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Re:[teacherartexchange] artists as teachers


From: jane mary (mjart49_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2006 - 06:27:34 PDT

Beautiful watercolors! I enjoyed looking at your work.


>From: Jerry Vilenski <>
>Reply-To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
>To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
>Subject: Re:[teacherartexchange] artists as teachers
>Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 05:31:30 -0700 (PDT)
>I have read with great interest the string of
>responses regarding the old artist as teacher debate,
>mainly because I started some of it! I think it is
>time to unruffle some feathers and look at the issue
>from a slightly different angle. I think it was Woody
>Allen who said "those who can't, teach, and those who
>can't teach, teach gym"! If that didn't ruffle a few
>physical educators, I would be surprised. The point
>is, that when you teach in specialty areas, such as
>music, dance, physical education and visual art, it
>almost becomes incumbent upon those educators to, in
>effect, practice what you preach. To what degree a
>teacher does this is up to individual circumstances
>and desires. I have a family, and spend the majority
>of my personal time engaging in family activities. I
>have spent many of my summers painting--the outside of
>the house, the bedrooms, the hallways, not necessarily
>artwork. I have changed more than my share of diapers
>and attended all the soccer games, tennis and dance
>classes. At the same time, however, I have tried to
>set aside some time each year to creating art. I
>began teaching, like many of us, relatively unprepared
>by my university to real-life teaching. In those
>early years, I spent the majority of my time trying to
>be a better teacher. I started early on,however, to
>set some goals for myself. I decided to complete at
>least 2 painting per year. Then I increased it to 5,
>and then so on until I had amassed a body of work I
>could show and perhaps sell. Making money was not my
>goal-making art was my passion and something I
>considered part and parcel of my life as an educator.
>I believe this has enhanced my teaching in ways that
>are sometimes difficult to articulate. I can't
>imagine taking a music class from a teacher who
>doesn't play an instrument or sing at some level
>beyond school, or attending physical education from a
>teacher who doesn't participate in regular physical
>activiities themselves.
>In some ways, it is unfair that visual art teachers
>are often placed in a position of continuously proving
>to policy makers and the community the value of art
>education. It is unfair that the math teachers don't
>have to justify their programs by holding math
>exhibits. It is unfair, but true. And it is unfair
>that art teachers need to establish credibility to the
>community by practicing art, but that, in my opinion,
>is also true. If personal circumstances prevent some
>of you from following the path I have chosen, I fully
>understand how that happens. I'm sure many of you on
>this listserve could make me seem like a total slacker
>with the professional activities you engage in.
>Our goal as professional art educators should remain
>centered on our students, and somehow instilling the
>passion for art in them that we have in ourselves.
>How you do that is entirely up to you.
>Vigilance, Jerry
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