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Lesson Learned - Valuing Art -Something to try


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Aug 28 2003 - 14:26:33 PDT

Dear Friends in Art Education,

The kids will show we do one thing we say we do....

The theme of hands has come up on Getty list. There have been some super
ideas posted. I have saved them all.
In one of my off list messages, I suggested having the students put a value
on the art they made. Come up with a price tag/dollar amount to show the
value of the lesson they learned. Price tags can be bought very cheaply at
the office supply stores. World - I know you have some of the same problems
we do here in the USA--Administrators and the Governments don't always value
what we do in art education....We know that community members often don't
want to pay for art (don't want to pay for the artist's time). At your art
show, your price tags will be with the art to show the dollar value the
students have placed on their art ...Of course they are not for "sale"
really. For starters, come up with an estimated cost of materials - then an
fair hourly wage. This could be a little practical math lesson as well. I
think the kids can teach the community that they value art made by children
and the lessons they are learning. They are not just learning how to "make a
little art". The are learning to appreciate the beauty in things made by
man. They are learning how to solve some of the problems of this world.
Things made by man take time and that time is valuable. This could also be a
way to use your Mona Bucks (or whatever you call your currency). At your art
show have some currency printed off (you may have to change it from
$1,000,0000 to something more manageable). For a small donation - parents
can purchase Mona Bucks (or Super Bucks if you do Alix's lesson) and can
have some fun purchasing their students' work (exchange currency - that is
up to you to decide how many Mona Bucks they get for $1.00 ). Oh of course,
in the end every parent gets their child's work because all parents don't
come to the show. This could be a nice fundraiser for you program for the
following year - or to buy some nice visual resources for your program. I
know this idea sounds like a lot of work - but it might be doable with some
parent volunteers. If anyone tries this - just let the list know.

(World - you don't know about this - so just ignore) For anyone still
interested in the NBC Conan Sculpture Challenge - you might approach it the
same way with your students. Propose cost of materials plus an hourly rate
(even kids get minimum wage) multiplied by the hours spent making the
sculpture....just a thought. If any teacher is interested - you can figure
out what the cost of your time is per hour....I know it is varied. I'm not
going to bother posting more about the challenge to the World. Getty folks -
the list was down when I posted originally so email me off list.
Here is my answer to the aluminum foil challenge: High school teachers, just
so you know...When I was in high school, the football coach bought clay red
devil heads from me for $10.00 each (as trophies...and that was 1971)- they
only took me about an hour each to make. I think all in all they bought 5 or
6 of them. I don't recall now. NBC has my son (Matt thought the idea was
cool) and Ken Rohrer (my site was online as a result of Ken) to thank for
their foil Conan. I'll let them thank me for any additions to their
collection of Conan heads. I do have a plan to give them what they want
(smile...and it will be fun telling them my plan).

Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department