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re: artistic integrity of teachers

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From: Sidnie Miller (smiller_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 10 2005 - 12:14:55 PST


HI Nancy, Well, now you know. When other teachers ask you about your
kid's work--just say Sorry, it's a trade secret. If you tell them, you
are giving them the knowledge to proceed. I always feel that when I put
something cool and different in a local show, it goes off my curriculum
because lower grade will start using it. We art teachers and artists
are always looking for fresh new ideas and get them everywhere. I would
say that a majority of art teachers use famous artists ideas--cubism
,aboriginal dot painting, Chinese brush work, etc. etc. and build their
assignments around them. Do you feel this is a lack of integrity? What
about all the great ideas for projects that we get off this list--is
using them a lack of integrity?? In our local Scholastic show there is
a magnate school that took around 30% of the awards--they have superb
equipment--can print out giant photos--it doesn't seem fair, but then I
sound like my students. It's life. Be pround of your students and the
values that you have instilled in them.

>>> smokealarm7@hotmail.com 03/09/2005 9:04:40 PM >>>
Hi All,
While hanging a student art show yesterday with art teachers from the
other high school in our city, one of the other teachers made a comment
on how nice my student's photo was and asked how he had done it.
Without thinking I told her the simple process that he had researched on
his own, experimented with on his own and produced in our darkroom at
school on his own.
She quickly said "thanks now I will use this with my students."
I believe in sharing ideas and i borrow and adapt lots of ideas i get
from conferences and off the internet.
But, I do not steal ideas from the art teachers at the other high
school because we live in a small city and our kids compete against each
other.
I expressed how I felt and was laughed at by her and her two
colleagues.
It wouldn't be so bad except we just finished another show where their
high school won 1st place for a photo that was obviously a much more
mature process than a high school student could come up with on his own.
That student's dad is one of the art teachers at that same high school
and the kid told me himself that they took it to a professional
photographer and had it printed using a special process and machine that
that photographer owned. They also won for a drawing that was a copy of
a photo of al capone. Nice technique but not the kid's own artistic
idea. The local college where the show was held and judged clearly
state in the entry materials that no work shall be plagarized in any way
from another artist yet every year one of the other high school's kids
wins for a drawing or painting that is copied from a photo from a
magazine.
I am furious because I won't even let my kids look at a photograph they
did not take to copy for a drawing, or do anything to a student's
project ( i will demonstrate on a separate piece of paper only), or
suggest ideas as to what needs to be added to make something better. I
only ask questions to stimulate their thinking and firmly believe in
artistic integrity; i.e., it is my work because i made it out of my own
head with my own hands.
Am I being silly about this. I feel the other high school is
cheating.
I know this is long but I need outside perspectives if you have the
time to respond.
Thanks,
Nancy

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