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Class Critques - Excellent Advice - Plus recent threads

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From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Apr 11 2004 - 11:42:47 PDT


Dear ArtsEdNetters,

First Recent threads...

I am compling some recent Getty list threads
on ...Motivation....Alternate ideas....Special needs
kids. If anyone DOES NOT want your words of wisdom on
IAD - please let me know. I do not list email
addresses on purpose...only names...and I only use
names that you use to post to Getty...I am only
putting these on now since they are NOT archived - and
won't be until the end of the year (thank you for
"listening" to us Nick). Past Getty threads may all be
found doing a Google search.

Now Class Critiques (scroll down to Patty Knott)

Honestly I am taking a break today.... I just don't
want to forget getting this message out.

Funny how I can not remember where the question
originated now....but this is such a GREAT post it
must be share with these groups... I will look up
Kathy's words of wisdom for you (it has to be from
Kathy Douglas).

I was asked once to critique an Art CD once...funny
how the author only saw/read the good I had to
say.....My suggestions for improving it for art
education were genuine - and honest. Art Teachers who
did buy it felt the same as I did. Patty has always
given me her blessing to share her word of
wisdom. These kind of posts take lots of time.

My in class critiques were a joy....because I have
some "horror" stories of what my college grad studio
critiques were like...and one GREAT one that
showed me my true direction to go with MY art.

Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 14:23:30 -0400
From: Patricia Knott
Subject: Re: Art Class Critiques - Some input (Long)

Critiquing is an important part of our process it's
an art tradition and sometimes a tradition that
causes angst and bad memories. If you are like me
---you either recall the college critique where you
were totally shot down or the "crit" where you got
praise and then didn't know where to go.

I hope critiquing is a part of everyone's program. I
constantly have students returning to me thanking me
for the exposure to the process once they get to
college. Apparently they are amidst students that have
not never gone through this and they are delighted
that their college instructors recognize their ability
to participate.

I always establish rules and vocabulary. Success is
emphasized, weaknesses are addressed with proper art
vocabulary---- recognizing compositional techniques
NOT saying I like or dislike in fact I forbid the
words like or dislike I always start the critique by
saying "you will find something "successful".

I think any art work should begin by having something
that draws attention and that attention should be the
basis of the comments. I 'm not sure that hurt
feelings can be avoided. And I'm not sure that any
other discipline employs this valuable lesson. The
ultimate purpose of art is communicate. If through the
critique process we learn to communicate better then
that is good. I'm not sure language Arts does this. Do
kids read their writing and and get class feedback?
Are science projects submitted to this kind of review?
 The class crit is given much consideration into my
personal review -- I give consideration to what is
observed beyond what I observe.

Anyhow, the list Kathy provided from Dr. John Crowe is
very important
I particularly like
mystery VS clarity
clarity VS mystery
judgment VS enlightenment

My crits have gotten very long because of my
"choice-based" Since each solution is unique, the
student statement is necessary. The intention
influences the response. And I must say, I am often
influenced by the
student intention. My personal reactions have been
altered by my use of choice. I can't use any
"standard" standard ---- even standard evaluation
of composition becomes altered by choice. My standard
has become - hasyour choice fulfilled your choice?

I recommend James Elkin's "Why Art Cannot Be Taught"
to anyone seriously considering the crit process. He
offers a very comprehensive
evaluation of the "what has been done" and valuable
considerations for what should be done

My choice has been to take myself out the process as
much as possible. I encourage a student-led crit and
I encourage student response.
They learn from each other better than from me. They
listen to each other better than from me. My job is to
give them the qualifiers in my way so that they have
something to qualify from and maybe they will
get it.

It's been a long time for me putting aside my
judgments and getting to the place to put their
judgments in some kind of frame of mine. Life is a
compromise, same in art. I'm over 50 years old, my
judgments are different--- not necessarily good or bad
only different. I'm not sure I understand the
aesthetic of today so I keep me open and listen and
hear what they respond to and it ain't my aesthetic.

Sometimes I think we have to change more than they
have to conform.

Patty Knott

Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/
Incredible Art Resources
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/

P.S. I don't give out list member addresses anymore
unless they tell me to....If you want to thank Patty
-look in Getty archives for February. When I add all
of this to IAD along with Marvin's links...I may add
my horror stories and one successful critique from my
grad studio courses (studnet got to hear my stories
before we did crits)....Bluffton College prof liked
everything I did - but we did not have in class crits
there...That was my World of Art Class were I made
several of the example project ideas on my site (My
Art page).

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