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Re: [teacherartexchange] WSJ Article

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From: Gayle Parent (gayleparent_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 01 2010 - 07:50:30 PDT


Awesome response. I agree that conceptual art is truly art, though
different from Cassatt. This is where open-mindedness comes in. The
"conceptual art" aspect of my elementary students' work is things
like how inclusive their family portrait should be. Who is in, who
is not? They decide their definition of family. Isn't that
conceptual on a third grade level? Whether to include the goldfish,
or the ancient oak in the backyard?

Gayle

On Jul 1, 2010, at 7:37 AM, Rebecca Burch wrote:

> I believe that this sort of thing is called "Conceptual Art." The art
> is in the concept that gets communicated in a creative way, and it is
> acceptable not to have a tangible work of art come out of it. It is
> more about the concept and the message conveyed through creative
> means. This is a widely respected and accepted field of art, although
> it does result in a lot of hand-wringing and head-scratching among art
> critics. :)
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_art
>
> I guess if one has to rank it up there with Picasso and Van Gogh and
> Hokusai and Mary Cassatt, it's like trying to judge whether a really
> good orange or a really good chocolate eclair is more deserving of the
> title "food." They come from different places, with different values,
> so why even compare them? They're both food.
>
> Rebecca
>
>
>
>
>
>> On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 9:21 PM, Barbara Marder <> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi Woody,
>>>
>>> What seems to be the crux of the argument is expressing a vision
>>> without an artwork.
>>>
>>> The problem with the "new" social justice art is that somehow we
>>> are skipping the art making.
>>>
>>> So why are we calling it "art"?
>>>
>>> Consider music education-after all music and art have many
>>> elements of common language. An instrumental music teacher has
>>> the task of teaching the student to play an instrument. It seems
>>> this is measurable. The student can pick up the instrument and
>>> demonstrate a level of mastery.
>>>
>>> How can the visual art teacher create a measurable outcome? A
>>> work of art needs to be produced that will show a competency
>>> level. Of course that work may not be enduring-such as, say, a
>>> work by Christo that becomes an experience more than something we
>>> can keep. But Christo has provided a visual experience that may
>>> be awesome in its own right (and we can keep the video to prove it).
>>>
>>> The problem as I see it is that art education is veering away
>>> from boundaries that contain it as a substantive and measurable
>>> unit of study.
>>> The problem is not voicing social content in the art-rather it's
>>> reacting to social problems WITHOUT making any art.
>>>
>>> The WSJ article presents an opportunity for an interesting
>>> dialogue-art and politics have ALWAYS locked horns. Just look at
>>> Rembrandt's The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van
>>> Ruytenburch. What was supposed to be a dignified military
>>> painting turned out to be the artist's unique visionary
>>> interpretation. The painting ruined Rembrandt's career and was
>>> ignored and mutilated until it was rediscovered and deemed a
>>> masterpiece long after the recognition could help Rembrandt.
>>>
>>> Barbara from Boston
>>>
>>>
>>> On Jun 30, 2010, at 7:38 PM, Woody Duncan wrote:
>>>
>>>> Barbara - "divisiveness of art educators" - that's a strange way
>>>> to put it. Artists have opinions and they
>>>> do voice them - that's what democracy is all about. If teachers
>>>> ask students to voice social content in
>>>> their art, the teacher should not direct the content - that is
>>>> the students choice. The teacher should
>>>> prepare the students to be accepting of others who have diverse
>>>> and different views. Art is powerful
>>>> and students should be made aware that one choice is to use
>>>> their art for social change or to maintain
>>>> the status quo. I do not do political or social art but I
>>>> respect and applaud those who do.
>>>>
>>>> Woody
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Jun 30, 2010, at 4:45 PM, Barbara Marder wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Politics in the classroom can be very dangerous.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> My teaching context is very diverse-both culturally and
>>>>> economically. My focus is teaching a concrete body of knowledge
>>>>> about visual arts while simultaneously encouraging the students
>>>>> to produce unique creative work that taps into their own
>>>>> sensory responses. This is how I view visual arts education in
>>>>> a democratic society. If we digress far afield from our
>>>>> discipline w risk the outcome of sabotaging ourselves as
>>>>> artists and teachers.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> In recent years I have done some metalsmithing. Before I could
>>>>> be creative, I needed to learn some basic skills: sawing,
>>>>> filing, soldering. I hated all these steps and even tried to
>>>>> fake a few projects that had some good ideas but sloppy
>>>>> craftsmanship. I realized I admired finished pieces that were
>>>>> both unique and beautifully executed. This is the message I
>>>>> give my students (public urban school grades K-8) at all levels.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> What disturbs me is the divisiveness of art educators. I do not
>>>>> see so much disparagement in other fields.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Barbara from Boston
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Join me as a friend on facebook:
>>>> http://www.facebook.com/woody.duncan1?ref=name
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Read My 2010 May Blog:
>>>> http://www.taospaint.com/WoodysBlog10/May.html
>>>>
>>>> Read My 2010 June Blog:
>>>> http://www.taospaint.com/WoodysBlog10/June.html
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ---
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>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Rebecca Burch,
>> Charleston Catholic High School
>> __________________________________
>> Website: http://www.rebeccaburch.com
>> Network: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccaburch
>
>
>
> --
> Rebecca Burch,
> Charleston Catholic High School
> __________________________________
> Website: http://www.rebeccaburch.com
> Network: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccaburch
>
> ---
> To unsubscribe go to
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