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Re: Question on Visual Literacy


From: dawn stien (dawnstien_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 13 2003 - 19:34:53 PST

--- dawn stien <> wrote:
Seems I have more to say...

I had an interesting response to a discussion on Faith
Ringgold recently. We'd had ongoing dialogue about
the tradition of quilts in African American art (They
served as secret codes or maps to freedom was part of
the main emphasis, but we also talked about the use of
every last scrap and the involvement of "community")

I showed the students the following work and was very
surprised that only 2 or 3 knew anything about Van
Gogh. I don't know why I was surprised, they don't
have any elementary art and only 12 weeks for 5th
grade, and a semester with me...(and now my job has
been cut, but that's not the point.)

After seeing 125 students, enter 7th period. (Do your
students seem to get friskier after lunch?)

When I ask them what they think of regarding this man
in the background and wait, hoping that the second
student all day will be able to identify Vincent. Up
goes a hand - That's the slave master. Why do you
think it's the slave master? Well he's white and lazy
and because they're doing all of the work. Do they
seem concerned by his presence or doing hard work? No.

I think in this work there is a certain amount of
insider information. I think Faith Ringgold would
have appreciated his response. But I'm curious about
how one would look at it from a visual literacy
approach. Certainly, visual literacy goes beyond
looking exclusively at art, but again - I'm curious.

If you still reading -

I have been meaning to order this book (On Knowing.)
Has anyone read it?

Thanks for your input - Dawn



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