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    Need an artist's opinion on..

    Hey everyone, I'm writing an art essay about how crucial art is in our educational system and I'd like to get at least one artist's opinion or from anyone really.

    A few questions I have.

    Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?

    Is art in schools really only for those who like it?

    What kind of role do you think art plays in our educational system?

    What kind skills can be obtained from creating art?


    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions
    also sorry if its in the wrong section.

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    This sounds like a college essay?

    1. Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?

    Yes.

    2. Is art in schools really only for those who like it?

    No.

    3. What kind of role do you think art plays in our educational system?

    An art's role.

    4. What kind skills can be obtained from creating art?

    It depends on the kind of art being practiced.

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    Yeah...not a big fan of these but you kept it short...I will too.

    Visual art is the oldest form of human communication we have any record of. It predates reading, writing and arithmetic. That's how important it is. It is also the key to the future in that virtually everything built, manufactured and planned is visualized first by artists, designers and architects. Try building an airport without someone drawing out what it will look like. That's how important it is.

    Good luck with your assignment!

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    The question is not only whether art education should be part of the school curriculum, but also what kind of art education it will be. Will we teaching kids to draw (where will we get enough people who can draw well enough to be able to teach it?), or will we get them up to date on postmodernist theories of art?

    Here in South Africa, there is a school subject called "arts and culture," and if memory serves it is compulsory up to grade nine level. It is for the most part boring nonsense and a waste of kids' time. E.g. it entails such things as memorizing Gauguin's contribution to art, and how it differed from what was then acceptable, without any of the textbooks having a single good reproduction of any of his or anyone else's paintings, and most teachers of course too lazy to go download such reproductions from the web (and themselves mostly lacking any training or interest whatever in arts and culture).

    This kind of thing seems to happen almost inevitably when we rely on soulless bureaucracies to educate the youth. So, considering what "education" has done to kids' knowledge of and interest in math and science, I would say no, let us rather not teach them art at school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blogmatix View Post
    Here in South Africa, there is a school subject called "arts and culture," and if memory serves it is compulsory up to grade nine level. It is for the most part boring nonsense and a waste of kids' time. E.g. it entails such things as memorizing Gauguin's contribution to art, and how it differed from what was then acceptable, without any of the textbooks having a single good reproduction of any of his or anyone else's paintings, and most teachers of course too lazy to go download such reproductions from the web (and themselves mostly lacking any training or interest whatever in arts and culture).
    Is that a new thing? I never had that.

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    Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?
    I don't think American Education is spiraling downward. It's just reached a comfortable level of mediocrity behind numerous other industrialized nations. Though, public school art education, IMO, has always been rather lame.

    Is art in schools really only for those who like it?
    No more than exposure to any other subject would be.


    What kind of role do you think art plays in our educational system?
    One would hope that it would give a foundation for those who wish to establish careers in art or related fields such as architecture or, perhaps, open the door to a form of recreation for those who don't.


    What kind skills can be obtained from creating art?
    You got that bass-ackwards-- you OBTAIN the skills-- THEN you create the art!

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    Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?
    It'll take a bit of patience, but this guy shares some truth on the education system. But he only gets around to it at 7:14, so i'll say he said that the eduction system sucks, as it beats the creativity out of kids by the time they're in the 4th Grade, which i think is true as the system just wants you to be a working bee keeping the hive going. But he says that it forces you to become a blogger or hacker in order to become creative, which i don't agree with - there's all of us here and more creative people beyond.


    Is art in schools really only for those who like it?
    Pretty much. I haven't heard of a school that forces people to take art, but i am grateful and surprised that it is a part of school.

    What kind of role do you think art plays in our educational system?
    Don't know

    What kind skills can be obtained from creating art?
    The ability to see beauty in everything. This comes from practicing from observation, and is an amazing state of mind to be in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Eater View Post
    Is that a new thing? I never had that.
    I think it has been around for ten years or so. When were you at school? Last thing I heard it was on its way out anyway, to be integrated into various other subjects.

    Kids don't seem to learn anything meaningful at all at most schools here. Might as well close them all, then at least we'll KNOW the kids aren't being educated, instead of the current situation where we think they are being educated when they're not. :-)

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    I matriculated in 00...should have been 99, but I liked grade 9 so much I did it twice.

