Partners in Education

Art History Education Outreach

Partners in Education is pleased to combine with the UCSB Art History Department to offer a new and unique resource for teachers. These presentations, geared to assist teachers as a tool for addressing standards and topics in their classrooms, especially those studying social studies, cultures, foreign languages, and art.

Partners will coordinate the screening and scheduling of all Art History graduate students and interns. As the educator, you need only to select:

  • Presentation(s) for your class
  • Date(s) available for these presentations

Schedule a presentation by clicking on the link below the desired presentation. If you experience any technical difficulties, contact us directly to schedule: or (805) 964-4710 x4403.

The Art History Education Outreach Program is comprised of UCSB graduate and undergraduate students who are dedicated to enriching the educational experience of students in the Santa Barbara area through art history. Learning about the history of art and architecture is not only a valuable way to think about cultural, political and social history, but also provides an opportunity to develop critical visual analysis skills that many students are not introduced to until college. We recognize that classrooms often operate under strict time constraints, and so in addition to offering new information to students, our presentations will provide novel ways for students to engage with existing state content standards and ultimately common core standards. Through visually exciting presentations and classroom activities, students will be able to explore the importance of the visual arts in history and in their daily lives, and have fun doing it!


Aztec Life and Writing (7.7)


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  • Presentation of images drawn from Aztec and Colonial Mexican manuscripts with an explanation of how they were read and used. The manuscripts record various aspects of Aztec life, including what they wore, ate, believed, and behaved. Images of sculpture and monuments will further help students understand the civilization.


  • Students will understand how we can use art to learn about the lives of the ancient past.

Instructional activities:

  • 10-15 minute warm up discussion on what students already know about the Aztec, Mexico, and the ancient world.
  • 15 minute worksheet exercise identifying pictographic place names and words in order to understand what the images are saying.

Duration: 55-60 minutes

Graduate Student: Deborah Spivak
Research Interests: Ancient and Colonial Latin American Art and Archaeology

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on Aztec Life and Writing



English Monarchy (7.9, 7.11)


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Queen Catherine
by Peter Lely


  • English Renaissance (Tudor and Stuart monarchs, from Henry VIII–Charles I).
  • How and why different messages were conveyed through portraits throughout their reign
  • Basic iconography and costumes of monarchy

Instructional Activities:

  • A matching game on PowerPoint in which students will match portraits with the intended message‖
  • Other PowerPoint games
  • Multiple-choice quizzes

Duration: 45 minutes

Graduate Student: Diva Zumaya
Research Interests:
• Portraits of women from 1660-1837 The Longest Century
• Arts of Imperial Spain
• Early Modern women artists

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on the English Monarchy



Women Artists (7.8)


Self Portrait
by Sofonisba Anguissola

• The roles of women in the Renaissance
• Artistic and personal biographies of several women artists including Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi
Instructional Activities:
• Students will make their own self-portrait and present them to the class.
• Students will explain what they included in their self-portraits, and why.

Duration: 45 minutes

Graduate Student: Diva Zumaya
Research Interests:
• Portraits of women from 1660-1837 The Longest Century
• Arts of Imperial Spain
• Early Modern women artists

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on Women Artists



Interpreting the Renaissance through Paintings (7.8)

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Orazio Gentileschi, Annunciation 1623


  • Leonardo da Vinci wrote that a painting ought to convey the same meaning to everyone who sees it. We will test the possibility that a painting can actually do this, and discuss the conditions that lead to similarity or difference in the meanings we see in artwork.


  • To demonstrate how prior assumptions shape the way we understand things and account for why we often disagree.

Instructional activities:

  • Warm up and Presentation: 10 minute introduction
  • Activity: 25 minute activity. Students will be divided into 3 groups, 1 for each of the 3 paintings displayed via PowerPoint. Using Leonardo da Vinci’s lead, students will write a short description of the depicted paintings. Students will discuss their responses, and then compare them to descriptions of the paintings in primary and secondary sources.
  • Wrap-up: 10 minute discussion.

