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Lesson Plans

Prof. Equity (risk taking)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
craig roland (rol1851.EDU)
Sun, 12 May 1996 19:42:15 -0500

On Sunday May 12, Walter wrote:

>I put this up for consideration from the interveiw of Dave Hickey By
>Chris Scoates in The May june issue of Sculpture "Good art is defined by
>the real risks that are taken on its behalf-by the genuine commitment and
>sustained enthusiasm it can generate".
. . .snip

Mark Rothko once said, "Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which
can only be explored by those willing to take the risks."

I do believe that "risk-taking" is one of those creative attributes that we
foster (or should foster) in the art classroom. For many of the students
enrolled in my classes over the years I've discovered that there is nothing
more "riskier" than a blank sheet of paper. Some simply go into shock when
faced with an art assignment or problem where they have to think on their

Henry said ". . .we want success for all." Yes, I agree. Henry also said
"If failure is a not possible outcome perhaps our successes will be muted
as well." I agree here as well. I think we do our students (and ourselves)
a diservice if they/we fail to recognize that a lot of the art made in art
studios and classrooms simply "fails" to achieve the artist's intention.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of Jerry
Uelsmann (world renown photographer). At one point, I noticed a huge pile
of photos in the corner of his studio. I asked him, "what are those?" He
said, "that's my reject pile." Upon further inquiry, I found out that only
about 5% of the work Jerry does is actually shown to the public. Also,
sometimes when he's stuck for an idea, he goes to his reject pile in search
of an idea.

If only we taught this kind of artistic thinking in the classroom.

Craig Roland
University of Florida