps, Vicissitude, 2016, glazed stoneware. Courtesy of the artist.
Vicissitude
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Left: Mike Goodlett, Sphinx, 2018, hydrostone, concrete, paint, textile band, and glass. Courtesy of the artist. Right: Mike Goodlett, Bastet, 2018, hydrostone, concrete, and paint 
Mike Goodlett, Sir Lancelot, 2019, hydrostone, concrete, and paint. Courtesy of the artist. 
Hunter Stamps, Blaze, 2015, glazed stoneware. Courtesy of the artist. 
Hunter Stamps, Vicissitude, 2016, glazed stoneware. Courtesy of the artist. 

 


Illumination – Revealed/Hidden

Choose an artwork from the Illumination exhibition featured on this page. Begin by writing a description of what is illuminated in the piece. Where does the light fall? To what is your eye drawn? Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.

After five minutes…Move down a little on the page and begin a sentence with this line: "What isn’t visible, however, is...". Keep going for five more minutes. 

After five more minutes…Move down the page again and begin a sentence with this line: "In time it becomes obvious that...". Keep writing. 

(This prompt was originally written by and adapted from a workshop by writer and educator Randi Ewing, hosted at the UK Art Museum)

Giovanni Andrea Donducci (called Mastelletta), Virgin and Child with St. Lucy, 17th century, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, purchase: Gaines Challenge Fund, 1986.18.
Virgin and Child w/ St. Lucy
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Judy Wells, In the Arbor, 1999, oil on panel. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of the artist, 2011.10.
In the Arbor
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John Joseph Enneking, Autumn Sunset, undated, oil on fiberboard. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Gerald and Ann Silvers, 2013.9.
Autumn Sunset
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Rockwell Kent, Baker of the Bread of Abundance, from the Bituminous Coal Institute series, 1945, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, on loan from the Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky, L1988.2.
Baker of the Bread of Abundance
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Giovanni Andrea Donducci (called Mastelletta), Virgin and Child with St. Lucy, 17th century, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, purchase: Gaines Challenge Fund, 1986.18. 
Judy Wells, In the Arbor, 1999, oil on panel. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of the artist, 2011.10. 
John Joseph Enneking, Autumn Sunset, undated, oil on fiberboard. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Gerald and Ann Silvers, 2013.9. 
Rockwell Kent, Baker of the Bread of Abundance, from the Bituminous Coal Institute series, 1945, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, on loan from the Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky, L1988.2.

 


Illumination – What Seeing Keeps Us From Seeing

Light and dark might be one of the earliest forms of tension. People tend to fear what they can’t see and find comfort in what they can. Sometimes, however, illumination is distraction. 

Pick an item or a person from one of the artworks from Illumination featured here that is foregrounded or lit in a particular way. Begin a story or poem in which that is the central focus. At the same time, consider the light in the piece as something that is meant to blind or obscure the truth. Consider whether the dark is always bad and the light always good. 

(This prompt was originally written by and adapted from a workshop by writer and educator Randi Ewing, hosted at the UK Art Museum) 

Rockwell Kent, Baker of the Bread of Abundance, from the Bituminous Coal Institute series, 1945, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, on loan from the Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky, L1988.2.
Baker of the Bread of Abundance
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James Roy Hopkins, Lady in Blue, 1914 (ca.), oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Stephen and Terri Humble, 2000.7.
Lady In Blue
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Maurice Denis, Breton Landscape, 1891 (ca.), oil on linen canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, Purchase: The Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Endowment 1977.45.
Breton Landscape
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Rockwell Kent, Baker of the Bread of Abundance, from the Bituminous Coal Institute series, 1945, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, on loan from the Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky, L1988.2. 
James Roy Hopkins, Lady in Blue, 1914 (ca.), oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Stephen and Terri Humble, 2000.7. 
Maurice Denis, Breton Landscape, 1891 (ca.), oil on linen canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, Purchase: The Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Endowment 1977.45. 

 


Illumination – The Visitor 

One of the oldest types of stories is the story of the visit or visitation. The stranger that appears or the son that returns, the spirit that shows up at midnight. The visitor implies waiting, surprise, figures on the horizon, unused rooms finding new life. The visitor comes out of the dark and immediately finds the spotlight. 

Choose one of the artworks from Illumination featured on this page and write about a visitation of some sort–personal, paranormal, meteorological, expected or unexpected. 

