Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Lesson Plans

Re: artists and art education

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Kit Eakle (
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 01:22:11 -0400

>Hello to all on the list,
> I'd like to pose a general question to the list. Were you an art
>education major in college/university? If so, were you "looked down" upon
>by other "serious" art majors -- those working on a BFA or MFA? Have you
>had instances of having college or university professors in studio areas,
>or "professional" artists stating opinions denigrating the art education
>degree or art education as it's generally perceived in the public schools?
> I read with interest Terry Barrett's questions and the responses
>from the lists about critique experiences. I wonder how many of you who
>responded were at the time of the critique, and were known to be by the
>professor, art education majors? Recently an art education graduate
>student at our college had occasion to be talking, in a social situation,
>to an instructor of art at a local university. The art education graduate
>student, who views her chosen career very seriously, was quite taken aback
>with the opinions voiced by the art professor about the value of art
>educators and art education. So, I'm just curious about other's views...
>Tommye Scanlin
>Professor of Art
>North Georiga College
>Dahlonega, GA 30597

There is no question that that attitude is out there. I suspect there are
two basic reasons.

It seems to me that the first stems fromthe lack of value we place on the
arts in school,as a society. This means that a large portion of the artists
in our society fought an uphill battle against parents, teachers, schools
and society generally to be who they/we are. When the school experience in
general discourages the arts, it is little wonder that those who
successfully become artists resent schools and teachers generally, even
arts teachers, for discriminating against their/our passion

There is also an anti-establishment feeling that is almost required of
visionary artists, that sees school and education generally as a function
of "the establishment' and therefore anethema to the "creative spirit". I
think this attitude is as unavoidable as young people rebelling against the
values of their parents, and is part of the dynamic of creativity. An new
aesthetic is established by the most creative rebels of one generation and
reviled by the next in their effort to find their own artistic identity.
Teachers wil always represent the older establishment.

I suspect it is the former aspect that stifles creativity on a broad social
scale. The second is something I think we must learn to tolerate, even
encourage, to allow students, who are the emerging young artists to grow
and find their own voices. I suspect that if we ignore the one battle and
spend our energies on the larger one, we are much more likely to heal the

I don't know. Does this make sense to you out there?

Kit Eakle
Program Manager
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
Washington DC,

  • Reply: Lynn Foltz: "Re: artists and art education"