The Arts in Tennessee Since 1975

DURATION: 1 or more sessions to explore online museums plus 1 or more sessions to research artists and create posters on them

  • Computers with Internet connections
  • Copies of the student pages
  • Poster-making supplies
  • Optional: art supplies for students to create examples of their own work
  • Student Handout


The arts continue to be a significant and important part in the lives of Tennesseans.
ring the Information Revolution Era, Tennessee artists continued to produce fine arts while traditional crafts were still embraced. Museums across the state helped lead this cultural movement, producing and presenting exhibitions on internationally-known artists and local artists.

Guiding Questions: 

  • How have Tennessee artists contributed to American culture since 1975?

Objectives:  Students will 

  1. Experience artwork created by modern Tennessee artists.
  2. Explore the contributions of Tennessee artists to the fine arts.


  • Have students create posters on Tennessee or American artists of the period.


  1. Ask if anyone in the class has ever visited an art museum.
  2. Have them share their experiences.
  3. If possible, show some of the art images from here to introduce the topic of art in Tennessee since 1975.
  4. Pass out copies of the student page or read it aloud to the class.
  5. Have students work in teams to explore artwork online at one of the Tennessee museum websites.
  6. Have each team select a modern American artist to research and create a poster on. (See the slideshows in the Arts section of the Information Revolution Era on Tn4Me here for examples of Tennessee artists.)

Extensions:Have students

  • Collaborate with your art teacher to have students explore various art mediums and recreate art “in the style of” specific Tennessee artists.
  • Schedule a fieldtrip to view an art exhibit at a local museum.
  • Explore “craft art” with students. (See examples here)


  • Tennessee Social Studies Standards: Grade 5 Social Studies:
    5.0.03.a. Identify significant examples of art, music, and literature from various periods in United States history.
    5.0.03.b. Describe how language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
    5.1.02.a. Explain how art, music, and literature reflected the times during which they were created.


            National History Standards:
Era 10: STANDARD 2: Economic, social, and cultural developments in contemporary United States.
Standard 2D: The student understands contemporary American culture.
Grade Level
Therefore, the student is able to
Explore the international influence of American culture. [Draw upon visual and musical sources]