Visiting artists provide an outside perspective for the audience. During my years of undergrad study I became familiar with many of the faculty in the art department. Though they were skilled artists and teachers who held high standards and treated students with much respect, it was refreshing to have visiting artists or speakers come to campus and share their experiences. I think this is important for students and faculty alike to act as a reminder that there are other places, people, and issues outside the small campus/town bubble that you live in during those college years.
I do believe that content is extremely important to emphasize with art students. Technical skill is important to the artist, but a technically sound artist with nothing to say does no good. I teach at the middle level and many of my students aren’t sure what art is for. Encouraging them to say what they want with art is something I work to improve of myself. In order for students to get in touch with their artistic identity I think it is important to start at a young age. As mentioned in Institutional Time, the circle talk and regular dialogue about student’s ideas is important to help them develop their ideas into developed works of art. One way this could be done in schools is to inquire with students. Ask what they think and encourage them to own their ideas and their works. Skills will develop with practice, but so to does the skill to create content need to be developed.