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Re: [teacherartexchange] Creativity In Art Assignments


From: M.Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 30 2005 - 15:00:24 PDT

I would think alot of this depends upon what age you are talking about. If
you are discussing primary aged students - there are alot of fine motor
skills that must be addressed in the child's art making abilities. Primary
students need practice in drawing small, medium, and large shapes, cutting
correctly, gluing without "squishies", etc. So almost all of my primary
projects end up looking identical as far as subject matter. 20 minutes 2x a
week doesn't leave much time for exploratory. My intermediate ages want to
know "how to do it". They want to know how to draw a horse realistically,
how to draw a person's face so it looks like the person they are drawing.
Again, skill building is essential. Then we move into middle school and high
school, where they want their drawings to look "exactly" like what they see,
where they are wanting to mix pigments to a more exact likeness. I do have
some projects that are geared towards individual expression, but I also
focus heavily into the technical aspects. I do not like the cookie-cutter
art projects. My students cut their own paper, draw their own pictures. We
do not do much "holiday" art, but we do create seasonal art. I teach in a
mono-culture (we can only use male/female and SES/LSES on state documents so
as not to identify specific students), so most any project not Christian
related is considered multi-cultural.

> My question would be to ask what value is in making
> art-products that have a predestination. If a
> student's input doesn't go beyond color-choice, what
> does that suggest to the student about the process of
> art-making in general? In other words, when we teach
> children, I think we can agree that fostering a sense
> individual expression is a significant goal. To me,
> creating something that is "pretty" is less so -
> especially if the student is learning that art is
> about putting things together instead of making
> different kinds of aesthetic choices.

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