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Re: [teacherartexchange] Creativity In Art Assignments

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From: Darren High (darren_high_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 30 2005 - 18:30:50 PDT


My problem with creating artwork tightly associated
with holidays is that the art then simply becomes a
seasonal decoration. Most people do not keep artwork
depicting Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, or jack
o'lanterns on display throughout the year. That stuff
seems appropriate only a few weeks out of the year.

I think you could have projects that sort of tie into
seasonal events, but would also be able to be
displayed throughout the year. For example, Easter
has it's pre-Christian roots in Pagan celebrations of
fertility and rebirth symbolized by spring, so an
assignment involving flowers would seem to fit nicely
without seeming too seasonal. For Christmas, they
could create images of a favorite toys which could
possibly tie into a pop art lesson. For Halloween
they could create a picture based on a nightmare or
something they fear (such as spiders, snakes, sharks,
etc.).

--- david gran <dsgran@yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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.
>
> The issue of multiculturalism in art education is a
> different animal, and I don't think that a good
> sense
> of it can necessarily be accomplished by simply
> making
> different holiday projects. For example, I don't
> think making menorahs will really teach students
> anything about Judiasm. Multiculturalism, to me, is
> more about learning about different cultures (and
> specifically for our profession through art).
>
>
>
> --- Darren High <darren_high@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > A lot of the art lessons I have read online are
> > assembly line type projects that require a
> specific
> > subject matter created in a specific way.
> >
> > I kind of like the project involving making fish
> out
> > of plastic 2 liter bottles, but I think there are
> > enough varieties and colors of fish that the all
> of
> > the projects would look different. It's not the
> > same
> > as everone making shamrocks or Santa Claus in the
> > same
> > way.
> >
> > I'm not sure about the idea of making projects
> > related
> > to specific religions in art. I think one could
> > argue
> > that if you don't belong to that religion then it
> is
> > a
> > multicultural project, but there would be a need
> to
> > represent a variety of religions and cultures
> > throughout the year and not just Christian
> holidays.
> >
> > Would St. Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day be
> > considered Christian holidays since both are named
> > for
> > Christian saints?
> >
> >
> > --- david gran <dsgran@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > > That lesson seems doubly flawed to me - aside
> from
> > > the
> > > whole 'assembly line art' that you mention,
> > there's
> > > also the whole issue of using the art classroom
> to
> > > make holiday art which can be both trivializing
> to
> > > artmaking in general, and marginalizing to
> > students
> > > who aren't christian. When I was in elementary
> > > school, I remember having to make 'paper bag
> > > santas',
> > > another assembly-line-holiday project. Doing
> that
> > > project made me feel really awkward and
> > > uncomfortable,
> > > and I was too shy to tell the teacher that I was
> > > Jewish.
> > >
> > > --- Darren High <darren_high@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > "In defense of the rabbit lesson.... If the
> > > > objective
> > > > is for students
> > > > to draw a rabbit from life - from the rabbit
> > that
> > > > was
> > > > brought into the
> > > > classroom - then the results will all be a
> > rabbit.
> > > > Or
> > > > if the objective
> > > > was to draw a fish from life - the students
> will
> > > all
> > > > draw the fish.
> > > > Before you are too critical of lessons you
> find
> > > > online, you might want
> > > > to consider what the objective may have been?"
> > > >
> > > > The lesson I mentioned about rabbits was
> > something
> > > I
> > > > observed in an actual classroom. It was
> > designed
> > > to
> > > > tie into Easter and had all the students
> making
> > > > rabbit
> > > > faces out of paper plates and pre-cut
> > construction
> > > > paper. Naturally all of the projects looked
> > > > virtually
> > > > identical. The classroom was more like a
> third
> > > > world
> > > > sweatshop for holiday decorations than an
> actual
> > > > public school art classroom which is was
> > suppossed
> > > > to
> > > > be.
> > > >
> > > > I think the teacher could done an Easter
> themed
> > > > assignment involving cutting and pasting and
> > still
> > > > allow the students some creativity.
> > > >
> > > > Of course, all of the assignments from this
> > > teacher
> > > > was along the same lines. All the projects
> were
> > > > linked to holidays and they all generally
> looked
> > > the
> > > > same whether they were creating Easter
> bunnies,
> > > > shamrocks, snowmen, hearts, or whatever. The
> > only
> > > > skills she seemed to teach was cutting,
> pasting,
> > > and
> > > > coloring (including a lot of coloring of
> > > preprinted
> > > > images).
> > > >
> > > > The art classes were K-4, but that's still no
> > > reason
> > > > for such restrictive lessons.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
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> > > >
> > >
> >
>
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> > > >
> > >
> > > http://carrotrevolution.blogspot.com/
> > >
> > > The day is coming when an ordinary carrot,
> freshly
> > > observed, will set off a revolution.
> > >
> > > -Paul Cezanne
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
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>
=== message truncated ===

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