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Definition for Art (was 60 Minutes...GAG!)

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From: Mark Alexander (malexander06_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 04:43:22 PST


Patty,

A funny incident happened in an 8th grade recently that you've reminded me
of. I'm so glad you said this. I've been working with my students to get
beyond a definition for art like "art is drawing, painting and sculpture."
Now I find that many have gone to the opposite extreme, stating that "art is
everything."

While assigning an 8th grade sketchbook assignment that included a written
definition for art. I reminded them that just like art itself, its
definition requires some thought. Art is difficult to define, somewhat like
'love' is difficult to define. Right away one smart guy (his dad is a
contemporary artist of some repute) yelled out "That's easy! Love is two
people getting it on!" My response was "That's an inadequate definition for
love, because there's a lot of love that has nothing to do with getting it
on, and there's a lot of getting it on going on that has nothing to do with
love. Check your definition for art by putting it to the same sort of test."

I did get some good assignment responses from that class, but its still a
struggle sometimes.

Mark

----- Original Message -----
From: "Patricia Knott" <pknott@enter.net>

> Unfortunately, the American public is art ignorant. Hopefully as more
> art education programs adopt Standards we can overcome some of the
> ignorance. I just won't let my kids say "Art is anything I want it to
be."
> If art is everything then it's also nothing.
>
> Patty

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