Monday, June 25, 2012


What an honor! I was just recently nominated for the 2012 Most Fascinating Art Teacher Blog. I just think being considered for this is wonderful, and I appreciate the nomination! Please take a look at the other nominees as well--there is some great reading to be had about art education practice. It all comes to down to "What is Art Ed?" which was the post for which I was nominated. As we continue to look at our teaching practice, we need to eliminate that which does not push our students and add to what does. We need to shift from the one artist/one product model in art education and allow students to pursue their own artistic question within the constraints of media and time. How can we challenge our students to think more divergently? How can we challenge our students to be "problem-finders" rather than just problem-solvers? Today is the last day for voting for the Most Fascinating Art Teacher Blog, enjoy the reading.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sharing a Part

As I reflect on the lessons of the year, there is one that caused the students to ponder what it means to create, to share with other artists and to take their works and create something personal and original. The lesson started with the technical aspects of monotype printmaking using ink and plexiglass. We observed several different examples of Jim Dine's hearts, as well as Peter Max's hearts and other prints. With the constraints of time and materials we focused on hearts as the theme. However, we emphasized how as artists we could express our individuality and create original works by using different colors and patterns in our work. We explored color with loaded brushes as it mixed and created new colors as well as designs. The first session allowed each student to create at least one monotype print.
We began the second session by discussing what we thought would happen if we shared with other artists: exchanging parts of our own work with others. We had experienced collaboration via TASK (see Oliver Herring) and watched Janine Antoni's "Moor" where she integrated others' contributions to her work. They then were instructed to cut out the heart and divide it into quarters. Some were horrified that they were expected to take their work apart. Others were excited to share with specific individuals in the class. Other students decided the work was most important and judged which works were to be part of the final work. It had to fit artistically for them and they were ready to influence or beg to get the parts they wanted. It was fascinating. As the students worked through the problem of exchanging the quarters to form the heart, they also became aesthetically critical, deciding how to transform the collage into their own once more using color sticks on the background. Their artist statement, which they shared on the back of their work, focused on one of the following prompts:
What surprised you by using someone else's work in your own work of art?
How did you feel about sharing your work with another artist?
How did you integrate other artists' work into your original art?

I think the process caused my students to evaluate their connection to their own work. As they continue to develop a relationship to their art making and with other artists, I wonder how they will grow as artists.

What are some ways you push your students to re-evaluate their process?