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Re:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: December 27, 2007


From: Genie Mueller (geniemueller_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Dec 30 2007 - 10:18:29 PST

Subject: Re: avoiding violent themes or subjects

In both computer art and drawing/painting we studied
narrative/social commentary art ranging from Picasso
to Banksy. Students then created their own piece; many
involved violence in the forms of personal
concerns/issues. Pieces ranged from the confusion boys
and young men have over guns/war/sport to abuse within
the family unit to animal abuse. It is an excellent
avenue for students to express personal issues (altho
many 'had friends' with whom they sympathized).


--- TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group digest
<> wrote:

> TEACHERARTEXCHANGE Digest for Thursday, December 27,
> 2007.
> 1. VISTA
> 2. Re: avoiding violent themes or subjects
> 3. Re: VISTA
> Subject: VISTA
> From: Susan Bennett <>
> Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 17:07:31 -0800 (PST)
> X-Message-Number: 1
> Are any of you using Vista yet? I have had so much
> trouble with getting my printer and scanner to work
> with it. I feel like I could be in the Mac
> commercials.
> I tried downloading a fix while speaking with a
> Cannon
> person, but to no avail!
> Also does anyone know if there is a Photo Shop
> version
> that works with it? MY poor lesson handouts have
> taken a set back, while I learn this crazy new
> Susan in Ohio
> -
> Be a better friend, newshound, and
> know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
> Subject: Re: avoiding violent themes or subjects
> From: Marvin Bartel <>
> Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 21:57:14 -0500
> X-Message-Number: 2
> Jane,
> Thank you for asking about the theme of violence in
> artwork produced in art classes. When we prohibit
> violent depictions in their art I worry that
> children will not benefit from the ability to
> express themselves in their artwork. In a few cases
> we may fail to identify some very seriously troubled
> and even dangerous students. Prohibitions could
> limit their chances of getting help. In less severe
> cases prohibitions preclude children from seeing
> their problems and facing. Art may help them
> creatively address their own issues. On the other
> hand, when we prohibit violent depictions we do let
> them know the values held by their communities and
> their teachers. I remain ambivalent about this
> censorship because for some children the prohibition
> may be good while for others it may be bad.
> It seems that popular culture has always included
> violent influences on children and it is quite
> likely that our innate human instincts for survival
> include violent animal-like responses to anxiety,
> fear, and insecurity. However, an important part of
> what makes us human, is that we also have more
> constructive and creative humane instincts like
> empathy and love that can be used very effectively
> if they are actively fostered through better
> education. Howard Gardner, in FIVE MINDS for the
> FUTURE ) 2007, lists the Respectful Mind and the
> Ethical Mind as two essential outcomes of education
> (in addition to the Disciplined, Synthesizing, and
> Creating Mind). I believe the respectful and ethical
> mind-sets can be developed naturally from the human
> instinct to be empathetic.
> I was raised on a farm in open country. We used a
> gun to protect our livestock from predatory animals.
> My parents taught us that farmers should be good to
> their farm animals - giving them the best possible
> care, but we did raise them for steak and bacon. We
> enjoyed fishing and hunting for food. I admit that I
> took some sport in this. However, my family came
> from a faith tradition in which human life was
> distinctive. Even the life of a sworn enemy was
> considered sacred. For about 500 hundred years, our
> ancestors migrated rather than live under a monarch
> that required them to actively participate as
> soldiers a killing war.
> I have a faith in education and especially in art
> education. It can be redemptive to help humanity
> identify the questions and answers to the problem of
> violence. Any of us who are teachers who have had
> the benefits of education share a responsibility to
> help our students learn to seek positive
> alternatives and systems of the solving the problem
> of violence. Unless we promote the learning of
> non-violent ways to solve problems between people;
> we will see increasing fear and intolerant beliefs
> coupled with the power of advancing technology,
> weapon systems, chemicals, viruses, etc. so
> hazardous that only a small fragment of humans (if
> any) will remain. We fail unless we give our
> students the minds and dispositions that search for
> better alternatives than violent solutions and
> revenge in our relationships with each other.
> Old-school thinking and problem solving methods that
> depend on denial, fleeing, revenge, and preemptive
> violent shock and awe are obsolete in our global
> milieu.
> When Albert Einstein said that he could not predict
> the weapons of WWWIII, but he could predict that
> WWWIV would be fought with sticks and stones.
> The present system of education largely ignores the
> power and development of the Empathic Mind. Still,
> there are numerous examples where humans have
> succeeded when the obvious advantages of
