Take your art class to a portable device with some fantastic apps for learning about pop art. Whether you want to share a little pop art history, have your students create some of their own pop art, or open your students’ eyes up to pop art from around the world, the mobile device is a great tool to integrate into your classroom. While there is no way that these apps will replace some fantastic classroom teaching, they are a great way to connect today’s techy kids with the artistic side of life.
Where better to start the exploration of pop art that with Andy Warhol himself? This app is a great way to get students engaged with pop art in a very hands-on way. Rather than simply transform a photo into a pop art look-a-like, this handy app guides users through the process, explaining the process Warhol went through to create his silk-screen prints, and allowing users to crop, expose, and paint their own photos to create digital versions of Warhol’s trademark art, then share it on social media. An added bonus is the information provided by artists and museum curators that help students understand pop art. Platform: iOS Cost: $0.99. Another nice resource to look at is Artsy’s Andy Warhol page.
Although this app was designed around an exhibition by the same name, it serves a great educational purpose, even if you do not get the chance to see the exhibit. The app highlights pop artists and designers, their exchange of ideas, and the art they created. The app includes stunning images of some of the works in the exhibition, interview with curators offering insight into pop art, and interview with artists. Platform: Android, iPhone, and iPad Cost: Free.
The simple way to convert photos. Much less complex and without the wealth of information provided by the Warhol app, this app does a decent job of making a quick conversion of a photo to a pop art look-alike. Nothing fancy, but students will enjoy playing around with their own photos on this app, and in the process learn which photos work best for this kind of application. Platform: iOS 3.2 or later Cost: Free.
Far more hands on than the Popstamatic app, this app lets you work with photos or create your own drawings. Students can customize their brushes, change backgrounds, add art to photos, or create all new images. Ben-Day dots help keep everything authentic. Platform: iOS 3.2 or later, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Cost: $0.99.
Another fun “quick-fix” sort of app, Pop Art Lite is just another way to get your students engaging with pop art. After all, the more they interact with it, even in fun ways, the more likely they are to remember the important stuff. One thing of particular interest in this app is the ability to choose color schemes for photos, including Halfmoon Bay, Che Guevara, Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Photo Booth. The advantage this offers is the fact that students will learn differences in the artists’ styles, even if they are not looking at the original works. Platform: iOS 5.0 or later, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Cost: Free.
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.