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[teacherartexchange] art show awards

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 31 2006 - 15:36:33 PST


Kathy Douglas wrote:

> I am curious as to why you think you need to judge the work? That
> really opens the can of worms: what are the criteria? How many
> prizes? Who to judge? What will this teach your students besides
> that most are not as good as one? I realize that competition is
> part of the adult art world, but as you have so often pointed out
> these children are just beginning to actually make art. You need to
> consider very carefully where they are as artists, what your role
> is (TEACHER) and what the show will teach them. Everything that
> happens in school is a lesson whether we intend it or not.

This is something I labor over every year. I'm high school, and the
recognition seems to be important to the kids - they want to know who
thinks what is best. And I only think - what I know is best
potential and who will ULTIMATELY make it hardly gets rewarded at the
high school level.
I know best who has it and who will "win." But left to judges and
popular opinion that is rarely the case.
The only way is to make every kid feel a winner.
THE ONLY WAY ART SURVIVES IS TO GIVE CREDENCE TO THE EXPRESSION.

Awards and ribbons only make some kids think their ideas are not
"awardable." Let's face it. Art show recognition is about skill
not ideas .

In the real art world
      Art (now -a- days)is about moxie and self promotion. It's
about who has the best skill to promote and offend and obsess.
None of these are lessons I want to teach.

Art is not a sport or a game. It's not about who can do the lesson
best . It's about who takes the lesson and twists it and turns
it. Most often those twists and turns are things we art teachers
see, but not what the popular opinion thinks is best representation.

  my art show is a mere month away, I am considering a "Recognition
" award instead of a ribbon. It will be a hell of a job.
  But
I want the
> annotated by both teacher and students (artist statements) for the
> "what's the point" piece.
to be what is singled out. I think that is the best way to make
some middle ground between what is often popular choice and what I
know contained thought and work and exhibits the best potential.

Certainly the little ones need no sense of judging. They feel
honor and regard as to just being chosen for exhibition. They really
don't know good or bad, and that is good. I just had my district art
show, and I stood and marveled at the kids and parents and
grandparents who came to see some little thing that was included.
I surely don't want to make it a prize. I only want to marvel at
the looking.
All we have to do is include one piece from each and we
get the
"lookers"
and maybe one of the lookers will understand why we chose the
piece. And our best advocacy is teaching them why their piece
was chosen.

Every day my students try to convince me their images are
justified. Everyday I try to let go of my traditions and accept
their explanations and every day ( because I allow their choice) I
learn something about my traditions and prejudices
and I try to understand their choices.
Every day is an interchange. Every night I try to create better
questions
and every day I question my values and standards and try to find some
way to convince there are values and standards

and

every day I realize that the judging needs some different standards.

Patty

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