The February 2012 issue of National Geographic contains two interesting stories for Art Docents. Pick up a copy and see stunning photographs of an exotic, new foreign city Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan. Why is Kazakhstan of interest to Docents? A school there has implemented our digital Art Docent Program! The American International School purchased it last year. And if you are a fifth grade docent, you will want to use the photographs of this amazing city when you present the Artists Paint Cities portfolio in the classroom. Rich in oil and mineral sources, Kazakhstan has lavished billions on the new capital, inviting some of the world’s leading architects to showcase their work. Your students will get a kick out of photos of unique buildings best described by irreverent local nicknames: the banana (a bright yellow office tower), seven barrels ( a cluster of apartment towers), and the cigarette lighter (the Ministry of Transport and Communications). You will want to cut out the photos and mount them on railroad board or tag board so the students can use them with the hands on art project.
Also of interest to Art Docents is a story about a chalk and ink portrait that may be a $100 million Leonardo. It was discovered in 1998 and may be the first such discovery in 75 years. (Leonardo did not sign his paintings). It is a profile of a young woman named Bianca Sforza. The article tells the story of the authentification of this 500 year old artwork. It appears to have been removed – the reason remains a mystery – from a book that is in the National Library of Poland. The research was funded by National Geo. Society.
Are you a second grade docent? Then you will want to cut out the beautiful photo of a bridge also contained in the magazine and use it with the Artists Paint Bridges and Seashores portfolio. The subject is the 1929 Navajo Bridge crossing the Colorado River beside its 1995 counterpart with the Vermilion Cliffs in the backdrop. Stunning!