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Not Dead Yet (art ed)


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jun 17 2002 - 22:21:34 PDT

Jane, you got me going

> 1. Art education has always responded to community standards.
> Professional artists have not.
And Jacques Loius David wasn't giving orders to cut off heads?
What's a professional artist?

> 2. This great divide has always killed art education in the true
> sense of "educare" to lead out - (of students their own knowledge
> made visible in art products).

What's the great divide? The 'unwashed?" And what is educare?

> 3. The world's problems have always been the stuff of some art making
> by professionals.
Some? guess that leaves out my favorite -- Matisse- unless you consider
joy a world problem

> 4. In art education in schools, we need to "keep children children;"
> protect their innocence. We need to decorate the hallways
> with "school appropriate" art making and craft making. Thus we
> have "School Art," which is not art as art. (Apologies to Dr. Efland
> and Ad Reinhardt).
yeah I'm 50 years old. I was allowed to be a child I got to play I played
and played and had fantasies and didn't find my play through fear. But then
I did have to do that 50's thing of hiding under my desk because of the "Red
scare and the BOMB don't you know" Oops never made any art about that or
maybe those monsters I made were just about that

> 5. Art teachers I have surveyed on the subject say they don't
> continue self-education in art history beyond what they learned in
> college. Most don't teach postmodern art or contemporary art because
> they don't participate in in as artists and they don't go to gallery
> shows or read current topics or texts. Their unease with what are
> often difficult-to-understand works and thinking keeps
> them "innocent" which is just fine with art education as it is.
This one I have to agree with you on. I am appalled at the lack of
history knowledge -- a lack that perpetuates myths and a lack that
disregards just what is happening today. It's shameful.

> Children were being led
> away from their horror, fear, dread, and deep feelings of terror of
> abandonment with tried and true "safe" art projects that had no
> salience regarding their lived lives and those of their families.
Isn't that what we do as adults, and parents Try to keep the fear and hurt
and pain away from the young. I tried to allow an opportunity for my
students to make some kind of statement expression, but most choose not to.
And historically artists take much time to respond to an event. i.e. Goya
and the 3rd of May and Picasso and Guenica were not "immediate" responses.
If anything the response from 9/11 should have been talking not a forced
visualization. A choice given and that's what most of us did. Most kids
just wanted a place to be scared and felt safe and I'm not sure if art
meanderings warrant exhibition. We are art teachers not are therapists
and many teachers were "ordered " not to address the events. Business as
usual was what many were told.

> 6. As for portraits and realistic drawing, have your kids read the
> article on Eakins in today's NYT. Artists have always used mechanical
> aids to reproduce faithfully what is seen in reality.
Yes, but those artists also knew how to do it from observation They were
incorporating an aid not substituting a skill. They were exploring new
technology. I'm afraid I see today's explorations of technology without
regard to obligation to original thought I'm very unsure about this whole
business because it looks like copying has become a standard. I'm very
worried because now I see derivatives of derivatives and I'm afraid I will
soon loose track.

> . Do a year-long observation drawing project with each of your
> students. Have them spend one hour a week, one time a month,
> investigating and deconstructing a common object that will not
> change:
This suggestion seems to be in conflict with your previous. I was an
illustrator and I know in the real world you get to trace and copy and
project and skillfully forge --- but not until you know how to do it right
in the first place..

So Jane, I'll go back to your first statement
> 1. Art education has always responded to community standards.
> Professional artists have not.
If we have professional artists how did they get there without art
education? And if art education is a response to community standards then it
is in fact a lie, a facade, a tracing, a copy, a cover up , a white wash, a
not a response to any thing but hype.
So where the heck do the artists come from?