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Since I am starting an art program for K-8 from scratch, I am pleased
just to have an art room and a sufficient supply of traditional art
materials. However, as I am also married to a man who is a computer
geek making a good income in IS, I understand the importance of computer
literacy and proficiency. I have not yet had a chance to see my
school's computer lab but, as it is a parochial school, it may be a
hodgepodge of various computers that have been donated or purchased a
few at a time. I am bringing an old Mac Centris 610 in to keep in my
classroom. It has been upgraded to its maximum capacity by my husband.
I plan to use it to access art sites for all grades and do a little
photo manipulation with the 7th and 8th grade classes. Hopefully, in
the future I will be able to do more with the creation of art on
Although I fully understand the importance of students learning to use
computers to make art...especially in today's world...my personal
experience with computers in the creation of art, both fine and graphic,
is somewhat negative. Due to the need to have health insurance, I
worked as a receptionist for several years at a bottle distributor. The
company had a one-woman, in-house art department. The administration
knew I was a qualified artist and had promised me that if there was ever
an opening in the art department, I would be informed so that I could
interview for it. However, when an opening did occur, rather than hire
an artist, the company went with someone who was merely experienced in
the software as "anyone can do art on a computer". I quit working for
that company shortly thereafter.
The other problem for me, personally, is that I cannot sit in front of a
computer for more than an hour at a time due to neck problems and
arthritis. Sitting still causes me a great deal of discomfort. I
pretty much limit my time on the computer to viewing e-mail and
searching the Internet for useful information. Therefore, I have never
spent any appreciable time creating art on the computer. I have never
had an epiphany concerning this particular medium. In fact, I have
begun creating work that uses traditional materials such as slaked
plaster gesso and egg tempera. Encaustic painting is on my art "to-do"
list. But, as I previously stated, computer art is here to stay and
does have its own strengths. Therefore, I will continue to learn and
teach its methods.
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