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Lesson Plans

Re: Who are artists?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra L. Eckert (seart)
Thu, 8 Feb 1996 19:50:25 -0500

>Date: Thu, 08 Feb 1996 19:44:48
>To: Kathryn A Rosenfeld <>
>From: "Sandra L. Eckert" <seart>
>Subject: Re: Who are artists?
>At 05:10 PM 2/8/96 -0500, you wrote:
>>Preserving a distinction between "artist" and "non-artist" seems to me to
>>be along the same lines as preserving the high art/low art dichotomy. It
>>doesn't seem very useful, or very relevant to most people's lives,
>>especially those of students. Haven't humans always created? To me, it
>>is an instinct, not an acquired profession or an inborn talent. This is
>>not to romanticize the notion of creativity - I agree that generally one
>>isn't "born with talent." I always considered myself an aritist because
>>I had the desire and drive to make art, because it was important to me
>>and I was engaged in a thought process with it most of the time. Then I
>>found out that I didn't live up to a lot of the criteria the "real art
>>world" holds for designating someone an artist. That's when I decided to
>>teach instead of try to attain to a standard that seemed completely
>>contrived and useless to me. Isn't our idea of "the artist" as a
>>rarified being in society a pretty recent one, dictated mostly by Western
>>and relatively modern constructs like "the art market?" In any case, it
>>doesn't seem useful for art students in K-12, unless perhaps for a gifted
>>University of Cincinnati - Art Education -printed on rock
>> outside the Art
>> Academy of Cincinnati
>>This is a very good description of the tension a lot of us feel as we make
the decision to teach. I found it rather uncomfortable, personally, to be
considered a "compromise" to the world of art by my "artist" friends in and
out of college until I began to realize the impact we have on the art world
in the form of encouraging and assisting young minds. And I still draw as
well as I used to! So I suppose that growing into myself and developing
more confidence as a professional has dispelled that discomfort. I still
find it annoying to hear faculty make the same type of remarks about my
curriculum, considering it to be somewhat LESS than academic. I know
better! And I am working on them...
>I think it is imperative that we Visual Arts teachers become more
articulate, and assert ourselves both privately and professionally. We live
in a world of verbal , linear communicators, and unfortunately, they are
often the ones who control the finances. Their reactions are almost
understandable, if we can't describe our rationale in language they
understand. We are bilingual-both visual and verbal. They, often, are not.
While I know I have digressed, there is a train of thought here. Language,
for all of its power, is fallable; words can have multiple meanings,
depending upon the circumstance, inflection, gestures...we need to feel
secure in what we're doing, and keep up the good work. And teaching others
(both students and other teachers ) the importance of our subject is part of
that work.
>My is a pet peeve of mine....