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Lesson Plans

art and life being "fair"

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
kprs (kprs)
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 20:27:43 -0700

I have sat back and enjoyed all the postings about art and the
competitive nature of judging. As most of you might know, as I have
posted this before, my art club ran a successful gallery in part of the
school for many years. (That "part" has been taken over by special
education needs, so we no longer have a gallery). The art club set
schedules, decided on gallery themes, and called for submissions from
students and staff members alike, as well as having their own group
show, and a huge group installation a la George Segal. One of the side
shoots of this venture was the idea of critiquing work, and having
dialogue about each piece submitted. We had a small space, and had
display limitations. As I have always tried to instill into the minds
of my students that while learning about technique, art history, and the
principles of art and design, when one creates a piece of work with a
thesis statement in mind, you are only trying to satisfy your
requirements based on a variety of goals. Hence, if you do not "get
picked", "win" or any of the other competitive "jargon", you can still
have confidence knowing that you were aiming for a certain target, and
even though the "jury" didn't see it, you know what you have
accomplished. Taking ownership and responsibility is a big part of
being an artist. Between showcases, bulletin boards, end of the year
artshows, congressional art shows, and local Teen Arts Festivals, ANYONE
in my art program can share their work in one venue or another.
(Conversely they can choose NOT to share their work in a public venue,
but they can not choose not to hang it up in the art room for critiquing
among their peers.) Over the years I have found that my students do not
get "moved" (outwardly, I will admit) one way or the other by rejection
or acceptance into an art show, because they have "learned" to accept
life in the art world as fickle, subjective and unpredictable. (Although
I have done the "dance 'o joy" when my students' works have made people
think---I'm an old lady, whose pleasures are few!)

San D