(This prompt was originally written by and adapted from a workshop by writer and educator Randi Ewing, hosted at the UK Art Museum) 

Maurice Denis, Breton Landscape, 1891 (ca.), oil on linen canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, Purchase: The Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Endowment 1977.45.
Breton Landscape
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Judy Wells, In the Arbor, 1999, oil on panel. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of the artist, 2011.10.
In the Arbor
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James Roy Hopkins, Lady in Blue, 1914 (ca.), oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Stephen and Terri Humble, 2000.7.
Lady In Blue
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Simon Ivanoff, Christ in Majesty with St. Gurii and St. Varsonofii, 1679, egg tempera on wood panel. Collection of the UK Art Museum, purchase: University of Kentucky Annual Giving Fund, Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial   Endowment, Mr. Evangelos Levas, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Cooper, 1977.25.
Christ in Majesty
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Maurice Denis, Breton Landscape, 1891 (ca.), oil on linen canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, Purchase: The Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Endowment 1977.45. 
Judy Wells, In the Arbor, 1999, oil on panel. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of the artist, 2011.10. 
James Roy Hopkins, Lady in Blue, 1914 (ca.), oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Stephen and Terri Humble, 2000.7. 
Simon Ivanoff, Christ in Majesty with St. Gurii and St. Varsonofii, 1679, egg tempera on wood panel. Collection of the UK Art Museum, purchase: University of Kentucky Annual Giving Fund, Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Endowment, Mr. Evangelos Levas, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Cooper, 1977.25.

 


Encounters – Every Body has a Tell 

Gestures, the slight movement or placement of hands or heads or shoulders, can be so revealing of character. They can signal when a character is calm or concerned, comfortable or angry, at peace or miserable. Gesture signals emotion, often without us even realizing it. 

Choose one of the portraits from the Encounters exhibit shown on this page and find a gesture the subject is making. In the tradition of en media res, of starting in the middle of things, begin your story, essay or poem with that gesture and explore what that character or persona might be communicating without knowing it. 

(This prompt was originally written by and adapted from a workshop by writer and educator Randi Ewing, hosted at the UK Art Museum) 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Fortunata, 1879, oil on canvas. Collection of J. Robert and Pennye Willcutt.
Fortunata
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Darrell Brothers, #1 (My Father), 1992, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Betty Brothers, 1994.11.1.
#1 (My Father)
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Edward Franklin Fisk, Mary Daniel, 1938, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Allie Hendricks and Milton Fisk, 1998.11.15.
Mary Daniel
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William Welsh, Burlesque Queen, 1941, oil on canvas attached to Masonite. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Loraine M. Sanders, 2016.3.
Burlesque Queen
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William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Fortunata, 1879, oil on canvas. Collection of J. Robert and Pennye Willcutt. 
Darrell Brothers, #1 (My Father), 1992, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Betty Brothers, 1994.11.1. 
Edward Franklin Fisk, Mary Daniel, 1938, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Allie Hendricks and Milton Fisk, 1998.11.15. 
William Welsh, Burlesque Queen, 1941, oil on canvas attached to Masonite. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Loraine M. Sanders, 2016.3.

Encounters – Sitting Here, Being There 

In most stories, characters exist on two levels: the precise and action-oriented level of scene, and the broader backstory-building level of summary. Some people say scenes make up the bricks of story and summary the mortar. Both are important to character development, and moving back and forth between them mimics real life in which we are constantly drawing our pasts and futures into our present. 

Choose one of the portraits from the Encounters exhibit shown on this page. Describe the scene depicted in the portrait. You can choose to include the sitting for the artist doing the portrait or describe the scene without the artist. Either way, write the scene of that moment in the subject’s life. Be aware of what is going on around him/her, who else is there, who they might be talking to or listening to, where they wish they were instead. 

Once you’ve established the scene, write a summary passage that explores either the character’s past or their future and that expands their story outside of this present moment. 

(This prompt was originally written by and adapted from a workshop by writer and educator Randi Ewing, hosted at the UK Art Museum) 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Fortunata, 1879, oil on canvas. Collection of J. Robert and Pennye Willcutt.
Fortunata
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Darrell Brothers, #1 (My Father), 1992, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Betty Brothers, 1994.11.1.
#1 (My Father)
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Edward Franklin Fisk, Mary Daniel, 1938, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Allie Hendricks and Milton Fisk, 1998.11.15.
Mary Daniel
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William Welsh, Burlesque Queen, 1941, oil on canvas attached to Masonite. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Loraine M. Sanders, 2016.3.
Burlesque Queen
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William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Fortunata, 1879, oil on canvas. Collection of J. Robert and Pennye Willcutt. 
Darrell Brothers, #1 (My Father), 1992, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Betty Brothers, 1994.11.1. 
Edward Franklin Fisk, Mary Daniel, 1938, oil on canvas. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Allie Hendricks and Milton Fisk, 1998.11.15. 
William Welsh, Burlesque Queen, 1941, oil on canvas attached to Masonite. Collection of the UK Art Museum, gift of Loraine M. Sanders, 2016.3.

 

 

Common Thread

Avery - May

Goodlett - Calder

King - Stamps

Larsen - Noble