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Re: [teacherartexchange] teacher as artist

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From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 15 2006 - 07:18:06 PST


On Nov 15, 2006, at 5:05 AM, Elizabeth Heisey wrote:

> What is the reasoning for not showing students your art?

I had a wonderful High School art teacher who would not show her art
to her students. I'm sure it is a personal choice with each teacher.
Just
before I graduated she showed me some of her watercolors. For me,
I believe it is important for students to know that their teacher
creates
and exhibits their own art. In my district we had a staff exhibition
every year. We encouraged students to see the exhibit.

Now, I would not work through a painting that I wanted students to
try. If I did a demo, I would not leave it up for long. Students want to
please and tend to copy. But, demos of the process are important
so continue to do them.

> Is the same true for not letting them in on the process?

We invite other artists into our classroom to show their work and
often demo the process of creating their work. The process for artists
is very important. When I view other watercolor artists work, I often
ask
"how did you create this or that effect." Most viewers of an exhibit
just
view the work, while artists try to figure out how it was created.

> I thought there was some kind of tradition that said
> it would stifle or depress students or something.
> I hope I am not doing something bad, but I started
> working on a couple paintings in the midst of my HS classes.

What you are doing is fine unless it causes your students to
mimic your work rather than find their own vision.

> There are some interesting discussions going
> on about the development and meaning of my work (esp.
> apparently during the math classes that meet in my
> room in the morning! not sure about those)
> My students have been involved in discussions with me
> about the development of my work and actually have
> helped me a lot to clarify what I want to say. They
> see me through the complete process. I am aware of my
> vulnerability and risk-taking.
> I realize I have to keep my own project subject to all
> student lessons and needs, but...are there other basic
> premises I am missing?
> Beth

I notice that Ken is posting on your question. I have yet to read his
response, but I would trust in his wisdom.
                                        Woody

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
         mailto:woodyduncan@comcast.net

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