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Re: Amanda on Amanda's Artwork


Date: Sun Mar 14 2004 - 18:00:10 PST

In a message dated 3/14/04 4:17:55 PM, writes:

> The longer I taught I started to
> question why I was having my students go through the
> motions of art lessons- I realized that the art I was
> having my students make was not "about" much. >>
What a wonderful comment Amanda. So much of art education seems content to
deal with technique, while ignoring the ideas of the STUDENTS. For me, the
idea of art is its most compelling feature. I remember being in high school
and thinking "I have all this ability and nothing important to say."
> Recently when I showed this work to people
> for the first time, I was scared to death- an emotion
> I never experienced when I was showing work before.
> This fear made me realize what my students must feel
> like when I insist they put their work on display when
> they don't feel confident about what they have
> created. I also have much more sympathy for students
> that have creative blocks. Sometimes I think it is
> ridiculous the way we present lessons- "Here is the
> idea, I want to see your sketches tomorrow, then
> everyone should be working by Friday and the work is
> due next Thursday". It took me seven years to get the
> sketches.>>
I have heard that the idea of the "artist-teacher" is considered to be
controversial by some segments of our national professional organization. If that
is indeed true, how sad it is. Amanda has gained so much insight into her
students' struggles by contemplating her own processes. If we all try to make
our own art, reflect on our process, and then imagine how it feels to be in
our own classrooms...and remember that the processes of our students are most
likely quite different from our own...then there is a lot of food for thought
and for creating outside the box teaching strategies...
> I struggle every day- wondering
> if I am doing what is right for my students. I watch
> them stuggle to make art that is about something.
> Sometimes I think I will make it easier on both of us-
> and when I do, I can immediately tell the difference
> in the quality of my teaching and their work.>>
Making art that is about something: what a concept! This is such a gift
that you give your students Amanda: that art is not about decoration but about
meaning. (read Peter London for much more on that: NO MORE SECONDHAND ART:
Shambalah Publishers, 1989)
> The long answer to Judy's question- no, I haven't used
> this as a lesson- I think the lesson was for me :)>>
> My brother, a buddhist, tells me that we teach what we need to learn.
Thanks, again, Amanda, for sharing your journey with all of us.
kathy douglas -
> Amanda
> =====
> When most women were eating matchstick thin slices of carrots- my mother was
> eating matchsticks- Augusten Burroughs
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