Forum Replies Created
The history of art is full of artists coming together in their studios to share work and ideas, critique and opine and collaborate. Creating an environment, whether in a classroom or online, that mimics this historically proven method of sharing information can leap frog the power structure that exists inherently between teacher and student. Projects that present the teacher as collaborative mentor would be similar to the older more experienced/knowledgeable artist showing up at the studio of the younger less experienced/knowledgeable artist. I acknowledge that this method would take some revision at the elementary and middle school level because “herding cats” is no easy task. However, it is a powerful tool to recognize students as artists in their own right, not equal to the teacher but respected as any artist would respect her peers and their work.
Who is my audience?
Is the scope of the work too narrow?
What medium best expands that scope?
What medium is most adept at delivering a message to the widest possible audience?
Have I considered my identity in relation with the subject matter?
– Is it indicative of a narrow-minded approach?
– How can I overcome this hurdle?
Once considered, how can I include my identity so as not to erase “the hand of the artist”?
Is the work aesthetically strong enough to carry the message?
I am a straight, White male. The way I position myself in reference to those whose identities are far more persecuted than mine is key to bringing feminist inquiry into my personal pedagogy. Ironic, that it is also my biggest challenge. I noticed when reading through some of the other posts in this dialogue that “feminist” is a word that is demonized. That’s a sad position to take no matter your identity. I have recently taken to regarding myself as feminist. Much like Donald Woodman, I believe men can’t afford not to be. I met my challenge through art making. I made feminist art and through the process learned what it means to be feminist. And so, through the process of creation, students can also learn what it means to be feminist and how that relates to their own identity.
I believe men can make Feminist art because I have.
Founding Mothers 11″ X 8.5″ Ink Jet Print Collage on Paper, 2018
Three Women founded Museum of Modern Art. their perMANent collection is predominantly male. To borrow a phrase from Donald via Arsenio, “Hmmmmm.”
Truth is I never really thought about feminism much, mostly because I was a little scared of the term and fear was a product of lack of understanding. Through women like Karen Keifer-Boyd and Wanda Knight I have come to understand the pervasive nature of the patriarchy and that as a man I have an obligation to question the prevailing hegemony. Full disclosure, these women are my professors and I’m not trying to gain some “brownie points” (see below for etymology of brownie points). Rather, I wanted to expose how effective a pedagogy that is centered on art can be. The piece above was made last semester in Wanda’s Diversity course. “Founding Mothers” is a testament to the pedagogies of both Karen and Wanda and in keeping with my re-mixed Beuysian philosophy that my studio practice and pedagogical practice are inextricably intertwined, now, here, enters the discourse as an educational tool. Artists have a unique voice, and art is a useful if not vital tool to expose inequities of all kinds. From a feminist perspective, you can hand out an article by Chris Weedon to everyone on the street and expect that the average person would probably toss it, especially if the passerby is a man and the title includes the word feminism. Or, you can install a Barbara Kruger piece in the town square. No offense to Chris Weedon, I really enjoy her writing but I think you can catch my drift.
This caught my eye when doing a quick search on the etymology of brownie points:
“A popular etymology is an allusion to the merit badges or six points earned by Brownies (junior Girl Guides/Girl Scouts) for carrying out good deeds. Brownies were named after a kind of mythological elf that does helpful things around the house.”
Lots to think about in there from a feminist standpoint. Maybe I should make some art about it…
It depends on how much a given state funds its schools and how much of that money is geared toward new technology. Incorporating new technologies and the internet into the art classroom makes possible collaboration with students anywhere in the world. In collaboration there is kinship and understanding that bridges cultural divides. So, school administrators should be taking the possibility of breaking down cultural barriers with new technologies into their budget considerations. A student in a predominantly white rural high school who is introduced through a collaborative online project to a student in Kenya is better served than if they are isolated in a bubble. For me, the art room was always a place of equality and understanding. That mantra can be perpetuated by the internet and new technologies that connect us globally.
I believe that the teacher’s studio should be brought to the classroom and teachers should pursue a collaborative mentorship model. Collaborative, conceptual, process-based projects should be presented. In 2018, young adults have never known a world without the internet. To truly engage them, a curriculum should embrace new media while still creating works that show the artists’ hand. I’ve utilized Instagram in the past to create a collaborative installation and the students were open from the start. The process was followed through the use of hashtags and is still available (for the most part) by searching the hashtags. The final piece is installed in the school.
It seems that K-12 has picked up STEAM. And I’m totally into that. Integrating art making into other curriculums as a way to stimulate visual inquiry is on target. It’s also an excellent way to ensure that art programs stay funded. The T stands for technology and so creating with new technologies is being introduced. Art education must continue to lead the way by stressing new media in the art studio classroom and beyond. The potential for learning and experimentation extends outside of schools because of the geographic and time-based flexibility that the internet and portable technologies provide. Socio-economic and cultural lines can be more easily crossed in collaborative web-based efforts.