Monday, July 19, 2010

Teaching Artist--thinking it through part 1

Surrounded on all sides by an un-juried show of island artists of all ages and abilities, Beverly Nadius facilitated a discussion on art and community at the Valise Gallery on Vashon. It got me thinking about art education and what that means to me. I looked up some art organizations sites, like ArtEd, Artists Trust, Art Alliance, and Americans for the Arts.

When I applied to be on the Washinton State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster, I was struck by how structured art education has become. I am so concerned that art, like every other discipline taught in public schools, will have the sponteniety sucked out of it, that it will become simply teaching technical skills that can be tested and measured. I was encouraged when I read this on the ARTed Washington website:

"We believe that the goal of education should not be to teach our children a series of simple, repeatable skills.

Education should light a fire under them, inspire them to unearth new truths, challenge them with huge, seemingly unanswerable questions, and dazzle them with the possibilities that today’s world offers them. Incorporating the arts into daily teaching accomplishes all of these things."

When I read further that as part of their mission : "To accomplish this, we:
• raise public awareness of the importance of creativity and imagination in school and in life " (and 6 other bullet points)

I decided to join.

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