Paige Lunde

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  • in reply to: 4. Should studio art professors be prepared as teachers? #4179

    Paige Lunde
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    Although K-12 teachers receive training, the time is useless unless the individual teacher takes initiative to improve. Aren’t studio art professors required to attend conferences or art events? It seems that staying current regarding techniques and visual culture would be enough to invigorate educators who are practicing artists. However, PhDs in the visual arts are significant resources for artists. Our visual arts field receives little support, we must encourage any attempt to further our discipline. I’m working on a PhD through IDSVA (The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts), the program is amazing!

    PhDs will not contribute to increasingly academic art but rather support artists toward understanding the historical dialogue between great thinkers by becoming a voice situated in that dialogue. In fact, in our program, we are currently questioning the academic ideal and how it creates universal limitations on being and production. This academic ideal is present in our nation’s schools, standardization shifts our focus from pursuing knowledge to automated learning that will unfortunately limit our student’s voices.

    in reply to: 2. Is emphasis on content and finding personal voice important? #4178

    Paige Lunde
    Participant

    Indeed, there is a lack of emphasis in the arts on personal expression, largely because of a shift toward standardization over the last 15 years. The problem with standardization is the belief that conceptual ideas should be fixed. This results in limited, accepted approaches to solving problems. The standardization of knowledge allows easy assessment but directs students toward memorization and away from rigorous pedagogy. As a result of testing, visual arts courses become less important because they are outside of the testing loop. Thus, arts programs receive less money and less value from the school system. Yet, a key component of art in school is developing student voices. Content is important, but we need to realize the value of the image. In a Kantian sense, the image provides subjective freedom because it is not fixed and propels the subject into freedom through reflection. This freedom allows the student infinite interpretation and possibility.

    I think personal expression should be integrated into the studio art program and there’s no reason it can’t be included. For example, my students learn about the context of an artist’s personal vision and 10 new techniques for each project. Then, students create a practice artwork based on a theme. Finally, students pick 5 techniques to apply to their own personal design. Developing student voices should be at the forefront of arts education and doesn’t require a whole new system.

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