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Re: Artist first or teacher first?

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Amenay2_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Fri Nov 14 2003 - 01:47:00 PST


First off...this argument has raged across the colleges of education and fine arts for decades...centuries???  Both institutions have a sound basis for their arguments but often it boils down to the individual's (artist or teacher) ability to function in the specified environment.  No matter the practices, training of the individual, or philosophical position of the person...can they effectively maintain the integrity of the chosen action(s) without diluting one or the other?  If they can't...then make a choice...be the artist or be the teacher...but don't sacritfice a little of this or that just to claim the title of both. 

When you are in the classroom...you are an educator/teacher first...even if you are a practicing/showing artist.  In that classroom your students come first...and they need a teacher...someone to guide them to find their own talents and skills, and the gut-burning desire to express themselves beyond the fad image of the day.  You are being paid to teach not do your personal work.

If you are able to function in both modes - artist/teacher - remember that your students need to be inspired by your actions to seek their own values in art and not be relegated to be reproductionists of your style.  Let them choose to be your patrons not captive to your ego.

I will always be an educator first...this is my chosen field of expertise...how to teach art...to reach the inner most depth of a students' talent, expression, and artistic desire.  To seek the means of how to make a non visual person understand and learn the processes of art for greater personal expression.

I trained and dedicated my talent and skills to teaching art.  I reinforce, educate and maintain pedagogy...actually a lot of this is required to keep certification/licensure.  I am presently taking a private drawing class to update and enhance my skills.  I am also looking into other art classes/courses for credit that can apply to maintaining my credentials or expand my personal expertise.  One thing for sure...the art teacher can never let their personal skills lapse into disuse.

If you are able to claim the title of Artist Educator...do so with pride...and go forward.  I respect that duality as long as you don't forget the kids.  Maybe I can expand in that direction a bit more now...sort of...I don't show and/or sell my work...it is personal and I choose to keep it that way
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