Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.
I feel compelled to jump into this discussion since I have functioned =
as a full time art teacher for years but currently work as an =
Artist-in-the-Schools (residency). I also run a non-profit summer art =
academy which employs artists to teach six week classes.
I know many art teachers who can't even draw and many great artists who =
are too scattered to teach any concepts coherently. But, not ALL =
artists are crummy teachers. Let's try to avoid stereotyping because of =
one bad experience with an artist in residence. Usually, the classroom =
teachers I work with have no experience in art at all and don't want =
I would expect an artist to present a general plan for their work with =
my students and provide documentation that they have the equipment, =
experience and expertise to do what they say they will do with the art =
unit. If you don't know their work or reputation, get references or =
don't hire them. Why would you expect any less of them up front than =
you would of any other teacher? Having artists of different mediums =
and techniques come into a school to create a project with students is a =
wonderful opportunity for students to meet real artists and learn about =
different techniques and styles. Asking an artist to come in and just =
work in your room while kids watch is a dumb idea--kind of like watching =
animals in a zoo. Ditto the idea of "art days" where kids make quickie =
projects with a bunch of different artists (is this education about the =
artistic process?) If you want to see the artist working, go to THEIR =
studio. I liked the idea presented here of a school with a gallery =
space where guest artists conduct tours and give talks about their work.
The State of Hawaii does not employ art teachers in the elementary =
schools and positions are quite limited for upper level teaches, so, the =
State Foundation on Culture and the Arts funds my program. Each year =
the school must apply for funds to get an artist to come into the school =
for a specific time to do a specific project. An artist can go into the =
regular classrooms and teach (like I do) or apply for Art in Public =
Places money to create an art work for the school. As part of the =
latter arrangment, the artist is required to either get the kids =
involved in the artwork (usually sculptural) or do corresponding =
projects with them.
In a perfect world, I think anyone who teaches art in a school should be =
a professional artist (with a passion for making art) AND a degreed art =
educator (with a background in organized lesson preparation, =
developmental skills, educational psychology and classroom management). =
And of course a love of kids would help too.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN">