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[teacherartexchange] Reply to Godfrey Mwamalumbili


From: Deanna Bowers (dbowers_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Oct 26 2007 - 14:59:51 PDT

I am a high school art teacher in California. I would love it if you
could share information from your lecture on the teacher exchange. There
is usually a small section on African Art in our art textbooks, in the
chapter on Non-Western Art. I also have a video on African Art by RM
Arts and Associates, a BBC co-production. From my experience, African
art comes up when talking about masks and sculpture. The chapter in my
textbook has information on nomadic and sedentary farming cultures, cult
figures, fetish figures, reliquary figures, Nigeria and the Guinea
Coast, and Contemporary African Art. The entire section is only 6 pages
long, with several pictures. I think the study of Egypt and Egyptian Art
is probably a lot more dominant, especially in the earlier grades, than
anything else. Otherwise, I would venture to say that most younger
children are not exposed to african art at all. All of us are supposed
to be teaching about the art of different cultures, but the standards
are not very specific about WHICH cultures. Also, we are given many
opportunities to teach about African American artists like Romare
Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold and William H. Johnson, etc.
Of course the exportation of art from Africa serves to broaden our minds
and teach us about Africa and it's people. African art has inspired and
influenced artists like Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani, as well as
countless others. Of course other reasons would be related to money. I
myself am thankful that I have been able to see African art in art
museums in the US, and have been able to be influenced and inspired by
it myself. I think any additional education we could get on the topic
would be fantastic, especially information meant for teachers. I hope I
might have helped a little bit. Thank you, Deanna Bowers, Visalia, CA

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