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Lesson Plans

Re: teaching contemporary art

From: Daceballos
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 23:24:39 PDT

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    Hi E Jane Beckwith at Columbia U.:
        I've been teaching high school art for 5 years and let me tell you, it is
    extremely difficult to get teenagers to appreciate art that is non
    representational. They just don't get Kandinsky or Diebenkorn, much less the
    art shown at the recent Brooklyn Museum "Sensations" show like Ofili's
    Madonna. I teach beginning art in a relatively conservative, rural and
    agricultural environment; the Central Valley of California. I've perhaps
    opened a few eyes, my students like Chuck Close, Vasarely and Bridget Riley,
    Pop Art and the Photo-Realists, as well as contemporary Mexican painters such
    as Jose Esteban Martinez. But adolescents by and large have difficulty
    comprehending Conceptual art and art that doesn't depict a recognizable
    image. Unfortunately, the measure of skill and mastery is still how "real" it
    looks. It takes work to bring contemporary art culture to students. Their
    main source of information is mainstream media>television.

    Denis Ceballos in Stockton, CA


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