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Lesson Plans

Re: Too many "requests"

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry taylor (taylorh)
Wed, 21 Jul 1999 19:02:58 -0700

Sounds like you are an excellent "commerical artist" doing "work for hire"
assignments. That's great when you (and your students) are getting paid.
Quid pro quo, and all that. But, even then you are still focused on
commercial art / work for hire.

You have to ask yourself how closely the needs of your potential clients
(the community) match the needs of the clients you are currtentluy
contracted to: (your students). You already hav a curriculum in mind if not
layed out. Anything you do DO should reflect the planned curriculum. Maybe
this means Jackson Pollack or maybe Aztec themed scenery for the
concert (big skulls and rattlesnake goddesses, to the sound of violins or
recorders - I LIKE that).

Donations for raffles and auctions every artist must face. The work belongs
to the kids. They should make the decision on whether or not to contribute
as well as whether to send the "good" stuff" or the stuff they wouldn't take
home. Real artists vary on which choice is preferable or has more merit. Are
you doing tissue paper and wire hanger Calder Mobiles around then by any
chance? A unit on Kurt Schwitters or Frieda Kahlo self-portraiture?
Are you doing anything with Roger Bacon this year? Joseph Bueys shouldn't be
missed either. A Bueys-like installation could be used in many contexts.
("Are you pondering what I'm pondering Pinkey?" "Yes, Brain. But if you put
11 purple vacuum cleaners in a circle around a bucket of Crisco how will the
people know it's St Patricks Day?"

The point of this nonsense is that you DID get in over your head last years
and that's a perfectly acceptable excuse. You also did too good a job being
"commercial". You also (probably) shifted the context of your curriculum
without much benifit and perhaps some deficits.

IF you do DO any of it again, you might consider choosing to emphasize those
qualities of art, Fine Art, Modern Art, that are more personal and
ideosyncratic and less responsive to some agency's art director.

Of course this is totally usless advice but it was fun imagining the
possibility. I can't wait until I get a request now! ;-)


-----Original Message-----
From: Moonbeargj <Moonbeargj>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, July 21, 1999 3:35 PM
Subject: Re: Too many "requests"

>I have already gotten the phone call. The PTA would like for me to make
>projects with the students of each class to donate to the school's
>fundraising auction. Last year a couple of items were very successful and
>now they have asked for a repeat performance, but a larger quantity. Last
>year I got in over my head trying to honor several requests. Exhibits
>town, help with the reunion decorations, something to kick off a service
>project, scenery for concerts, etc. .....I see the value in each request
>it all wears me out! I need to formulate an answer to these requests which
>clearly states the situation without having people think "that art teacher
>so uncooperative and cranky".
>How's this answer: "This sounds like a great idea but will require much
>thought and preparation....the same work, thought and preparation that I
>into my lesson plans for 500 children." (People seem to think that because
>do a good job and am "artistic" that their request will be easy for me!) "
>I take on another project I'm afraid the progress I'm making with my
>will suffer. Please ask another year. Thank you."
>How does that sound? Does anyone else have the same problem? Any more
>thoughts or suggestions on this topic?