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Lesson Plans

Re: Artists and Art Teachers

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John Antoine Labadie (labadie)
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 09:42:29 EST5EDT

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> From: "Clair/Lily Kerns" <CWKerns>
> To: "Alix E. Peshette" <apeshet>, <artsednet>
> Subject: Re: Artists and Art Teachers
> Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 07:19:56 -0500

> > years. IMHO, being an artist is about process! Whether one sells,
> > exhibits or just does art at home, never to be seen by anyone else,
> > it's art! Because it completes something within the artist. I like
> > to use the analogy of sports. How many people love to play sports,
> > because it makes them feel good? How many of those people have
> > serious thoughts about making a living by playing sports? If they
> > aren't making a living at it or playing in exhibition sports, does
> > doesn't necessarily have to be manifest on any tangible level,
> > it only needs to make the artist feel complete. Teaching art is about
> > showing students how to see their world in a different way. Are we going
> > to say to our students that if they are not producing and selling art as
> adults,
> > that they can't say they are artists?
> >
> Well said, Alix. And I think you you have just said for me what has
> bothered me--at a gut level--about DBAE (yes, I know--heresy!). It makes
> some important points, but tends to minimize this area--which is what makes
> art "real" and not just another subject for kids to learn.
> Anybody else feel this way?
> Lily
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Lily Kerns CWKerns

Must agree here ... if students do not see a subject as "real" then
it will be, at best, of minimal interst to them. Little energy will
be committed to what is perceived as peripheral stuff.

Additionally, perhaps we as art teachers, and artists as well, might
more carefully look at when and how we use the term "artist" and how
exactly we mean to employ the term in certain contexts.

When i taught elementary level students were encourage to think of
themselves as artists. People who were engaged in artistic processes
and produced art work as a result of their efforts. Same was the
case in teaching high school level. I now encourage this thinking
with college students and adults in workshop situations too.

Even so i separate my work (photography, digital art and
scientific illustration) from these contexts. Work produced for
publication, exhibition and commission is often an entirely different
kind of thing, done for different purposes, than that accomplished by
those with whom i work.

I humbly acknowledge that my lifetime will be spent in improving my
own art work. During this pursuit it has come to my attention that
there is a often profound difference between professionly executed
works and those of lesser quality. Producing art work is one kind of
thing ... doing this for a living often results in tangible evidence
of other levels of activity. Our students should be aware of this
as well.

Regards, John

Dr. John Antoine Labadie
Assistant Professor of Art
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510

Wphone: 910.521.6618 (or sec. at 6216)
Fax: 910.521.6162

"Happy the man who early learns the wide chasm
that lies between his wishes and his powers."

Erasmus (1466?-1536)

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