06 January 2013

Art education

Put the action where your art is - people want to know
When we are immersed in the art-making world, we forget that the majority of people have had no art education. They know what they like, but can't say why -- because they don't understand the process of art-making and lack a descriptive vocabulary for what they see. So they ask annoying questions like "how long did that take you to do" - because they genuinely want to talk about the work and are interested to learn how the artist made it.

Yet many artists get impatient with these repetitious questions from the public. Commentators on Alyson Stanfield's  post on educating the audience have said that they find they can talk with enthusiasm about what inspired the work and about the processes they enjoy -- and surely this is true education to a receptive audience.

This was happening all over the place at Art in Action, and it was great. But then, the artists chosen to exhibit at Art in Action are specifically those who are willing and able to engage with the public - for four days straight - no mean feat! Much easier to blog about it, at leisure...

One artist who blogs about the process, principles, thinking, and history behind his work is painter James Aponovich. He says "most art is not entirely successful; it only points the way for improving on the next attempt."
Study for "Tasimento Artichokes" by James Aponovich (image from here)
Is this sort of education "spoon feeding"? Or is it a case of "when the student is ready, the teacher appears"?

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