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Re: [teacherartexchange] Third year blues or what?


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 19:09:21 PDT

I think, sometimes our kids don't see the "honor" in art. I think they
have always been told everything they do is wonderful and sometimes
they question the wonder. I just entered some kids work in a big show
and what was selected left some "wonder." Kids want to please and
often in art they don't get to what pleases even when they knock
themselves out. Art should be self pleasing.
Sometimes I think music is so much easier to judge. Something played is
easy to hear if it doesn't sound good, even if it's an unfamiliar tune.
How many of the music kids are creating and composing their own music
for judging?
There are so many outlets for young people to find opportunities in
music. Perhaps we need an American Idol show for the visual artist .
Kids form bands they think they can be rock stars --- music is a
staple in their lives.
But the visual artist sees hardship-- the starving artist (my Ap
students have a running joke about living in a cardboard box fighting
the rats for food)
their idols are long dead they are not all over TV and the radio
and there are no i-pods for artists.
We do every thing we can to bring honor to their talents yet, I'm
afraid that art remains an elusive that too many say they don't
I have so many talented kids who try to convey the intention of their
work and yet they face the same questions I have always faced "I
don't get it?" "Can you explain...?"

The best we can do is make sure our art students have a stake in their
art making, that they feel a choice and an ownership in the expression.
If they have that then they will come to defend the questions. I ask
that my students act as "docents" at the show. They educate the viewers
better than I can and their pride is very evident. I tell them always
that the art show is about them - they design, execute and put it up
and it's their pride
and, in fact, my kids told me last year they didn't want ribbons
anymore. It's not a competition, it's an exhibition.


On Apr 25, 2005, at 4:10 PM, wrote:

> Throwing this out to the list and maybe get responses to help cure
> what's ailing me.
> We just had our yearly art show which I believe was done very
> tastefully and featured some very strong work from our district. My
> top students from grades 8 and 9 did not show up to the show despite
> my usual ritual of packaging up a very nice custom made certificate
> and a show flyer in an envelope and hand delivering these during
> lunch.
>    There was a State music contest going on the same day so we feared
> we may lose some but the ones I'm talking about were not tied up that
> day.
>    This same problem, a lack of attendance from my stronger kids,
> happened last year as well. Also, it's not just my kids, but the other
> teachers' as well.
>    My question is this:  I can't help but be a little peeved about
> this, but should I just chalk this up to their age and the times we
> live in. It seems to me that kids should treat this as an an honor
> but  I guess some don't see it that way. Is this common, and if not
> what can I do about it.
>    On a similiar note. I can't help but wonder about this music
> contest. The day after our show I heard students bantering excitedly
> about their scores on the state test/contest. This got me thinking.
> Why are these kids so excited about playing their instrument in a room
> with only a judge and nobody else to see or hear them perform but
> they're not excited about having their artwork displayed where a ton
> of community residents could see and enjoy it.
>    I have to admit,  I"m secretly a bit jealous of the music teachers.
> Any thoughts on any of this ramble?  Thanks for listening

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