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artistic integrity

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From: Pam Wellington (loveart_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 11 2005 - 05:33:37 PST


There were so many posts on this topic, and most of them were stating the
obvious. Of course every artist uses ideas from other works. There is no
new thing under the sun. Creativity is not about coming up with something
brand new, it is about taking what already exists or has been done and
putting a new spin on it, a new variation, a new point of view. There is
absolutely nothing wrong about using other ideas from other sources. You
see something you admire, you incorporate it into your own work as "part of"
something you are working on. Or you see a great lesson plan and you use it,
"with the permission of the originator", and adapt it to your students, or
to your own ideas. There is a huge difference between that sharing of
ideas, blending and merging of ideas and techniques, and the compliment of
being copied, and the outright ripping off "whole cloth" of someone elses
creation without their permission. One is a compliment, fine, legal, the
other is wrong, sleazy, dishonest, and in many cases, downright illegal
pladgerism. Sometimes the line is fuzzy in this art world of post-modern
"appropriation", but most of the time the line in the sand is pretty clear.
We know when we cross it and we know when others do too. This site is a
perfect example. We all post our lesson plans which we know work for us,
with the knowledge and hope that other art teachers will use our tried and
true lessons in their own classroom. I love the idea that some of you out
there are in your classrooms hundreds of miles across the country trying out
my mixed media lesson to their high school students. I tried the lovely
shaded shell lesson with my drawing students last semester and it worked
quite well. But I didn't copy any of the works and put my name on it, or
allow my students to copy the examples and sign their name to it. Big, big
difference.

Pam

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