Thursday, March 21, 2013

An Open Letter To My Fellow Arts Educators

I'll be working for at least two summer camps in 2013. I don't do this because I have to do it. I do this because I need to do it. I have learned that art-making with children revitalizes an artist like nothing else. It test your mettle both as a person and as an artist.

Some children will follow everything you say in your classes to the letter and come out with a very smart project. Others will defy you and your instructions, and still manage to come out with a very smart project. The difference? The latter outcome gives YOU as an instructor much more than the former. When a young artist questions your techniques or makes changes for changes sake, you can either punish them, or allow them the freedom which you had when you first created the project. This does not mean letting them go completely willy nilly. I'm not talking about behavior here, but process. What's wrong with them painting something you never intended to be painted; or gluing on buttons, or using the orange rather than the blue thread. You have to think and to ask yourself--"Does it really matter?" If it truly does not, then allow for some artistic rebellion. Art is a personal thing, even to a student and an arts educator has leverage few other teachers have: The gift of discernment. One and one can equal two to two thousand in art. Art is subjective; so stop drinking your own Koolaid. Sometimes, as an arts educator, you have to let go...and let art happen.

One of my classes, "Fashion Cents" is at the Irma Freeman Center from June 17-21 from 3 pm to 6 pm.
For more IF camp info click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment