Accidental Genius: Creating a Community of Art in your Classroom

August Walla (Austrian, 1936–2001)
Gericht!, 1990
Acrylic on canvas (double-sided)
78 × 63 in. (198.12 × 160.02 cm)
Gift of Anthony Petullo M2012.230a,b
Photo credit: Larry Sanders
© Art Brut KG, Gugging

The last section of the show focuses on a group of artists associated with the Art/Brut Center Gugging, located outside of Vienna, Austria. Formerly a psychiatric institution, the center emerged from a program that one of the original doctors founded when he discovered and encouraged the artistic talents of a number of his patients. Artists represented in this section include Johann Garber, Johann Fischer, August Walla, and Oswald Tschirtner.

The Gugging artists have covered the walls of the building in artwork, and even painted light switches, cabinets, and other semi-permanent aspects of the building. Inspired by the Gugging, create a community of art in your classroom or school.

Work with other teachers to transform your classroom or a public area in the school into a piece of public art. If you can get permission, allow your students to paint light switches, cabinets, or even furniture. Have your class give other students and visitors tours of the space and celebrate their lasting contributions to the school.