On Oct 9, 2008, at 10:36 AM, Diane Gregory wrote:
> One topic I would like to discuss is visual culture lesson ideas
> for the elementary art classroom. I would like to also hear what
> the group thinks about the pros and cons of visual culture. I am
> not sure my art education students are getting the background they
> need in sociology, psychology, anthropology, technology, and in
> contemporary art to teach visual culture. What are your thoughts?
The idea of "visual culture" has been bantered about for a number of
years. Here is how i take it - and it involves a lot of history
lessons and translating artist observation.
Historically the artist has always looked at the circumstances and
context of the the times and made an observation. Artists are
constantly looking forward, therefore I don't understand why we spend
so much time looking back. The 'back" can be summarized/capsulized
and important stuff emphasized.
here is what I grapple with --
there is no creativity unless there is interest - so I must as a
teacher, who hopes to develop new and emerging artists, look to the
icons , symbols and metaphors of what is happening in their current
We kill to death some ancient concepts, but fail to relate those
observations to current thinking. As with all curriculum there is
TOO MUCH to convey in the short time we have with the students. We
need to carefully select the most important concepts.
As art teachers we need to teach what other curriculums are teaching
----- researching, observing, making connections, relating and
problem solving -- and then putting it all together. Contemporary
art is so convoluted. I usually can't make heads or tales from it.
What I can do is start to teach my students to disseminate, analyze,
and determine what is cliche or trite or overworked, and make
decisions based on sound aesthetic questions .
I flounder in the current "visual culture" I think the reason there
is so so much stuff out there in the art world that I just don't
get, is because we are not teaching our students how to make good
choices about what they select.
As I look at the standards - and only one of them has to do with
product- I think constantly as to what are the problems, concerns,
issues I need to present to students and how do I teach them to solve
those problems. And, essentially that all comes down to what they
I think the visual culture idea is very pertinent. Just look at how
we are manipulated by images. How do we teach our kids that it is all
a matter of a manipulation?
It's all about culture, and yes I feel there is something lacking in
art education that emphasizes as to how the "times" influences the art.