everybody loves art but doesn't want to pay for it...the driving force
behind education intiatives was the cold war and we needed smarter
people to outdo the other countries...that meant math, reading, and
no one realized in the fifties that art is where much intelligent
learning takes place...you only made catapillars from egg cartons back
now with the new cognitive ideas concerning higher level thinking
skills educators are beginning to look at art as a good source (thanks
to eisner and other dbae art is more than just "making stuff")..funding
is always tight though and i know a large reason elementary art teachers
exist is for planning time to the classroom teachers. at least that's a
>Everyday I'm stumped as to why fine art receives so little respect. At
>the elementary level, it's something I battle everyday.
Let me preface this by saying that I am paying my bills in part as a
Fine Artist and doing rather esoteric work at that. Years back I had a
lot more respect for fine art. Today I look on it more as a day job to
support my own study of global art or at least aesthetic production for
as the Balinese told Margaret Mead, "We have no art. We just do
everything WITH art." Most of the people of the world has had more or
less this attitude for, I don't know, maybe half a million years.
A lot of Adults I meet have a great deal of respect for art. The first
thing that they tell me when they discover that I'm an art teacher and
artist is that they have no comprehension of art and that they can't
even draw a straight line. Obviously there is a lot of respect for
professional knowledge and skill there. They feel they'd be embarrassed
beyond belief to be compared to real artists. Many of these people are
well dressed and if they are not dressed by some servant then they have
obviously gone through the same process as any good abstract
expressionist in "composing" or putting themselves together. They have
aesthetic skill nad have mastered the medium of fashion.
But it's confusing for them. most of their news about art comes in the
entertainment pages and is not really treated as anything as significant
as the REAL newswothy stories found elsewhere. ANd when fine art does
make the news it frequently appears as a comic close for the evening and
details some presentation that to the un-degreed layman escapes
rationality. Piles of candy or pink plastic-wrapped islands, fornicating
cow cadavers etc.
Fine Art, thanks to the artworld, has been narrowing and isolating
itself for years now. We've done it to ourselves essentially. We've had
help from art historians, critics, aesthetic philosophers, and gallery
owners. We've had huge fortunes dangled in front of us which we can
"win" lottery like with a little originality and (a lot of)luck.
This isn't to deny the actual validity of fine art but only to point
out that comprehending and appreciating really good fine art requires
more of people than they can afford to invest. It has immersed itself in
too rarified an atmosphere.
At the same time fine art has denigrated the aesthetic life of the
common person Jill six-pack and Joe home-maker---and they know it.
Artists have withdrawn from general society and from the roles they once
played in support of small-scale (formerly "primitive") societies before
the illusive and ellusive glamour of fine art beckoned.
Life is out of balance and we have only ourselves to blame. Art
education MIGHT be able to do something about it but it's still to early
sorru 'bout that
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