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Lesson Plans

Re: [Fwd: Re: art on a cart frustrations!!!]

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Henry Taylor (taylorh)
Sun, 14 Feb 1999 09:11:41 -0700

>Jacques D'Amboise, the dancer and choreographer, gave a wonderful speech
>at the AZ AEA conference once. In it, he talked about how "art is about
>limitations," and how the less a dancer--and presumably visual artist--
>has to work with, the more it can release their creativity. Ever since
>that speech, I've given my students assignments with limited parameters.

Good one, Maggie! And, from the other side... too much can be distracting
requiring un-necessary time spent answering questions and dealing with
questions peripheral to the content.

Another thing to think about, especially with primary and elementary kids is
what exactly is it that they are learning and getting out of the experience
with art? This is a foundational period. This is when (at least in the past)
so many many people learn to say "I can't draw a straight line." as if that
mattered in art. This is where they learned that they aren't "artists" and
where some of them learn denial relative to art and through that that art
is something trivial or something that can be trivialized and marginalized.

When I first taught, (in pvt school) when I first came into school, I used
to have 2nd graders come up and explain that art would have no place in
their lives and so could they "do something else?" Their prior experience
had taught them that there was nothing here for them. In 2nd grade! THAT is
what they had learned and what they knew about art.

THEN I noticed how many adults that I knew who were examples of these kids
grown up and where they had gone in their lives relative to art. It shook

That experience has persuaded me that, more than any skill, more than any
content, I want to help these kids to embrace art and make it--IN SOME
WAY--their own. I want art to be something that they won't and that they
can't give up. I want art to be,for them, something that they feel that they
have access to and are empowered to participate in for the rest of their
lives and every day.

There are about a zillion thing that you could teach kids about art.
worthwhile things. BUT, unless they are deeply nurtured as fertile for the
earth the seeds will eventually fall on fallow ground and stony soil.

Excitement about art, access to art, and empowerment as artist, is what I
want to achieve... maybe some other stuff--details, knowledge, skill,
understanding, along the way. But first, I want a foundation for them that
won't be breached.
Art-on-a-cart is a challenge more than it is an obstacle.

You have to find a way to strip away innessential stuff that will be caught
later in hopefully better circumstances.

Someone excited about art and commited to it can't be stopped from learning
everything important about it on their own. ..maybe?