I've kept your message in my mailbox as a reminder to respond to you. I
found the situation you describe to be somewhat haunting. Yes, it does
make you wonder about the relevance of the art curriculum (or any
curriculum) for students in light of what they face each day. While I'm
not confident that art (or any school subject) can solve our social ills, I
do agree that we must make some effort to connect to what is going on
outside the classroom walls. Your suggestion of community-building
activities seems to be on the right track. Have you heard of Tim Rollins
and KOS? His work with inner-city kids in New York of may offer you some
direction in this area. There's a book...I think the title is "Finding a
Place for Art" which describes Rollins' work with kids in art classes. You
might try to find it.
I hope you find a solution(s) to your problem and that you'll keep us
posted as to your progress. Perhaps others on the list have responded to
you with suggestions? If not, maybe we should devote some bandwidth to
this issue and drop the flaming back and forth.
CRAIG ROLAND. Associate Professor-Art Education.
Department of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida.
32611-5801. (352) 392-9165 - Art Ed Office (352) 392-8453 - Fax