Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

1984 Photographic Art Project

Partners: Bentonville High School and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Educators: Josh Vest, Teacher, Bentonville High School

Location: Bentonville, AR


Chase Hunter, Catherine Nettle, Kassandra Gutierrez, 10th Grade
Ratted Out in Room 101, 2014
Digital print



Carmen Hedstrom and Jacey Elliott, 10th Grade
Winston’s World, 2014
Digital print



Rachael Boysen, Elizabeth Perry, and Emily Rosenau, 10th Grade
Red, 2014
Digital print


Emily Martin, Emma Berndt, and Jordan Wineland, 10th Grade
Death at the Cliff, 2014
Digital print

For the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's 1984 Photographic Art Project, students had to visually communicate a scene from George Orwell’s 1984. Their first task, of course, was to select an important scene. Then, in small groups, students planned the visual component of the assignment: a photograph. Their photograph had to incorporate several visual art concepts discussed throughout the year including the use of background, foreground, movement, color, symbolism, texture, focus, and more. To learn about these features, students discussed and studied pieces from the galleries at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. After photographing their scene with a digital camera, students used a variety of technology tools and programs to manipulate and add depth to their pieces. Their challenge was to destroy the original photograph and create a truly unique, creative final product. Afterwards, students wrote creative rationales to state their artistic, creative decisions. As one student stated, “It was a fun, creative way to learn about the book and about art.”