African Art Exhibit Lesson Plan

African Art 

Created by Michael Bowman

Applies to: Critical Thinking, Understanding and Participating in Society, Creative Expression


  • Explore various forms of traditional African Art
  • Discuss various aspects of Africa Art
  • Photograph pieces that are chosen as Member Favorites
  • Back at 3L, Members will discuss at least 1-3 things they find interesting about the pieces they photographed

Materials needed:

  • 2 internet enabled devices
  • Cameras, phones or tablets for photography
  • Car/public transportation card

Activity Steps

  1. Discuss the open-ended question of why people make art.
  2. Discuss how art helps to connect people with their culture and community.
  3. Discuss different forms and styles of art that Members have seen or created.
  4. Open two web browsers, one with images from the museum’s African collection and the other with images of the museums Western Art collection. Keep these browsers open during the rest of the discussion.
  5. Discuss how African and Western art are similar in how they both reflect local cultural and religious beliefs as well as aspects of people’s daily lives and aspirations.
  6. Discuss how African and Western art are different due to the ways of life of the artists and the materials and techniques used.
  7. Discuss how African and Western art are different due to the class status of the intended audience. Western art was made most often for the elite upper class who are a small minority of the population while African art was most often made for all classes and as a common unifying element for the vast majority of the total population.
  8. Discuss how African Art brings communities together by celebrating local beliefs, ancestors, Spirits, Gods and customs.
  9. Go to a museum with an African Art exhibit.
  10. Photograph Members’ favorite pieces from the trip.
  11. Review and discuss upon return.

Carrying the Concept Forward

Resources for further learning in African Art and Culture:

All About African Art: http://www.all-about-african-art.com/african-art-and-culture.html 

Society of African Missions: http://smafathers.org/museum/resources-ebooks/the-african-art/


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