Duration: 45 minutes

Graduate Student: Tom DePasquale
Research Interests: Italian Renaissance, Art Theory

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on
Interpreting the Renaissance through Paintings



The Spectacular City: New York 1900-1920 (7.8, 8.6)


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George Bellows, New York, 1911


  • This presentation will address New York City as a rapidly changing modern city and will discuss the impact that new technologies, large-scale immigration, and the changing role of women had on the city from 1900-1920. Through examining paintings, prints, and photographs to link visual skills and historical knowledge, students will explore the questions of why the city looked the way it did and in what ways the city itself was a spectacle.

Instructional Activities:

  • As a class, we will look first at a historical work of art and identify as much as we can about who and what we see.
  • As a class, compare the historical work to a photograph of present-day New York, looking for things that have changed over time and thinking about why they would have changed
  • Wrap-up activity at the end, reviewing ideas by looking at another historic work and making a bullet point list of what the students have learned on a chalk or dry-erase board.

Duration: 25-30 minutes

Graduate Student: Shannon Lieberman
Research Interests: 20th Century American Art, Performance Art, Post-Industrial Revolution America

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on The Spectacular City - New York



How Images Shape our Lives (Analysis Skills)



  • Students will look at a variety of images, ranging from 15th century prints to contemporary advertising, and discuss the ways in which images can teach us lessons or shape our behavior.


  • To encourage students to exercise their visual thinking skills and to become aware of how important images are in their everyday lives.
  • To demonstrate that images are valuable tools for learning about other time periods and cultures.

Instructional Activities:

  • Warm-Up:  5 minutes. As a group we will discuss images that we see every day, such as NO SMOKING signs.  Students will be asked to point out the visual cues that help them understand the images’ meanings.
  • Group discussion:  20 minutes. We will continue discussing other images throughout time that also teach a lesson or encourage a specific kind of behavior.  Students will be encouraged to look carefully at the images, and to practice using visual information to understand the meaning of the image. 
  • Drawing Activity:  15-20 minutes.  Students will break into small groups and draw their own image that visually demonstrates a lesson or moral of their choosing.  Each group will then present their image, and the other students will be asked to determine the message the image represents. 

Duration: 30-35 minutes

Graduate Student: Maggie Bell
Research Interests: Italian Renaissance, Early Modern Christian Art, Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on How Images Shape our Lives



The Reformation and Counter-Reformation (7.9)


Sculptures on the Cathedral of St. Martin, destroyed by Reformationist iconoclasts in the 16th century.


  • This presentation will explore how Protestant Reformers and supporters of the Counter- Reformation viewed the role of images in religious practice differently. Arguments about the value of religious imagery led to impassioned responses on both sides of the debate, such as acts of iconoclasm in which Reformers defaced or destroyed depictions of religious figures. Students will be shown examples of iconoclasm, as well as images produced by Protestants and Counter-Reformationists, which will be used to discuss the philosophical positions of each side.


  • Students will understand that images have powerfully influenced people’s thoughts and actions throughout time. Not everyone views images in the same way, and thinking about how people perceive images can give us a richer understanding of our world.

Instructional Activities:

  • Warm up: Students will analyze advertising or political campaigns and asked to describe the ideas the images are trying to put in the minds of the viewer. This activity will introduce the idea that images can be used to convey ideas and arguments.
  • Students will be given cloze notes to help them with historical key terms like iconoclasm, idolatry, devotion, Council of Trent, heretic etc., and art historical key terms like dynamic movement, composition, subject, viewer etc.
  • Students will be shown Reformationist and Counter Reformationist images. In small groups students will be asked to make a list of the parts of the image that illustrate the arguments of either the Protestants or Catholics. We will then reconvene as a class to discuss results.

Duration: 30-35 minutes

Graduate Student: Maggie Bell
Research Interests: Italian Renaissance, Early Modern Christian Art, Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on The Reformation and Counter-Reformation



The Other History: What Outsider Artists Can Teach Us About Ourselves

Henry Darger, Untitled (Allover Flowers)


  • Introduce the students to artists and art generally not discussed in traditional academic settings such as Henry Darger, Bill Traylor, and various visionary environments such as the Watts Towers and the Dickeyville Grotto. We’ll take a look at what I call the “other” history of art of the twentieth century, drawing attention to the fact there are always additional stories to be told, voices to be heard.


