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Re: [teacherartexchange] Regarding the solitary within the group


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_6_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jul 13 2008 - 10:48:36 PDT

On Jul 13, 2008, at 9:25 AM, Kevan Nitzberg wrote:

I look at the expectations that I have for how my students ought to be
involved with the work being done in my classes and the experiences
that I
had when I was in college as a student (my high school art experiences,
unfortunately, were predominantly not a good measure), as well as the
experiences I continue to have as I am still taking classes and
involvong art-making.

I think/hope those of us that are much older and came from much
different learning environments than we provide for our students
today, need to constantly reflect on how learning occurs. How I
approach art making is so different from most of my students. They
really don't use the kind of looking and research that I do. So that
is why I try to cajole them into going beyond the first impressions
and gut reactions and find associations and connections to make their
art more sophisticated. My projects center around ideas more than
techniques and I start each with lots of questions. Students then
share their own questions in groups or partners. I always ask for my
students to make word associations to convert to symbolic
representations. And, this is where the "peer" stuff often overtakes
the solitary pursuit. I ask that they take every thing to a "higher"
level and they find they need help with that. Not necessarily my
help. I like to mix up the "thinking" kids with the "gut reaction"
kids often , and the questions fly. I find my kids asking each other
"why did you make that choice?" more than I ask. I guess, somehow,
and I don't know how, I have made it their responsibility to ask the

I think the peer exchange can go across classes. I teach a class
called "Why Man Creates." It's an appreciation class not a hands on
class. One choice project I give is to do showcases and displays.
The students choose art works from other classes and then interview
the artists to create statement s of intent. They make up their own
questions of inquiry. It's fascinating for me to watch the
interaction and they get to role play curator.

I ask my students to have a "non-art" person to critique their work.
What questions do you give them? ( In fact, I think I will start my
classes next year with the chore of making a list of questions that
they would ask anybody to ask about their work)

One of the things that I constantly watch and become increasingly
aware of is the use of the internet for artist exchange and
collaboration--virtual art everything--
It's an area I think we only skim for possibilities in the school
setting. How do we truly bring about the idea of collaborative
art? What are the skills needed? Who owns the art?
Just how can you work with others on an art project?

I have lots of questions about where art is going?


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