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Re: Nudity

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Feb 06 2005 - 10:31:29 PST


Tracy, this makes me so sad. Ugh. I work in a school where we have 80
parent docents signed up annually to work in an art appreciation program
that ties in with social studies, language arts, and foreign languages.
It is taught in those classrooms. Our third graders spend a year
studying sculpture. They start with Egyptian, then Greek (They see
Nike, and other obviously Greek sculptures), Renaissance (they compare
four versions of David by four different artists), Rodin and Modern
Figurative, Henry Moore, Calder, Nevelson, and others. At the end of
the year we take a 3/4 day field trip to see Houston's outdoor public
sculptures and have a treasure hunt at the Museum sculpture garden. Our
parents love this program. Kids love this program. They see ALL kinds
of serious art and I have never, in all of these years (16) had one
single parent raise an objection. It is handled tactfully, tastefully,
and honestly. You simply cannot teach art without some exposure to
nudes, nor can you go to a Museum without seeing them. It is so sad
when people are so ignorant as to equate porn and nudity in art. Kids
are going to see nudes in magazines, movies, even tv these days, unless
if they live in a bubble. What is so sad is that their first
introduction to nudity might be something degrading instead of
beautiful. If you teach History, you can't deny what happened in
Greece, the Renaissance, etc. Of course, there were varying levels of
nudity in those days, too. If you show the beautiful body images and
leave out the truly phalic ones a la Pompeii and some of the Greek ones,
you can touch on this without going into graphic detail. It's an
undeniable part of art, history, and humanity. I don't know what to
tell you as I have always worked in an atmosphere of world travelled and
highly educated parents. Good luck. My jaw would drop if someone said
that to me. The headmaster's wife even taught the Davids lesson a few
times. In that lesson, kids learn the story of David, and they examine
the four different Davids to see what part of the story is depicted in
each. 3rd graders always giggle a bit at first, but they are quickly
over it and can discuss the technique, beauty, craftsmanship, emotion,
etc. Do take Judy's advice and look back through the files with a
search for nudity in art. This is not the first time we have had this
discussion. You are not alone, but it is so sad. Definitely a
challenge to educate people who are so set in their ways and don't have
a clue about art. Obviously it was lacking in their own backgrounds and
they never learned about it. Or not in a healthy way.

Linda Woods

Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School

www.sjs.org
 click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.

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