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Re: [teacherartexchange] Creativity In Art Assignments


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 30 2005 - 14:38:14 PDT

The famous dancer and dance teacher Jacques D'Amboise once spoke to our
state art ed association and I've never forgotten what he said: "Art is
about limitations." That is pretty much how I went about writing
lessons from that day forward. His contention was that by setting some
boundaries, while still allowing them some choices, they will begin to
think more creatively. He did a demo of what he does with young people
in classrooms (not necessarily dance students): They must stay within a
space of a certain size (say, 18"), and jump up and down in an
interesting manner. Most would kind of hop up and land clumsily in
place, but some would figure out they could move their arms and legs
around in mid-air, repeat it, change it, and voila--they were beginning
to become choreographers.

So, I would set boundaries in my lessons--say, an effigy vessel in clay
that is at least 8" high or wide, of a weight proportionate to its size,
with X% amount of surface texture. They could use any combination of
the clay-forming techniques they'd learned, and make any sort of human
or animal figure within those limits. If you stick with us, Darren, I
can guarantee you won't see a lesson that produces 30 cookie-cutter
objects. Do you peruse the IAD site?


Darren High wrote:

>I'm wondering how specific some of you structure your
>art assignments. <snip> How
>much structure and how much freedom should you give
>them with assignments?

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