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Welcome to InsideART, an innovative web-based visual literacy program that integrates social studies with contemporary art in an examination and discussion of critical societal issues. This secondary school program is provided free of charge to all teachers by the Institute for Research in Art at the University of South Florida, Tampa.

USFCAM tourInsideART is a learning-based initiative, designed for classroom use, associated with the exhibition program of the University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM). Using a variety of web technologies and media, including video, web-based dialogues, and social media, InsideART presents critical issues to students and invites them to engage and connect with these issues in the context of contemporary art. By exploring art that encompasses a variety of relevant topics, students are allowed to move from the role of spectator to that of engaged viewer and then participant, and encouraged to build interpretive skills vital to success in learning. Rich in dynamic and informative content, InsideART serves as both an excellent supplement to Museum visits and as an effective stand-alone educational unit.

InsideART is a collaboration among faculty and staff in the USF Institute for Research in Art, the USF College of Education and the School District of Hillsborough County. The program was created by Noel Smith, IRA Curator, and Dr. Bárbara C. Cruz, Professor of Social Science Education, CoED; lessons are conceptualized and written by Smith and Cruz and volunteer faculty in the respective disciplines.

Thanks for using USF Institute for Research in Art's InsideART! We hope you find it a valuable resource for your classroom. As we create new installments of our unique online curriculum, we will add them to this page. Each edition will contain a link to its own webpage to allow you to download all the necessary files for that series of lessons.

Common Core State Standards – In addition to Visual Arts and Social Studies curriculum standards, lessons in the InsideART curriculum cover Common Core standards related to:

  • Reading: Informational Text
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Language
  • Literacy in History/Social Studies


Detail of Duke Riley, The Filmmakers, 2013 (left) and The Smugglers, 2013 (right).Key West reclaimed roof tin, gouache. From Trading with the Enemy.The Spring 2017 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition Duke Riley: Flights of Fancy.

USFCAM presents a solo exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley, known for his ambitious and immersive projects which engage historical and contemporary social issues often through subversive performative action. Flights of Fancy will feature two projects exploring and celebrating Riley’s history of working with pigeons and waterfront districts within the nautical landscape. Curated by Sarah Howard; organized by USFCAM. A free poster is available for exhibition visitors. Duke Riley: Flights of Fancy is supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Board of County Commissioners, and by the USFCAM Art for Community Engagement (ACE) Fund Patrons: Allison and Robby Adams; Frank E. Duckwall Foundation; Francesca and Richard Forsyth;Gobioff Foundation; Courtney and Jason Kuhn; Linda Saul-Sena and Mark Sena; Sharmila and Vivek Seth; and Stanton Storer.

Download teaching resources document for Duke Riley InsideART: Word doc | PDF

Mary Mattingly, Pull, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Robert Mann Gallery, New York, NYThe Fall 2016 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition Extracted.

Growing consensus among scientists suggests that we live in a new geological epoch characterized by humankind’s impact on Earth: the Anthropocene. This impact is evidenced in part by remainders of fossil fuel production and consumption, petrochemical use, industrial agriculture and mining. Extracted brings together a group of artists whose work investigates the extraction of natural resources, and the material and cultural circulation of such resources around the globe. Participating artists: Mary Mattingly, Otobong Nkanga, Claire Pentecost, David Zink Yi and Marina Zurkow. Extracted is curated by Megan Voeller and organized by USFCAM. Claire Pentecost's participation is supported by USFCAM's Art for Community Engagement (ACE) patrons: Sharmila and Vivek Seth, Allison and Robbie Adams, Courtney and Jason Kuhn, Francesca and Richard Forsyth, the Stanton Storer Embrace The Arts Foundation, and the Frank E. Duckwall Foundation.

InsideART Extracted lessons are written by USF College of Education faculty Dr. Bárbara C. Cruz, Professor of Social Science Education and Dr. Cheryl Ellerbrock, Associate Professor in Teaching and Learning; Sarah Mead, M.A., Doctoral Student in the USF College of Education; and Noel Smith, Curator, IRA.

Click here to access the 2016 Extracted InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

Caio Reisewitz, Goiânia Golf Club II, 2004. c-print mounted on Diasec. 70-7/8 x 57-7/8 in. Edition: 1/5. Courtesy of the artist and Luciana Brito Galeria, São Paulo, BrazilThe Spring 2016 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition Histórias/Histories: Contemporary Art from Brazil.

Histórias will showcase works by Jonathas de Andrade, Sonia Gomes, Virginia de Medeiros, Caio Reisewitz, and Luiz Zerbini, whose approaches address the varied histories of Brazil, some collective, some individual, but all rooted in reflections on the country’s complicated past and present, and vast geographical, racial, and cultural wealth and diversity. Curated by USFCAM Curator Noel Smith, with Dr. Agnaldo Farias, University of São Paulo; organized by USF Contemporary Art Museum. Exhibition sponsored in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Board of Hillsborough County Commissioners, the USF Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean, USF World, and The Gobioff Foundation.

Click here to access the 2016 Histórias/Histories: Contemporary Art from Brazil InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

Kalup Linzy
Queen Rose Family Tree (detail), 2014-2015The Fall 2015 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition A Family Affair.

