Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Clay and Cats

(Part I- Making Meaning!)

What is it that drives your artwork?

What makes you excited about life?

What is your favorite thing to do?

If you had to do one activity for the rest of your life what would it be? (go on a long walk with beautiful flowers, take a ride out on a sailboat and never return…)

How would you describe yourself in three words?

What is the main emotion that you would use to describe yourself?

If you were defined by something you make what would it be?

What do you want out of life?

How do you want others to remember you?

What is your PASSION?

How does your life and your art interact?... Do they meet?

Is there meaning in making??

Reflecting back on my own art education the only thing that got me excited about making was using clay- I have been obsessed with the material since childhood. The specific assignment that I remember was a clay sculpture of an animal. I of course chose to sculpt a cat. If there were two things I have loved since childhood it would be clay and cats. So that’s what it took for me to truly enjoy art making and to create meaning in the making.

What is the meaning for you and your students... I do not have the answer but you do! I do know that making art about what is important in your life is rewarding and fulfilling. I realize that my experience may have been unique but why not give ourselves and our students the opportunity to express themselves, to find themselves, to create a part of themselves.

At times it might seem easier to plan a lesson around a skill or a historical art project. But I encourage you to think beyond this- Is the coil pot decorated with roulette decoration really helping your students? How is this creative? What are they gaining from this? Are you giving your students any choices? I believe that getting your students excited about life and art will help you in creating a place where they are free to express themselves. If you take the time to open this world of making for your students- the possibilities are endless.

“The simple fact is that our education is not broad enough on the expressing side of the brain, that too much attention has been given to the absorbing side of this organ that no adequate provisions have been made whereby it can discharge its power in work connected with the industries.” John Clark

and I still love my cats

Mikey short for
named after the
ninja turtle of course

Mike the Tiger aka Big Mike

Beast was my outdoor kitty
but Beast recently moved to Baton Rouge
and has now retired and moved indoors

Teddy also known as TR currently lives in Michigan.

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