As far as educating grown ups as well....(and remember, I'm the one the
ADMITS that once in a great while I WILL correct a kid that's frustrated
with trying to 'see' what's the real line...and I still don't see
anything wrong with it on a very small scale, when requested
(breathe!)...I was married to an artist for many years whose work is
childlike and is my favorite type of art. The Museum of Modern Art in
NYC has purchased two of his pieces, he's had world wide retrospects,
been sold at Christies and Sotheby's (just so you understand his
success) we'd get comments from neighbors and uneducated people quite
frequently...'it looks like a kid did it.' His response was that in
order to appreciate the vision of an artist, you have to see the body of
work, not just one piece. And kids do their art, naturally, from their
wonderful childlike perspective...adults do it 'on purpose.' Also,
Dubuffet, Klee and others, along with my ex-husband, are usually saying
something 'very grown up' as well. Personally, my focus is to get
students to appreciate modern art, because it does look 'easy,' without
understanding how very difficult it really is abstractly...it's the same
idea that was expressed that you have to know the rules in order to
If interested, google 'DeLoss McGraw'...you'll see what I mean.
Love the discussions!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 1:22 PM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: Re: [teacherartexchange] student project touch ups
<<I think that one concern that I have is that many people that are not
educated in the arts, look at childrens art and art projects that are
produced and they expect them all to be successful-otherwise if they
see a few that are not-wonder what was going on in the art room. Maybe
as an art teacher-you are also responsible in educating not only the
students but everyone else as well. How are some ways that this can be
accomplished if you have an audience like this? >>
<<I can also see that the pressures of administrators, parents and the
general public could cause the art teacher to feel students projects
need to have perfection. How hard to you push your students and
yourself to strive for this->>
Elliot Eisner and others write extensively about "interpretive
exhibits" in schools. In choice-based teaching we consider these
nearly essential. It is not only childrens' art that is difficult for
non artists to "see" carefully...much visual art is confusing or
off-putting to entry level viewers. (many of our parents and teaching
colleagues are at that stage) In my school artist statements and photos
of students at work were added to our huge end of the year art show.
We had found parents skimming through the show to look at their child's
one piece and then only giving it a glance. The statements and photos
served as "speed bumps" and gave viewers insight into what the student
had learned, what the process intailed and what the artist ideas were.
In Teaching for Artistic Behavior practice (TAB) teachers place student
ideas front and center and work out from there. So the art works
displayed are individual...comparisons among them (which is the "best")
become a non issue and as such, pressure on teachers to embellish what
is a one of a kind piece goes away.
Artmaking in TAB classrooms takes the program far away from the
interior decoration of the school building that some less informed
administrators desire. The documenting of ideas and deep learning by
the students helps art teachers to share with parents and school
colleagues just how important art is in the lives of their students.
<<I enjoy sharing and reading your posts. I believe that "Iron
Sharpens Iron" and there is nothing wrong with having different
opinions. If everything was the same it would be a boring world to live
I love that metaphor, Julie! The back and forth found here among
teachers who are committed to good teaching is energizing!
being buffeted by a terrible rainstorm
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