A Family Affair presents seven artists who explore personal identity and family relationships through photography, video, performance and animation: Renee Cox, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Kalup Linzy, Jacolby Satterwhite, Hank Willis Thomas, Corine Vermeulen and Deborah Willis. Adopting a range of approaches from documentary to fiction, they articulate visions of self situated within interpersonal and historical family contexts as well as broader social frameworks of race, class and gender, often working in collaboration with family members to realize their art. During the exhibition Corine Vermeulen will be in residence and undertake a three-month community-based project in collaboration with the University Area Community Development Corporation, photographing residents of the University Area community adjacent to USF in exchange for stories of neighborhood and family life. A Family Affair is curated by Megan Voeller and organized by USFCAM. The exhibition catalogue for A Family Affair is supported by a grant from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. Corine Vermeulen’s residency is supported by Caspers Company and Sharmila and Vivek Seth.

Click here to access the 2015 A Family Affair InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

Arthur S. Mole (England, 1889-1983) and John D. Thomas (USA, d. 1947) Uncle Sam living picture, 1919. silver emulsion, 13 x 10 1/4 in. (photo: Will Lytch) Courtesy of the Drapkin CollectionsThe Spring 2015 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition Enhanced: Photographic Works from the Drapkin Collections with Contemporary Light-Based Media.

Enhanced! presents a selection of vintage and contemporary manipulated photographs that span the history of photography. The images selected for the exhibition have been transformed manually and digitally to enhance them in a variety of ways and to fool the eye of the viewer, and to expand and shift our understanding of photography as a medium. Works selected from The Drapkin Collections anchor the exhibition, with classic images dating from the 1850s to the 1960s, including works by Anna Atkins, Harold Edgerton, Alexander Gardner, Gustave Le Gray, Man Ray, Eadweard Muybridge, Jerry Uelsmann, Weegee and many others. Examples of vernacular photography reflect collector Dr. Robert Drapkin’s broad range of interests. Contemporary selections include works by Yoan Capote, James Casebere, Jerome Favre, Adam Fuss, Debbie Grossman, Kalup Linzy, Christian Marclay, Vik Muniz, Yamini Nayar, Roman Signer, and Peter Tscherkassky. Curated by Noel Smith; organized by USF Contemporary Art Museum.

Click here to access the 2015 Enhanced! InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

Pedro Reyes with his installation Disarm, 2012. (photo: Ken Adlard) The 2014 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition CAM@25: Social Engagement.

The USF Contemporary Art Museum celebrates its 25th anniversary with CAM@25: Social Engagement to highlight its history of bringing artists, and the practice of making contemporary art, to the Tampa Bay community. This selection of installations serves to mark CAM’s extensive history of exhibitions, commissions and collaborations with artists whose practices and projects embrace an ethos of responsible social meaning, purpose and motivation in the public sphere. Artists include Los Carpinteros (Cuba/Spain), Pedro Reyes (Mexico), and Janaina Tschäpe (Brazil/Germany).

Click here to access the 2014 CAM@25 InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

Khaled Jarrar Concrete, 2012The 2013 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition SubRosa: The Language of Resistance.

Referencing the ancient practice of hanging a rose to designate covert meetings, the Latin term sub rosa for centuries has denoted secrecy or confidentiality. The seven international artists in this exhibition are among the untold many around the world who contend with environments where censorship—real and threatened—violence and imprisonment are daily realities for those who speak out against the social and political oppression they experience. Together with their compatriots, these artists find ways to live with dignity, honesty and hope for change, and they choose to use their art for activism. Operating often in a sub rosa mode—covert, coded, dissimulated—they find languages for resistance in accomplished and intriguing works that span a range of media and registers, reaching diverse audiences in their own countries and across the world. Artists include Ai Weiwei (China), Ramón Esono Ebalé (Equatorial Guinea), Barbad Golshiri (Iran), Khaled Jarrar (Palestine), Zanele Muholi (South Africa), and José Toirac and Meira Marrero (Cuba).

Click here to access the 2013 SubRosa InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

MArk Dion Mobile UnitThe 2012 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition Mark Dion: Troubleshooting.

For decades, Mark Dion has created drawings, prints, cabinets of curiosity, archaeological digs, and sprawling installations about the discrepancy between perceived knowledge and scientific inquiry, between common perception and advanced research. His works have addressed famous intellectuals in history, such as William Bartram, as well as important social and environmental sites, most recently the fragile Florida Everglades. Mark Dion: Troubleshooting is a focused survey of his most ecologically-themed works.

Click here to access the 2012 Mark Dion InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

Carlos Garaicoa, Crown JewelsThe 2010 edition of InsideART focuses on the USFCAM exhibition Carlos Garaicoa: La enmienda que hay en mí (Making Amends).

Inspired by the architecture and culture of his native Havana, Cuba, Garaicoa explores issues relevant to contemporary society including urbanism, politics, history and human rights. He incorporates drawing, photography, sculpture and text in dramatic, large-scale installations as well as precious miniatures.

Click here to access the 2010 Carlos Garaicoa InsideART lesson plans and instructional materials.

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