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[teacherartexchange] a thought about what is art worth realistically

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From: bkramer(POP) (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 15:19:36 PDT


I've recently been asked to enter a middle school art show by our town art
society. We met a couple of weeks ago to give our imput and one of the
things discussed was the "winning prizes". From the get-go it seems it had
already been decided that each school would receive a couple of prizes to
make it equated and these prizes would be art classes for the winning
students. Now...having taught middle schoolers for the majority of my
career, I know what these birds like and don't like and art classes for
prizes is not up there near the top of their lists. Cash has always been
their primary incentive and the best motivator I've found...in reality. When
I mentioned this to the art show presenters, they looked at me like I had
two heads. I "get" the art philosophy and the "feel good" thingy and the
philosophical aloofness of art patrons but I feel when you're dealing with
kids and non-artists/parents, they are looking at "How can I make a paying
career out of this?" and "What is my art worth in the real world?"

I finally talked the group into gift certificates at local art stores for
the winners...no cash...but my question is, am I off base? How do we make
art legitimate and acceptable to those people who aren't artists or who
couldn't care less? Putting ourselves on a pedestal and saying that art has
to be understood to be appreciated doesn't do us any good. We need to reach
the uninitiated through direct channels...like cash...or what's in it for
me?

A couple of thoughts...what are yours? Bunki

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