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RE: the political debate and art


From: mary maloney johnson (maloneymk_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 31 2004 - 11:46:51 PDT

Perfect! Those are the points.

We can't as art teachers allow a compromise too great in our inclusion of
these many-faceted aspects of art. I don't know how many people feel a bit
of pressure to sanitize artistic expression among students beyond the
standards of avoiding sex, drugs and cigarettes. It would be a shame if
political subjects were to unconsiously become off-limits out of a desire
for self-preservation (that exists in all of us). Yes, the Raft of the
Medusa would never have been painted, nor Guernica, and Kathe Kollowitz and
Daumier might never have produced at all. We have to have courage in this
and so many aspects of life.

Very glad to hear about Paige. All one needs to do is travel to know,
without a doubt, how important art is to the world. My 17 year old daughter
is in Italy right now and after seeing Rome, Venice, Milan, Assisi, the
Vatican and staying in Lombardy, Recanti, and the Italian Alps I believe
she will have an entirely new impression of "culture" - a word that can
become meaningless through over-use and thin supply. Of course the members
of artsednet live all over the place, but for my family in a part of
Florida that is extremely car oriented and covered with pavement and
tourist sites of a lower form (with so much of history obliterated) ... the
contrast between our area and Italy is quite stark.


> [Original Message]
> From: <>
> To: ArtsEdNet Talk <>
> Date: 7/31/2004 11:30:17 AM
> Subject: the political debate and art
> It is not surprising that not many folk were unwilling to engage in the
> political debate here on the list. In the past...when political thread
has been
> brought has been difficult to discuss it in this forum because it
> apparent that many do not know how to debate their beliefs without
ramming them
> down other's throats. I personally feel very censored on this
> just w/regard to political beliefs.
> However, what I will that as is important to
> in the political debate for many reasons.
> someone mentioned many artists we celebrate were the political
> activists of their time...artists who created artwork that celebrated
heros and/or
> made social commentary on the horrors of war or the injustices of society
> #2. as evidenced by current legislation, as educators we must be
> about legislation that effects our curriculum, our budgets, our
> requirments. our classroom sizes, the number of classes we teach a day,
> number of days we work a year, etc. all affected by who is in office,
who holds
> the power, who writes the check
> #3 As artistis....we must continue the debate about who has the right to
> choose what art we view, what is art and should/can content of art be
> It is interesting the the current secretary of education, Paige, recently
> send a letter to every superintendent in the United States, telling them
> the importance of arts education. You see...he had been out in the
country and
> discovered that because of NCLB...the arts and arts educaton programs
> being cut in favor of more language arts and math. As NCLB states the
arts as a
> core discipline he was surprised and disturbed...of course it amazes me
> took him 3 years to catch we have been feeling the ripple effects
of this
> for 3 years now.
> So...that is my .02 on the political debate in this forum. I used to be
> someone who felt that I would always be taken care of and trusted my
> officials to be educated and to do the things that would benefit society
as a
> whole...but I have learned my lesson the hard way.
> No matter your political bent....educate yourselves, vote and encourage
> others to vote...especially you high school teachers who have an
opportunity to
> educate the first wave.
> ---