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Lesson Plans

ID:UA Art & Eco Project. Puzzles

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Gina C Tafoya (gct)
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 15:20:59 -0700 (MST)

My art education group is putting together lessons about recycled art
using the Art & Ecology site at We have
set up two aesthetic puzzles designed to prompt philosophical inquiry into
the nature of art and recycling. Please respond if you feel inclined to
offer suggestions for improvement or responses to the questions. Our
target group is beginning & intermediate high school students who have had
some basic studio design. Thank-you, Gina.
Puzzle #1: Property Values
Your neighbor is a well known sculptor who has had work in
galleries all over the world. One of his pieces is installed in front of
the public library in your town. The problem is is that he uses old
appliances (refrigerators, washers) and car parts in his work. In fact,
his entire front and back yard are stuffed with this trash. Some of it is
in the form of sculptures and some of it is still just junk. You need to
sell your house, but the realtor has informed you that due to this guy's
mess, your property value is LESS than what you paid. Your neighbor
refuses to clean up the yard b/c it is his work in process.
If you call the city to complain & he is required to haul it all
away, are you censoring his artwork?
The same sculpture is worth thousands in a gallery, but brings
down your property value if it is next to your house. What is the role of
location in assessing the value of these artworks?

Puzzle #2: Paul Pique Famous Artist
The renowned painter, Paul Pique goes to Ecuador to see the
Catholic feast day celebration of Corpus Christi. He is enthralled by the
magnificent headdresses that the dancers wear. They are made from
recycled materials such as lightbulbs, mirrors and parts of plastic baby
dolls. He meets the artist Jose Criollo who is a master costume maker.
Senor Criollo explains the origin of the headdresses and tells Paul about
the traditional gold, silver and stone ornamentation that has been
replaced by cheaper recycled and found objects.He speaks about the
important role of tradition and religion in the ceremony and in the making
of these headresses. Paul returns to England and begins to create the most
amazing masks and headdresses from old beer bottles, broken mirrors and
Barbie dolls. They are sold in galleries as wall hangings. The public
loves them and Paul becomes a very wealthy man.
Jose Criollo was a costume maker. The art that he made was for use
as well as ornamentation. He was not trained in the formal academic
western art forms and his art is usually refered to as folk art. Are Paul
Pique's headdresses and masks folk art or high art? How is it different
than Criollo's headdresses?
Is it ethically acceptable that Paul appropriated the Ecuadorean
artform. Why/Why not?