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Re: artistic integrity of teachers

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From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 10 2005 - 20:03:38 PST


This has been an interesting thread. Gail, your distinction between
"sharing ideas", "borrow(ing) and adapt(ing) lots of ideas...from
conferences and off the internet," and not wanting to "steal" from local
art teachers is lost on me. The teacher who admired your student's work
may be "borrowing" and "adapting" as well. What difference does
distance make?

I've longed felt it a shame that some artists are reluctant to share
ideas and techniques. As an undergraduate BFA student, we enjoyed
bouncing ideas off each other; we adapted to suit our own goals. In
grad school, at another university, my asking questions about an unusual
technique, or recommending something, was met with silence and even
disbelief that I would so willingly share my "secrets."

When I taught HS, I always entered my students' work in a big regional,
juried show. As you have witnessed, there were numerous works that were
obviously copied directly from another source's photos (usually of
famous people), and, in a few cases I suspect, projected and traced.
They often won prizes, but not always. I could only shake my head andbe
proud of my students' honest efforts. They won prizes, too.

As for the other HS in your district, one of two things may be
happening: either the teacher really doesn't recognize the copying going
on, or really doesn't care; winning is of primary importance. Pity that
person, and pity her students who will never understand the artistic
process. They will eventually get their comeuppance.

You could file a protest with the community college where the show is
held, but of course it may come off looking like sour grapes. A more
effective protest might be to just not enter the show anymore, with a
letter explaining why.

Maggie

gail kizis wrote:

<snip>
> 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.<snip>

> 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.

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