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I like to think of children as artists - because they are capable of
producing wonderfully expressive and unique creations that have artistic
merit. High school students create on a higher level. College art majors on
a still higher level - very close to that of a true Artist. But visualize
this: it could be possible for a child, or group of children, to drip and
splatter paints onto a large canvas on the floor that could end up looking
like Jackson Pollack had done it. Does that make them as significant an
Artist as Jackson Pollack? Of course not. They did not have the life
experiences he had that inspired him to work as he did. They were not
influenced by the maddening post WWII world and the recognition of the fact
that for the first time ever mankind had the potential to destroy the
entire planet. There were and still are all sorts of influences on adult
Artists that help them shape their work into the personal responses that
they are. Children, whether pre-school or even some in college, are still
much the product of their teachers. Many college students have yet to
venture beyond "assignments" and really seek to know and understand and
express themselves in their work. When they do, they are in the process of
Colored mats? If it enhances their work, helps to make a pleasing display,
and enables children and their parents to feel good about art, why not?
When young artists are in the process of entering careers in art, preparing
portfolios, entering juried competitions or putting up their senior shows -
it should be the responsibility of their teachers to inform them that there
are different standards for Artists. (White, neurtral mats, etc.).