    I went to Frank Joubert Art School which was after school. It still counted towards your passing grade though. It meant we got a free period during school hours. I did Illustration there and History of Art. Good memories.

    Art was not compulsory at all though, you chose your subjects once you got to grade 8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty_ View Post
    Hey everyone, I'm writing an art essay about how crucial art is in our educational system and I'd like to get at least one artist's opinion or from anyone really.

    A few questions I have.

    Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?

    Is art in schools really only for those who like it?

    What kind of role do you think art plays in our educational system?

    What kind skills can be obtained from creating art?


    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions
    also sorry if its in the wrong section.
    You would learn a lot more by trying to work it out for yourself. The most precious learning is understanding, not memorising other people's opinions.
    Understanding is insight induced by the activity of problem solving.
    To solve problems you have to define the terms.
    What do you mean by important?
    What does spiralling downward really refer to?
    If you can sort those two out you can answer the question yourself.
    But that takes effort.
    But without effort you'll never come to understand.

    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
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    Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?
    I don't know anything about that, but I agree that it seems to be pretty low, for those with less money. I say yes.

    Is art in schools really only for those who like it?
    Is music? Or Geography? What age group are we talking about here, by the way? Am I right to think you're talking about primary school (6-12 years old)? Then no. I think it should stay mandatory. And I think it should stay optional for those 13-15

    What kind of role do you think art plays in our educational system?
    For the young kids I'd say all subjects play a part of what we would like to work with when we grow up. Art in school merely lets us explore that field, and give those interested something to dream about.
    For the older kids, well, Then its more for the ones who like it. By then you should already have a basic idea of what you like. For those who like it, it's kind of like a safe haven (putting it boldly). It's important to like some aspects of the school.

    What kind skills can be obtained from creating art?
    I think its more a circle.
    Make art - Realise its not as good as you'd like it - Improve - Make art with new skills, and so on.
    You can also use art to learn other things, like anatomy and maybe even mathematics, or geography.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?
    It'll take a bit of patience, but this guy shares some truth on the education system. But he only gets around to it at 7:14, so i'll say he said that the eduction system sucks, as it beats the creativity out of kids by the time they're in the 4th Grade, which i think is true as the system just wants you to be a working bee keeping the hive going. But he says that it forces you to become a blogger or hacker in order to become creative, which i don't agree with - there's all of us here and more creative people beyond.


    Is art in schools really only for those who like it?
    Pretty much. I haven't heard of a school that forces people to take art, but i am grateful and surprised that it is a part of school.

    What kind of role do you think art plays in our educational system?
    Don't know

    What kind skills can be obtained from creating art?
    The ability to see beauty in everything. This comes from practicing from observation, and is an amazing state of mind to be in.
    Its true most schools to beat the creativity out of kids I remember I had an ass of a teacher in primary school who would rip up my pictures even if I was done with my work.
    I did have a very good art teacher in secondary school though.

    Btw I actually remember an article a while back which talked about how schools dislike creativity ill post it if I can find it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    Is art that important, when american education is spiraling downward?
    It'll take a bit of patience, but this guy shares some truth on the education system. But he only gets around to it at 7:14, so i'll say he said that the eduction system sucks, as it beats the creativity out of kids by the time they're in the 4th Grade, which i think is true as the system just wants you to be a working bee keeping the hive going. ...
    Yep...in school I was actively discouraged from developing as an artist. Which makes as much sense as actively discouraging someone from being an engineer or scientist.

    The biggest part of the problem or reason for this "active discouragement" is lack of awareness of the public, hence educators, as to what "art" is. If people were more educated on the fact that the cars they drive, homes they live in, coffee makers they use were all designed by "artists" there would be much more acceptance and understanding of the importance of "art". So in that sense I think more education would improve the role and awareness of art...the problem is that has very little to do with Gaugin and certainly nothing to do with Marcel Duchamp.

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    Well... someone else already said this, but it bears repeating... the house you live in, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, the desk you work at, the components in the computer you're reading this on, the toaster you made your breakfast with this morning, the packaging on all your food and books, and the vast majority of everything in the world that is man-made was created by an artist before it could ever come to physical reality. Without artists, modern life as we know it would cease to exist.

