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I, too, believe that DBAE is inclusive rather than exclusive,
and has broadened the field of study in art education to include
folk art, outsider art, and popular art along with "fine" art. I also believe
that meaningful interpretation of any work requires investigation into the
cultural context in which the work was created. I'm more interested in
challenging stereotypes and asking questions than assigning
labels. The thematic comparison of art objects from different cultures
provide opportunities to address this very issue and others
> This is in response to Henry's comments about the problems with DBAE in
> regard to Aesthetics/Criticism and its divisions into Fine Art, Popular
> Art, and Folk Art.
> I would like to say first that I have followed (and saved) everything Henry
> has ever written in artsednet. It is with great awe and interest that I
> have followed everything he was written.
> It is with great humility that I will have to disagree with his statement
> that lack of academic focus on the aesthetics of popular and folk art
> reflects the lack of representation of this type of art and aesthetic
> exploration within DBAE curricula.
> I believe that what is so compelling about DBAE is that it allows for the
> inquiry process into meaning and content that does not have to rely on
> "academic" or institutional definitions or representations.
> I have taught for 3 years in a rural elementary school with a high minority
> population and few resources (for art anyway). I and my students use what
> information we can find about an object or artwork and then work through
> what we can learn about it through discussion. We start with our personal
> ideas and reactions. DBAE gives us the tools to do this.
> I have never made any distinctions between "fine art", "popular art", or
> "folk art". We view their reproductions together and seldom categorize
> them. Maybe I should. I'm not sure about that.
> I do not disagree that this does have a somewhat "Museum Gift Shoppe
> Aesthetic", but the only why to avoid that completely is to be able to
> engage with the actual object/artwork for extended periods of time. That
> is not always possible. I believe that DBAE allows my students and myself
> to inquire into meaning/value and to break away from categories. We
> accept many definitions of art.
> Henry, if you would like to discuss this with me further please email me -
> warm regards,
Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 5098, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
817/565-3986 FAX 817/565-4867