  • To show students that there are other histories not discussed in books and that they can become active participants in the discovery of new histories.  Outsider art teaches us that no matter how strange or weird someone might seem to be on the surface, it doesn’t mean that they do not have stories to contribute to the fabric of history. Being “not normal” can be an asset and I want to show the students that embracing things that make them uniquely them, whether it be a special interest or talent, is one of the keys to success.

Instructional Activity:

  • Guided looking activity (10 minutes). Henry Darger was an artist that created hundreds of illustrations to accompany his 15,000 page novel, In the Realms of the Unreal. Instead of freehanding his drawings, he would trace images clipped from magazines, newspapers, and coloring books. In this exercise I would like to engage students in the act of careful examination as a method to gain knowledge.
  • I would provide a large image of a Darger drawing on a PowerPoint
  • I would then give the students a handout of various advertisements and clippings Darger traced directly onto the drawing
  • As a class we would then point to the specific parts of the drawing Darger traced from these visual materials, showing how he created a drawing out of multiple visual sources.
  • After discussion I would then show them exactly where and how he used these visual materials.

Duration: 35-40 minutes

Graduate Student: Alisa Alexander
Research Interests: Folk Art, American Visual Culture, and Visionary Environments

Schedule an Interactive Presentation on
The Other History - What Outsider Artists Can Teach Us About Ourselves



Intern Biographies

Liglin Lopez: Liglin Lopez is a third year student at UCSB who is double majoring in Art History and Comparative Literature. She is also an intern at the university’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Liglin enjoys water coloring, finger-painting, and blogging during her free time. Liglin admires rococo and surrealist art, as well as art with classical themes, and her favorite artists include: Alexandre Cabanel, John William Godward, and John William Waterhouse. In the future, Liglin would love to become a museum curator.

Merisa Verti: My name is Merisa and I am a fourth year Art History and English majors. I found my passion of art when I took AP Art History my Senior year in High School. I studied abroad in Paris in the Fall of 2012 and fell in love with French Modern art. Since my return, I have worked with the AD&A Museum to promote the arts on my campus. I love learning about the historical context of art because I think that the history of human expression is a more indicative measure of the people, culture, and truth of a specific point in time then cold numbers of populations and dates. I especially appreciate the interaction with art as I think that is how we learn from each other and how we can better understand the world in which we live. I eventually want to work in an Education Department of an art museum so that I can make art more accessible to the public, specifically to children. I think early introduction to art as a non-academic and abstract idea is beneficial to our future generations as it provides them with a contextualized understanding of the history of creative imagination, of courageous innovation, and of pointed confidence. I am very excited to be working with Partners in Education to bring to the classrooms of our area fun and educational art programs as well as invite these children to our own museum and creating an interactive and enriching space for all ages.

Michelle Angelillis: Hi my name is Michelle Angelillis.  I’m a third year art major and art history minor.  I believe that art is one of the most important cultural aspects of our society and children should be introduced to it from an early age. In the past I’ve worked as a swim coach for    K-12 students, so bringing my knowledge of art to a younger crowd is right up my alley! Working with the other interns to make this possible will be an extremely rewarding and educational experience! My favorite painting is Georges Seurat’s “Bathers at Asineres”, which exemplifies the pointillist movement in the late 1800’s. 

Yuning Yang: Hi, my name is Yuning Yang. I am a third-year art major at UCSB and an intern at the Art, Design and Architecture Museum on campus. Since middle school I have regularly with children, whether it be at summer camps or after schools. I would often tutor them in regular school subjects, but also give and assist art lessons, mostly pertaining to Chinese culture. I am very excited to be on board and hope I can bring more people into the wonderful world of art.












Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1950s












Geertgen tot Sint Jans, Man of Sorrows, 1486.