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Re: doing your own art work


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 12:45:50 PDT

Esa replied
> I would add to your final
> comment that flower arranging is probably not art as
> taught in U.S. public schools.
> But flower arranging as taught in Japan as part of the
> tea ceremony, is a complex set of aesthetic principles
> and decisions which takes years to learn. In this
> sense, flower arranging is probably a form of
> aesthetic art most western eyes are not discriminating
> enough to decipher. Again, the need for visual
> culture!

I totally agree. I took a class in Japanese arranging and had much
difficulty in adjusting my thinking and aesthetic. Of course it was only a
day class, and hence what you say ...

It takes years to learn...
and I don't think the Tech school class is exploring the history and
significance of such a cultural aesthetic. The Tech schools train for jobs
and they have little time beyond the basic, marketable instruction. does does much of the non-western cultural aesthetic
I have real problems with much of the so called "multi-cultural connections"
I see going on in art education.
Disregard for the fundamental belief systems inherent in the creation of the
objects, mostly because the teacher is uninformed.

I DO NOT want to see a disregard for a heritage in order to make a "cutesy"
representation. For example, I have seen too much disregard for Native
American beliefs in order to create some kind of meaningless duplication
and without the basis for which the original was created in the first

I'm still not sure whose Visual Culture is being identified to be
investigated and explored through the classroom.
Is there a universal set of signifiers?

I went to art school 30years ago. The basis of my conceptions is western.
I, on my own, have tried to educate myself in "the others." But I still
see an insignificant attention paid to "the other" in text books available
to those , like I, out in the classroom for many years. The references are
obligatory -- the basis of the aesthetic mostly juvenulized.

Much of the proponentsy of the Visual Culture thinking I agree with. Yet I
see something coming down the pike that art educators are ill-prepared for.
It will be taken as another initiative;
it will be prostituted just like Gardener's multiple intelligence's have

The true artist /teachers understand how the artifact became the meaningful.
I think we know the understanding , the appreciation, the valuing is not

Who is it that the Visual Culture people are trying to reach?
And how is "tradition "to be incorporated and embraced? I wrangle constantly
with what I see in contemporary art making as a free for all and anything
The bottom line for me is that art needs to communicate and if I'm not
"reached" the heck with it

and but, after all I've said, I certainly feel there is a need for to get
away from the 500 year old dead white man standard for the judgement