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 have a number of ways that I make sure that I cover all four. Production
always gets the pig's share. But that is OK. It takes time to produce
original, creative and thoughtful artwork.
Sometimes I introduce with an artist or more often several artists whose work
relates to the design principle/technique I am teaching. Since I teach units
of study these production periods tend to go on for some time involving
several pieces of finished work. So I break up these time periods with other
sessions in which we focus on the artwork of others.
Sometimes the artists are well known and sometimes they are not. I do not want
my students to think that there are only a few valid artists. I always include
as much information about the artist as I can. Particularly the information
that demonstrates that they are ordinary people whose special talents just
happen to be in the visual arts. I get artists from the community to come in
and demonstrate and discuss their work also.
Sometimes we do not focus on the artist but on the critical process. I have a
number of activities I use for that. After they have learned the critical
process (which usually involves more than one time doing it), we do things
such as pretending to be the acquisition committee for a museum. Sometimes I
line up several pieces with prices and they have X amount of dollars to spend.
They have to explain their purchases objectively and subjectively. Sometimes
they are the critic for a "show" that I put up and write an article for the
Sometimes I put an artwork on display and ask them to identify the dominant
design principle(s). This is usually a ten or fifteen minute activity which
they do own their and turn in before leaving class.
When I am focusing on the artwork of a particular time period, we will usually
just have a discussion. I am not hung up on production being the end result of
everything we do. In other words we can take a trip to the museum and merely
discuss what we saw. I do not think that I have to rationalize the trip by
drawing while there. Sometimes the presentation of artwork is the lead-in for
research on a particular period.
We do a variey of activities involving the philosophy of art also. One of the
first things we do is establish our own individual definitions of art. They
particularly enjoy responding to questions such as: The museum is on fire. You
can do only one of two things. You can rescue the Mona Lisa or the old man
lying unconscious on the floor underneath. Which would you do and why?
There are really so many ways to approach teaching art. DBAE is, to me, a very
healthy way of doing it. And really most good teachers do it that way anyway.
It doesn't matter what you call it or if it has a name at all. Just don't
deprive students. Give them everything you can. There is nothing that they
don't need to know.
Well I have gone on long enough.