(Question posed by Anna Nichols on FaceBook. May 23, 2015)
Is it possible for a teacher-led project to result in authentic (original) art by students? Example - a project begins as a lesson in using tints and shades of a color to create a monochromatic, non-objective painting. After the student creates the painting, s/he is encouraged to continue working on it by adding drawings, painted details, or change the painting into a representational piece by adding imagined images, etc. I am asking this because I have been engaged in a fabulous discussion here, but I can't seem to get an answer to this question from any but one. What do you think?
(My personal reflections on this question.)
Over a century ago Marcel Duchamp began asking about and challenging the notion of what is and is not art, just like you are now. With his readymades Duchamp made notable statements about his boredom with “retinal art” and his search for more substantially meaningful art. If meaning is the intention of an artwork, then the piece should show meaning, either meaning of the artist’s intention or meaning through the viewer’s interpretation. However, there are other purposes for creating artworks that probably should not be neglected: therapeutic, exploratory / discovery, storytelling, historical accounts, informational / educational, personal expression, humor, etc.
Another thing that could hold value in answering your question is intention. Although the works you mention may have begun as studies, worksheets, or teacher-directed segregated drills, there is no explicit barrier that prevents such drills from the possibility of becoming something more, bigger, better, real, or authentic. While there isn't a definitive answer, my opinion is, yes, authentic artwork can be created from something that was somebody else’s idea, intention, or creation. Our ideas and works are inspired by something or somebody from somewhere.
One example I’m thinking of is if I were to take readymade garments (created by another designer/artist) and reassemble them into a sculptural weaving, I would call this weaving an authentic artwork in spite of the origin of the “intended” idea for the fibers. Another example that might support an answer of “yes” is the installation work of Sandy Skoglund. Although she made a number of the key pieces of her installations, she incorporates objects, artifacts, and other things that began with somebody else’s intentions for use and meaning. She even employed other people, under her artistically meaningful guidance, to do some of the labors for her installations. Finally, the collage work of Rauschenberg is a third example in support of work that can begin as somebody else’s idea or inspiration and then can certainly be turned into an authentic artwork once an artist imposes meaning and intention with/on/through its use.
The process of putting together a capstone proposal is invigorating as well as trying and tiring. It will pay off at the end of this road; however, I do not see the singular research project as a destination. I see it as the beginning of more work just like it yet to come. It is a quality professional experience the encourages personal growth both in the present and for the future. I am a lifelong learner.
Environmentalism is a “concern about and action aimed at protecting the environment” and environmental is defined as “relating to the natural world and the impact of human activity on its condition.” With these Oxford Dictionaries definitions, the threat imposed on the global environment by climate change causes one to consider the possibilities of such a catastrophic possibility. Environmental art further develops the picture of the effects of globalization on climate change and ultimately humanity, growing environmentalism.
Click here to read my full research brief and to see my series of three artworks inspired by this research.
Regularly visiting and updating my professional website always reinvigorates me--my personal as well as profession perspectives on things. First, reviewing the work I've done over the last few years motivates me to keep moving forward and gives me a strong foundation upon which to build. Growth comes with consistent effort and experience. Second, seeing my best professional work in one collective site keeps my professional mission and goals in the forefront of whatever I do, guiding my decisions and actions yet to come.
If you do not have a professional online presence already established, I emphatically recommend starting now with building that presence. Doing so is a personal and professional benefit both to yourself and to those you have yet to encounter. Proclaim to others who you are and where you are heading in your future, then keep revisiting your site to remind yourself of this same thing.
Revisiting my most important influences on how I have become the person I am today has been a priceless experience. This family migration study has enlightened me to the value I should have been placing on the guidance, patiences, and commitment my grandmothers and parents have given me over the years. I see now, after considerable exploration, that I have neglected to offer praise for these wonderful things and will no longer do so.
I set up a tea party installation, inviting my parents and both of my grandmothers in honor of their efforts invested in me. I have done my best with what I have to show each of these people how much I care for and respect them.
Click here to see the ISSUU publication of the entire installation.
The treasurer of the Rapids Theatre Restoration Board, Norma Jansma, called me today asking for my help in getting the Rapids Theatre on the State Register of Historic Places.
In my original report I stated that the committee was trying to get on the National Register of Historic Places, which Jansma claimed may still be accurate. Now, however, the board would like my assistance in applying for the State Register.
I will begin my work on this new project as soon as the board verifies accuracy of my initial case study research. Once this research is approved by the board, I will use it in the State Register application process.
Thank you Rapids Theater committee. I am honored to do what I can to help this long-time treasure be restored and remembered by many.
I got an email today informing me I have been selected as one of the participants in the Model Cornerstone Assessment benchmarking project being conducted by NAEA and NCCAS. It is a pilot project partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
This pilot project is intended to produce benchmark student work that aligns with the MCAs. Upon completion of this project, NAEA and NCCAS will provide art educators with benchmark examples of student artwork to use in developing assessment accuracy and consistency.
Below is the press release provided by the MCA project team. Of the 260 districts to apply, I am one of only 15 - 18 pilot sites to have been chosen for participation in the visual arts division. Follow the project website for progress of this program: http://nccas.wikispaces.com.
Press release article provided by NCCAS and NAEA, 2015
-K - 12 Visual Arts Educator