I have been teaching about contemporary artists for a
few years now- the Art 21 series really helped me to
get focused. The artists featured in that series led
me to other artists. The thing I like about teaching
contemporary art is it takes out, for the most part,
the "project" option of "lets make a work of art in
the style of _____________". Its probably not possible
for each student to make an installation "in the style
of" Pepon Osario for instance, or imitate the imagery
Michael Ray Charles uses to explore race in popular
culture. So we must look at what the work of those
artists is _about_...what informs their work. This
usually results in a theme, big idea, etc. that isn't
driven by media- the idea can be explored in any
media- even if you only have pencils and copier paper
for your students to work with...
And ideas are what the students will deal with the
rest of their lives- if they never make another piece
of art after they leave you.
Creative people thrive in a climate of openness and
tolerance- The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco.
- Garrison Keillor
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