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Re: [ArtsEducators] Art and Censorship


Date: Sat Feb 22 2003 - 13:12:51 PST

I am so lucky, I guess. I work in a school where our third graders
study a year of scupture in our art a la carte program, with parent
docents in their classroom. They begin with an intro to sculpture
lesson, involving materials, types, (relief, in the round, etc.). THen
they receive a chronological introduction to sculpture over a period of
8 lessons. These are taught in the classroom, not in the artroom,
though the other art teacher and I help to facilitate it and counsel
docents as they prepare their lessons. They begin with Egypt, then
Greek, with kuros figures, gods and goddesses, and even some nudes
shown, along with a discussion of the Greek's view of the human body.
At first, there are some giggles, but they quickly get over it. In 12
years of this program, I've never seen a parent who couldn't handle the
teaching of that lesson. Nor have I ever seen a group of kids who didn't
settle down quickly after the first giggles and then be able to discuss
movement, proportion, musculature, and marveling at the realism brought
out of a block of stone. Following that lesson, they are introduced to
4 renaissance Davids, Then they have an art bowl (game show setup) at
the end of the first semester to see how much they can remember. It's
awesome. In the second semester, they begin with modern figurative
sculpture, including Brancussi (The kiss) compared with Rodin's Kiss,
The rest of the moderns are not nudes, but when we have our artbowl on
location at our MFA sculpture garden, there are nudes in there, for
sure. In the sculpture garden, they walk around in groups of three or
four looking for examples of different vocabulary and artists that they
learned about during AALC in the classroom. Oh, I forgot to mention,
they also learn about Nevelson, Henry Moore, and Calder in three other
lessons before the end of the year sculpture garden/downtown Houston
public scupture tour. It's pretty amazing to hear our third graders
discussing sculpture.

Well, I just wanted to share that we start early, and they are able to
look at anything on our museum trips without freaking out. I think our
parents buy into the idea that it's better to view nudity for the first
time through art than some sicko tv show or movie that treats sexuality
in ways that are not beautiful. Happy Saturday...YEA! It's sunny and
I'm going for a bike ride. OH! I ordered a jeweler's bench for my
house yesterday and I'm setting up a home studio by spring break so I
can make art during my vacation. Yeehaa.