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RE: artistic integrity of teachers

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From: KPRS (KPRS_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 11 2005 - 03:20:49 PST


As art educators we are so "in tuned" with our students and their work that
sometimes we take everything personally....my perspective has changed as I
have grown older in the position. I do say from day one to my students two
important things I believe to be true. One is that all art is temporary, and
two is that there is nothing new under the sun. I used to say to myself
"what are my students? Chopped liver?" when other teachers' work won
"contests", but over the years have told myself and my students "on any
given day, any given judge....." and believe it in my heart of hearts.
(Judges are humans, and if they are attracted to exact reproductions of
Bruce Lee, and pick that to win, how can I educate them while they are
judging??) My philosophy has always been "it is not about the grade, but
about the experience, and given the deepness of the experience, students
will produce product...but that product is essentially their first time
at____________(fill in with painting, ceramics, sculpture, value studies,
etc), and to put pressure on the product to 'win' is not fair to them or
their learning. As for 'stealing', or 'sharing' or whatever you want to call
it...I always get excited when I learn how to skin the preverbial cat
differently, and as others will tell you on this list, am eager to give
directions/instructions...afterall it is so the kids can experience art in a
different way. Perhaps the 'thief' is limited in their way of doing things
(and not just lazy, although that can be the case as well). I feel their
kids can benefit from the experience...and of course you know when you do
something things change in the 'doing' of it, so the thief will be modifying
the experience for their own and students' needs. All I can do is share
with my students what I think art is, how I think creativity can be sparked,
how an artist is different that a "monkey with a paintbrush" (artists can
make aesthetic choices), or a "human xerox machine" (direct copiers), and
how their personal integrity as an artist is a treasured asset.

Well on to work......through hill and dale and another blast of artic air
with snow....in New Jersey

San D

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