Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What have we learned?

I'm spending most of this week organizing, labeling, and hanging pieces for the Youth Art Month Expo's juried art show.  It's a lot of work, a lot of fun, and I get to be in the same room as other art teachers.  Beware!

While sorting the untold piles of art I couldn't help but think of my own art classes.  Not the ones I teach, mind you - I'm talking about back when I was in high school.  Back then I was a bit of a geek.

Um, OK, so I still am.

But while now I'm an outgoing extrovert of a geek with an ego larger than the Hindenburg, back then I was an introvert with very little self confidence.  The only class where I felt I could really speak my mind was art, and that was because Mr. Lichner promoted the kind of environment where good ideas were rewarded and negative criticism had no place.  When one of us came up with an art project that had nothing to do with his idea for what projects he wanted us to do, he still encouraged us to explore the possibilities allowed to us by the media to which we had access.

If all of my classes had been like my art classes, I can assure you my parents would have been much happier with my report cards.

And so, since I was thinking about this, I posed a question to Plurk, Twitter, and a few other outlets.
What's something you've learned from an art teacher?

The results were rather interesting, I thought.
There is no such thing as a mistake, only opportunities to create more. - Laurie Korte

Do the opposite of what you normally do. Completely ended up changing my style and medium. - Judy Shintani

It's all in the details, take a second look, never be afraid of color. - Selena Ward

"There are no mistakes. Only happy accidents." Kindergarten art teacher. She was right. Mostly. - Bud Hunt

You can always throw it out and start over :-D - Jacqui Derby, Ph.D.

To properly observe something, sometimes you need to look closer. - Beka Smith

There is no such thing as staying in the lines.. Patti Duncan

[The] law of perspective. Patti Duncan

Part of me feels the need to comment on each of these individually, but I think it's better to let them stay as-is.  What I will say is that each person who responded took something useful and meaningful back with them when they left their art classes.

As the powers that be wring their hands and look at budgets that are stretched too thin to fit everything, it is my hope that they too will remember what they learned in their own art classes.

So what have you learned?