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[teacherartexchange] 3rd Year Blues - the Ongoing Challenge for Student Participation


From: knitzber (knitzber_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 06:42:01 PDT

Hi Mike,

I fully appreciate the problem that you are facing with
getting students to value / participate in visual art events
featuring their work.

Your envy of the music department and events that they
hold is also understandable, but what they have going for
them that traditionally the visual arts do not, is the
performing arts component that is endemic to what their
students are involved with and, as a result, buy into a
culture of participation / understanding that seems to be
better understood by the public at large with that type of
production. There are analogies between what the music
department does and what occurs on the sports field and
the audience in the stands.

In one of my many roles as an art educator, I have been the
Tournament Director for the MN State H.S. League Visual
Art Competition for my particular geographic region
(Section 4AA), for the past 3 years. The program is set up
to accept 10 works of art representing 5 categories from
each of the 11 schools that make up our section. The
works are judged by a number of individuals representing
secondary and higher art education. The students (and
their families and friends who attend the event), are able
take part in one of a series of workshops that are provided
for the students. The judging takes place during the

After the workshops we break for lunch and then reconvene
after an hour for the students to look at the work on
and to discuss the written critiques / responses that they
have received from the judges. The day culminates in the
conferring of awards.

This process is still, even after 3 years, in the growing
stages. More particpation is yet desired, but the
has been established. This year, I created a powerpoint of
all of the work that was on display and am sharing it with
of the schools in the section as well as administrators who
will be helpful allies in the promotion of this event. PR
continues to be an important part of what we need to do as
art educators.


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