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Re: displaying work


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 14:21:18 PDT

From: "Lori Graham" <>

When will we have the courage to say something as simple as" this is work
that deserves to be displayed "without regard to a fear that somebody's self
esteem will be offended.

Even with the best intentions, it seems this is the era where we will offend
someone's self-esteem. I just finished a year with a college student who
complained to my dean and the administration about her self-esteem being
damaged. Early in the semester, in a critique, I praised two students for
their splendid work. It went downhill from there. What I learned from this
is that it is worth the agony of being "reported" for my transgressions.
The students I praised are going on to great schools, majoring in
architecture. THEY are worth the days when I was drawn and quartered due to
this woman's insecurity, and her own lack of self-esteem. Charge on!

Thank you, Lori for your courage.

Offending self esteem - I often think--- what can I offend when there is
none to begin with.

I am perfectly aware of my responsibilities as an art teacher - to
encourage, to cajole, to question, to offer direction and instruction. I
try to tell my students how much fear and heartache, and lack of confidence
my own art making causes me.

Now let's compare ourselves to the English teacher grading essays. How does
she/he make a judgement. After all writing is so much more important in our
objectives than visual literacy. If the English teacher can make decisions
about what is clear and what is not, why can't we as art teachers?
If the the standards include the understanding and interpretation of the
elements and principles then it is our job to see that it is accomplished.

I'm being a bit contrary, 'cause I think the standards were created by
people that haven't been in a classroom for years and certainly don't create
their own art and know nothing of the current scene.

I guess what bothers me so much is that I don't what art to come under the
same kind of scrutiny as other subjects. Art is very different. Always has
been always will be.

if we fall into , buy into -------------Standards
then we have done a disservice to ART

If my job is to cultivate connoisseurs
I don't want to

I am very worried about the path of art education