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Re:[teacherartexchange] meaning as overemphasized...technique held in contempt

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From: LarrySeiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jun 25 2005 - 05:55:41 PDT


From: Mikel Lee <mikellee31@yahoo.com>
>I know exactly what you mean about not being supported
>going into teaching art. I was have a BFA in painting
>and when I announced to my adoring professors that I
>was going to get certified to teach one of them told
>me I was wasting my talent and my whole life!! One of
>them just said, well, I guess you have to feed your
>kids. - Mikel

yep...that old, those that can "DO" and those that can't "TEACH" thing...

what is such an irony to me is by not teaching viable, marketable
foundational skills at the university level leaves really little other
choice what to do with an art degree anyway other than teach...then they
have the audacity to ridicule someone going into the teaching field! Crazy!

On the other hand...if you develop strong drawing, painting skills or worse,
a reputation, then you have artist/peers wanting to know why you are going
to waste your life and time trying to teach unruly, undiscipline, uncaring
kids? !!!!!!!

I can attest from a small community and school...that I enjoy being an
artist and maintaining my gallery relationships and opportunities, my summer
workshops and so forth...and the respect I have teaching. I enjoy the
affirmation and support from administration and the community that
continually want to let me know my being here is appreciated. Teaching, for
the established artist...is like being an ambassador for the arts. It
underscores that kids MUST be important to see that a capable artist, an
established artist is pouring themselves into them. I think it is important
to make art as an art teacher and grow. It shouts by example that art
making is important, and especially perhaps as a male model.

I live in a logging macho northwoods community where REAL men drive logging
trucks or fell trees and so forth. It took a long time for the area to
accustom themselves to seeing me on the roadside with my portable easel
painting...a man...painting! But, it challenges people to consider art
important enough that adults make it! One does not automatically put their
crayons away reaching a certain age! 8^)

What unnerves me a bit is when I get those few students each year that are
psyched about art, are looking at their futures and cannot really afford an
art school. The problem is...their lives are so full of distractions its
not until their junior or senior year they begin to put things in order in
their lives and think what they want to do. Its nice to have a sophomore
already thinking about art and a portfolio, but how often does a student
like that come around?

So...what is left to the student is the lower priced state funded publically
accessible university education. Its where everyone goes, all their
friends...so naturally that's what they are looking at. I just know when
they go to the typical university...their foundations are going to be
challenged, even ridiculed. Most of them...if they have any sense and were
not interested in teaching art to begin with...will about their sophomore or
junior year determine art is fun, but they are not going to make a living
with it and will go off toward a business degree or something else. Of
course...that is because with few exceptions such as perhaps the graphics
department (which is almost a dirty word with its Photoshop and commercial
aspect) the university is about a rounded wholistic global citizenry
prepared education, concerned less with viable skills for the work place.

Its almost sad, disheartening to send a young talent off to
college...IMHO...and I wish I personally could afford to give them a year's
exposure to a decent art & design school or art academy.

Larry S.
http://www.artlandishconcepts.org

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm!"
Winston Churchill

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