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choosing work for show


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue May 14 2002 - 19:27:12 PDT

> Why is it that the student who does basic, mediocre, average work is the one
> who asks why, why, why his work was not chosen to put in a show? When I
> explain I am to choose the very best high school level work (and I am
> thinking my 5th graders did better work than his), he continues to ask why
> his work was not chosen. I continue with the whole issue/difficulty of
> jury/subjectivity....and he still doesn't get it.

I feel torn and drawn and quartered about just this kind of situation. We
as teachers, are to find the best in everything that a kid does, our job is
to cultivate and motivate; even the best of the worst. It's not easy and
that's why we get so weary.
The legacy that art is anything you want it to be prevails over all our
standards and objectives and DBAE and VCAE. Excellence is less a standard
than stroking self esteem. And what the heck is the excellence anyhow? No
matter how many rubrics you have, it's still a judgement in art. There is
no 1+1=2.
I have a student who just can't "see." No matter what instruction, no
matter what I do , he can not do anything but a formula he learned some
where along the line. I wouldn't recommend him for any art school or art
career, if I was perfectly honest. But he has an incredible sense of color.
It's natural , naive, and gorgeous. And that s what I stroke him for.

Finding the nuances that's what it's about
Art has never been about bringing anything to a standard. It's always been
about going from the standard.
If you have a student that has reached the high school level and still wants
to be in art -- I feel we have a duty to keep and cultivate that interest
-- no matter what the standard may be.

Maybe I'm queer
I just can't squelch any hopes and desires in my kids cause they are only
and all my experience is that art making is a life long learning experience
in it's truest sense. And who am I to say what I see is deficient now might
not turn around by a source an inspiration just lingering around the corner.

Let's not underestimate what may be what may become
if we lighten up a bit on a standard and understand the "soul" of art making
maybe we wouldn't be so stressed.
If my state ever comes to some kind of standardized testing for art --
I'm out of here in a minute.

Sorry Michelle, this is not a criticism of you
you just got me going