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Re: my art books have been confiscated for decency HELP

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From: Sharon Henneborn (heneborn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 11 2004 - 00:31:53 PST


It is too bad that all these un or miss informed parents and
administrators did not have one of us for an art teacher when they were
young. I have so many stories that come to mind from 40 years.

One story I wrote for the NAEA Flower Teacher publication about a group
of students who were discussing my usual question, "Why do you think
that some children are uncomfortable when they see an art work of a
human body without the clothing and some children are not bothered by
it and are comfortable?" My favorite response was from a second grade
girl. " I think they mix up the art thing with the sex thing." Kids
all seemed to agree with that observation.

The first year I was teaching I was in Texas. We had a new art museum
open in town and I was eager to take the kids for a visit. I went to
review the first exhibit and there were a few nudes. Before we visited
we discussed the challenge of figure drawing and how the challenge of
drawing the draping and texture of clothing was a different problem
altogether. It never occurred to me that the parents would raise
objection because the community was so proud of our excellent small
museum and many volunteered to come and supervise the 5th and 6th
graders who made the first visit.

One father drew me aside and said that he was very angry when he first
saw the nudes but, "My son soon put me straight. He said, 'Dad if you
have a problem with the bodies you need to understand the challenge of
drawing a human figure.' I looked around and saw these boys looking
at ART, not nudes and I wished I had had you for an art teacher in the
6th grade."

One child, parent and administrator at a time.
Sharon ~ NJ

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