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Re: Universal themes in Art - Beth


From: Judy Decker (judydeckeriad_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Dec 22 2003 - 07:24:43 PST

Hi Beth,

I haven't answered you yet because I thought I'd just
be talking to myself (again...silly me). I have been
hip to multicultural education since the 1980's - and
universal themes for quiet some time. As far as a site
--well - mine! I have so much stuff there it could
keep you busy for days.
Shame on me for bringing up this topic...BUT - there
are universal themes in religion, too....and YES - I
did bring those up with my kids. Creation Narratives
were a safe way to introduce some of the themes.
Peaked their interest - then sneak in some more
similarities - and show how those themes come across
in the artwork of the culture.

One universal theme IS character education. There are
ways to cross all cultures. (Yes - there is THE WAY
that bridges all cultures - all religions)

You are definitely on the right track (in my book).
Make the meaning more important than all of the P's
and E's in the right place. I value work that has
meaning more than I value works with perfect P's and

Here are some themes that Patty Knott's school

Sorry I can not direct you to one perfect book....I
have shelves full of books for many cultures. One that
I like looking at is the Spirit of Folk Art from the
Museum of International Folk Art. Folk art is a great
way to start with kids - particularly at the middle
school level.

Cheers! and Merry Christmas,


P.S. I know I have seen sites on themes in art -- but
I have tons of stuff to do today. If you find some
-PLEASE post to the list and I will add them to my

> wrote:
> >When constructing new lessons and looking for
> universal themes in different cultural contexts is
> there a basic text? The most basic one I have is
> Elsen's Purposes of Art, but maybe there is one
> recommended...Or even a site you like. Thanks!
> >Beth

Judith Decker
Incredible Art Department
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