> non-violence alternatives have been used in Northern
> Ireland, in South Africa, in India, and many other
> places. How much of this methodology is being
> revealed in schools compared to how much is taught
> about military battles and methods?
> In art classes, I believe that relying on
> prohibitions against certain types of images is an
> inadequate denial strategy that tends to rely on the
> top-down power of the teacher and the school.
> Students, rather than being creatively empowered to
> employ their minds for good are being denied the
> ability to learn to respond creatively. There are
> more positive and proactive alternative methods to
> teach non-violent alternative ways to think, feel,
> and develop the empathic mind that can produce the
> respectful and ethical minds.
> The following is a quote from Jerod Diamond. GUNS,
> GERMS, and STEEL 2005 edition, page 462. He is not
> presenting it in the context of violence or empathy.
> However, I see it as a key to successfully learning
> to overcome the failing systems that are set to
> destroy human life. The parentheses are mine.
> If our goal is innovation and competitive ability,
> you don't want either excessive unity (top down
> authority) or excessive fragmentation (individual
> autonomy). Instead, you want your country,
> industry. . . or company (or art class) to be broken
> up into groups that compete with one another while
> maintaining relatively free communication. . .
> Everyday art room examples:
> What if we would set up competitive teams that are
> challenged to develop and illustrate alternative
> power and influence methods that avoid the need for
> violence or fighting with other humans on the school
> playground or in our local neighborhoods?
> Could art class teams generate ideas and illustrate
> non-violent processes that effectively respond to
> school bullies? How can incentives, affirmatives,
> and prohibitions be used for growth, development,
> and healing without relying on physical violence?
> Are there ways for teachers and children to learn
> and use behavior management to help bullies learn to
> be included rather than shunned.
> What if art class teams did research and developed
> posters that compared the violent and the
> non-violent options for dealing with intolerable,
> unfair, and unjust situations in the our schools, in
> communities, countries, and world?
> A story about Picasso and THE POWER of ART:
> In 1941, during the Nazi occupation of Paris, the
> Gestapo visited Pablo Picasso's Left Bank flat,
> where a member of the secret police spied a postcard
> of the artist's most famous work, Guernica. The
> giant mural memorialized Germany's 1937 aerial
> obliteration of a small Basque village. "Was it you
> who did this?" the Nazi demanded of Picasso, to
> which he replied, "No. It was you." In the
> internationally acclaimed scholar and writer Simon
> Schama recounts that story while challenging viewers
> with a typically provocative query: "Shouldn't art
> just stick to what it does best, the delivery of
> pleasure, and forget about being a paintbrush
> warrior? Or is it, when the bombs are dropping, that
> we find out what art is really for?"
> This Picasso story is a quotation from:
> What are your examples of what has helped your
> students think and feel more empathically in art
> class? Do we manage critiques and other studio
> activities that help develop empathic minds in our
> students? Can these be turned into more intentional
> creative tasks that promote peace, justice, while
> minimizing violence? How can our art classes be
> designed to provide a setting for more affirmatives
> and fewer prohibitions?
> Marvin
> Marvin Bartel, Ed.D., Professor of Art Emeritus
> Goshen College, 1700 South Main, Goshen IN 46526
> studio phone: 574-533-0171
> "Art is me when I am myself." ... a kindergarten
> girl when asked, "What is art?"
> "You can't never know how to do it before you never
> did it before." ... a kindergarten boy working with
> clay for the first time.
> NOTICE This message is copyright, ) Marvin Bartel,
> 2007. It is intended only for the original
> recipient or user group and may not be forwarded or
> copied without permission.
> Subject: Re: VISTA
> From: Betty B <>
> Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 19:37:33 -0800 (PST)
> X-Message-Number: 3
> We've had lots of problems with Vista, however, it
> turned out to not be the biggest problem. I happened
> to get a Dell guy on the phone who asked what
> version
> of Works I had, and it was the new one, and he
> suggested I uninstall it, and suddenly everything
> worked.
> --- Susan Bennett <>
> wrote:
> >
> > Are any of you using Vista yet? I have had so
> much
> > trouble with getting my printer and scanner to
> work
> > with it. I feel like I could be in the Mac
> > commercials.
> > I tried downloading a fix while speaking with a
> > Cannon
> > person, but to no avail!
> >
> >
> > Also does anyone know if there is a Photo Shop
> > version
> > that works with it? MY poor lesson handouts have
> > taken a set back, while I learn this crazy new
> > VISTA!
> >
> > Susan in Ohio
> > -
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Be a better friend, newshound, and
> > know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ---
> > To unsubscribe go to
> >
> >
> Betty C Bowen
> printmaker, painter
> art educator
> Cushing Oklahoma
> ---
> ---
> as:

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