    Yes, it should be taught in schools. I don't know how the US does it but I think the way the UK does it is fine in terms of age (mandatory to age 14, optional to age 16, further study at student's discretion) and appalling in terms of execution (most high school students use art class as an excuse to do nothing for an hour). If there are changes to be made I think it ought to be more career-oriented than it is now so people better understand the roles of artists, and don't think you can only make a living as one by painting fruit and hanging it on gallery walls. I also would also like to see it include an introduction to technical drawing and digital art principles such as graphic design and 3D, despite the fact that these things would make every high school art teacher I have ever met go very pale and stammer a lot. I suspect the US system is exactly the same - incredibly outdated and mostly useless not because it is art but because it is art that isn't very relevant to career-based art in the modern world.

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    I think we ought to straighten out a distinction here:
    What's the difference between an artist and a designer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    I think we ought to straighten out a distinction here:
    What's the difference between an artist and a designer?
    Is that a joke looking for a punchline? Something like, "That's not even a banana!"

    But seriously...go for it! Take the lead on that one...

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    Thanks everyone for your input on the subject, really appreciate it.

    I should of also said part of my essay was getting opinions from art bloggers and artists.

    Personally art education in my school district was pathetic and was more of a joke really, even more so when my engineering class counted as a "fine art" credit in high school.

    I got some really good replies thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Yep...in school I was actively discouraged from developing as an artist. Which makes as much sense as actively discouraging someone from being an engineer or scientist.

    The biggest part of the problem or reason for this "active discouragement" is lack of awareness of the public, hence educators, as to what "art" is. If people were more educated on the fact that the cars they drive, homes they live in, coffee makers they use were all designed by "artists" there would be much more acceptance and understanding of the importance of "art". So in that sense I think more education would improve the role and awareness of art...the problem is that has very little to do with Gaugin and certainly nothing to do with Marcel Duchamp.
    In my school (public) they didn't discourage...to be blunt, they didn't give a shit one way or another, only that I showed up and they got paid.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    In my school (public) they didn't discourage...to be blunt, they didn't give a shit one way or another, only that I showed up and they got paid.
    Then you were in an unusually good public school. :-)

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdNAUJWJN08
    Chomsky has the right idea.

    Is education about training mindless robots to study like crazy, pass the test, then forget everything so that you can study for the next test?

    Or is education teaching students how to teach themselves. To foster the inherent curiosity all children and adults have, taking information relevant to the student, making the information ones own, and then expressing it or making something new in ones own way.

    Last edited by Immortal Cintiq; March 6th, 2012 at 10:26 PM.
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    I would love to see some of you advocate for Arts in Public Schools (the Public in general, as far as I know, SUPPORTS Art in Schools - some for good reasons, some just because their child finds the class fun - which is fine too). Art Education isn't exactly in a good position in the U.S. (at least in my state, I know it's definitely not).

    Jeff, Birkeley, TriggerPigKing, and a few others - I see some good arguments. Remember, WE are the artists - if WE don't advocate for the arts, no one else will!

    Making the art room relevant to art based careers is ABSOLUTELY important! Graphic Design, Layout Artists, Interior Designer, Car Designer (someone like Chip Foose - he KNOWS how he wants the car to look BEFORE he builds it - He had to develop that skill somehow!!), Magazine Editor, OR the less "Mandatory" careers - comic book artists, illustrators (which are still very relevant if you ask me), video game designers, software developers.. All people who need some kind of art training to do their job.

    HOWEVER - it is the job of the ART TEACHER to write the curriculum that will teach these skills! If called upon to defend the curriculum, and their job, the art teacher MUST be able to do it, or go home at the end of the school year knowing they won't have a job waiting for them the next school year.

    Lastly - Immortal Cintiq - you're absolutely correct - it is NOT education to have students study for some standardized test which will determine 1) how much the student's have learned, 2) how effective the teachers are, 3) how much money to operate the school will recieve, 4) whether or not AYP has been met. (AYP = Adequate Yearly Progress).

    TL;DR - Art is important in LIFE - Artists MUST Advocate for the Arts! - We must also keep curriculum RELEVANT to today's Art Careers!

    Sorry, a nerve was struck on this thread and my passion kinda came out.

    Doctors heal you, Artists immortalize you.

    "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach" - bullshit.

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