ABOUT FORM+THEME+CONTEXT®

Today’s viewers require 21st century skills to help encode visual concepts through the transformative process of creative expression as well as decode meaning through the informative process of critical response to society’s images, ideas, and media of the past as well as that which permeates our increasingly complex visual world.

Form+Theme+Context (FTC) is a Balanced Way of Seeing® that enables any viewer to decode and encode artworks and other phenomena such as a museum, piece of music, poem, film, as well as interdisciplinary concepts and contemporary issues. Designed to deepen one’s vision through focus, interpretation, discovery, and understanding, FTC builds “curatorial” skills and works best in interactive workshop settings where group members share discoveries derived from direct visual experience.

Using the FTC Palette as a tool for decoding and encoding meaning, this balanced way of seeing can deepen one’s understanding of artworks, museums, non-art concepts, and even complex issues such as bullying or sexual abuse & harassment! To download FTC Palettes go to the FTC Palette Tool Page.

HOW TO SEE:

Pay balanced attention to Form, Theme and Context

Formal Qualities

What we can See

as specific Visual Evidence in a work of art revealed through formal elements, design principles, and artistic organization, including composition, scale, and use of media. Here, we notice the artist’s many specific structural decisions embedded in the creative process–all leading to a unique final product.

Thematic Qualities

What we can Discern

from our found visual evidence to reveal the work’s topic, subject matter, art historical references, and connections to other disciplines.  Here, we explore what the artist expresses through a selected overarching concept or “Big Idea” that reveals the artist’s expressive viewpoint connecting art to life

Contextual Qualities

What we Cannot See

but can ‘google’ to discover the work’s significance and relevance…in history, cultures, and our lives.  Here, we find the authentic nature of the artwork by probing the conditions for and under which it was created and valued, from our contemporary perspectives and those of the past.

ABOUT FORM+THEME+CONTEXT®

Today’s viewers require 21st century skills to help encode visual concepts through the transformative process of creative expression as well as decode meaning through the informative process of critical response to society’s images, ideas, and media of the past as well as that which permeates our increasingly complex visual world.

Form+Theme+Context (FTC) is a Balanced Way of Seeing® that enables any viewer to decode and encode artworks and other phenomena such as a museum, piece of music, poem, film, as well as interdisciplinary concepts and contemporary issues. Designed to deepen one’s vision through focus, interpretation, discovery, and understanding, FTC builds “curatorial” skills and works best in interactive workshop settings where group members share discoveries derived from direct visual experience.

Using the FTC Palette as a tool for decoding and encoding meaning, this balanced way of seeing can deepen one’s understanding of artworks, museums, non-art concepts, and even complex issues such as bullying or sexual abuse & harassment! To download FTC Palettes go to the FTC Palette Tool Page.

HOW TO SEE:

Pay balanced attention to Form, Theme and Context

Formal Qualities

What we can See

as specific Visual Evidence in a work of art revealed through formal elements, design principles, and artistic organization, including composition, scale, and use of media. Here, we notice the artist’s many specific structural decisions embedded in the creative process–all leading to a unique final product.

Thematic Qualities

What we can Discern

from our found visual evidence to reveal the work’s topic, subject matter, art historical references, and connections to other disciplines.  Here, we explore what the artist expresses through a selected overarching concept or “Big Idea” that reveals the artist’s expressive viewpoint connecting art to life

Contextual Qualities

What we Cannot See

but can “google” to discover the work’s significance and relevance…in history, cultures, and our lives.  Here, we find the authentic nature of the artwork by probing the conditions for and under which it was created and valued, from our contemporary perspectives and those of the past.

“I see works of art as primary documents of a civilization. The written document tells you one thing, but a painting or a sculpture or a building tell you something else. They are both primary documents, but they tell you things in different ways.”

—Bruce Cole,
Former Chair, National Endowment for the Humanities

“Form+Theme+Context®”,“FTC®”,“A Balanced Way of Seeing®”,“Marking & Mapping®”,” Visual Fitness 4 All®” and “Engaging Creativity & Insight®” are registered trademarks of Renee Sandell for ForThCo Vision LLC.

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