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Lesson Plans

contemporary artists

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Judy Anderson (anderson)
Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:51:45 -0500 (CDT)

I am leaving today for three weeks in France and England to see some of the art
work I have admired all my life. While I am looking at "Old Stuff" I hope this
thread about new, working artists continues. I am very interested in what is
going on now and find that there is so much and so many I don't know. I often
write names down and research them later to"catch up" on what others already
know....I do that alot. I guess it is better to be constantly catching up and
learning than staying complacently where I am.
I am very interested in living artists. I spent yesterday at a
Russian art exhibit. Five contemporary Russian artists who work and live in
Vladmir, the sister city to Bloomington, Illinois. It was wonderful, filled
with high quality
work that communicated ideas that I have been thinking about ever since. I
now have a burning desire to find out what it is really like there with
The gallery located in the art dept of Illinois State University
hosted this exhibit and regularly presents exhibits that are thought
provoking as well as aesthetically pleasing.
I feel fortunate to have such a high quality gallery close to my
very small, rural school. We often have tours conducted by the gallery
director, but they also have a knowledgable and helpful staff. My students
have learned so much about artists(local and international)working now and
have developed a serious interest in looking at and thinking about art. This
past spring when
the gallery had weekly openings in their smaller galleries of MFA
end-of-year -one-person student shows, my students invited themselves to go
in the evening to these openings with me in my car(they created a sign up
sheet system)....then they would compare their reactions and describe the
work to the class the next day...each week's group being in charge of that
group of artists. This unit
evolved without much input from me. This is my favorite teaching.
These shows taught them what a real gallery show looks like down to
the opening food at the reception and my painting classes had a gallery
opening in the room...180 paintings displayed well, food, guest book, press
coverage, public attendance, advance advertising etc... they really put this
together based on what we learned at ISU. They have learned the importance
of self-promotion. This show was in addition to the end of year big show we
have during the spring play.
Next year they are planning a painting show at the semester and
a gallery show of the works of an adult artist....can't wait to find out how
these come out. But my long wandering point is that we learned so much this
year from a simple need for information about contemporary working artists...
My students recognize and enjoy the "masters," but they somehow connect to
new artists and multicultural art in a different way and it is my job to
follow these all these connections to enrich and facilitate their learning.