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Secondary school art education : the artist’s viewpoint Ewing, Gillian 1985

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SECONDARY SCHOOL ART EDUCATION: THE ARTIST'S VIEWPOINT By GILLIAN EWING B.Ed., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Visual and Performing Arts i n Education) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1985 ® G i l l i a n Ewing, 1985 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date U iq$ri DE-6 (3/81) i i ABSTRACT A r t i s t s are seldom consulted i n the making of school art programs yet many are v i t a l l y concerned with the need for a v i s u a l l y l i t e r a t e public. This study summarizes the history of art education, examines recent issues documented by art educators, looks at opinions of a r t i s t s o f . t h i s century on the teaching of a r t , and presents interviews with s i x B r i t i s h Columbian a r t i s t s to e l i c i t t h e i r thoughts on what i s necessary i n a secondary school art curriculum. The interviews are ess e n t i a l l y informal i n nature and only those remarks dealing with secondary school education, or related concepts, are included. The f i n a l chapter contains an infusion of the a r t i s t s ' ideas under headings suggested by issues raised by art educators. An evaluation of the data collected from the interviews leads to recommendations for consideration for secondary school programs and the conviction that a r t i s t s should be encouraged to participate i n matters r e l a t i n g to art education. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE 1. THE PROBLEM .1 Introduction 1 Statement of the Problem ...2 J u s t i f i c a t i o n for the Study 3 Assumptions . . . . . 5 Organization of the Study... 7 2. THE NATURE AND CONCERNS OF ART EDUCATION 9 Introduction 9 Brief History of Art Education 9 Rationale for Art Education i n the 1980s 17 New Areas of Concern i n Art Education 19 Art C r i t i c i s m and Aesthetics : 19 Environmental Awareness 24 Art Versus Craft ; 28 Folk and Popular Art 32 Gallery Education 33 Summary 34 3. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF ARTISTS' OPINIONS 35 Introduction 35 CHAPTER PAGE The Twentieth Century 37 Artists' Opinions at the New York Art Education Seminar of 1964 43 4. THE ARTISTS. 48 Rationale for the Interviews 48 Introduction to the Artists 50 Je an Kamins 50 .Colette French ...52 Tom Graff 53 Greg Murdock .54 Marian Penner-Bancroft ....55 Richard Prince 56 Conclusion. 57 5. THE INTERVIEWS 58 Introduction 58 Jean Kamins 58 Colette French ....66 Tom Graff .• 7 7 Greg Murdock 85 Marian Penner-Bancroft »91 V CHAPTER -;• PAGE Richard P r i n c e 99 Conclusions 106 6. AN ASSESSMENT OF THE INTERVIEWS 107 I n t r o d u c t i o n 107 Summary of the Interviews 107 General P r i n c i p l e s 107 Art H i s t o r y and A e s t h e t i c s 110 Studio A r t I l l Environmental Awareness 112 C r a f t 113 Popular or Folk A r t 114 G a l l e r y Education 115 Teacher Education 116 E v a l u a t i o n . . . . 118 Other Areas of I n t e r e s t 119 Conclusions 120 REFERENCES 122 APPENDIX 127 1 CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM I n t r o d u c t i o n A r t education has, i n recent years, been subjected to pressure from s o c i e t y to j u s t i f y i t s e x i s t e n c e , e i t h e r i n i t s present form or indeed i n any form at a l l . Because of the i n c r e a s i n g burden of knowledge to be acquired through the school system i n the sciences and,the l i b e r a l a r t s , because of cuts to school budgets, and because of a l a c k of a p p r e c i a t i o n among the general p u b l i c of the pervasive and enveloping r o l e that a r t plays i n the l i v e s of almost everyone, a r t education i s i n danger of being swept from the school calendar. Attempts to e s t a b l i s h a r a t i o n a l e f o r a r t education have l e d to v i o l e n t swings i n teaching methods and j u s t i f i c a t i o n s , from drawing taught as a mechanical s k i l l , to a r t as therapy, c r e a t i v e i n s p i r a t i o n , or as an a i d to reading a b i l i t y ( E i s n e r , 1974). In recent years a r t educators have worked more p e r s i s t e n t l y towards the teaching of a r t as an academic s u b j e c t , and a r t h i s t o r y and c r i t i c i s m have been advocated (Feldman, 1981), .sometimes to the extent of abandoning current s t u d i o - o r i e n t e d courses f o r a l l but those who foresee a career d i r e c t l y d e a l i n g w i t h the v i s u a l a r t s ( L a n i e r , 1980). This groundswell amongst educators has been gathering momentum. The l a s t few years have seen the development of new cu r r i c u l u m guides and l i t e r a t u r e to support i t . In the compiling of these guides, teachers, students, parents, u n i v e r s i t y personnel, and a r t educators have been i n v o l v e d i n exhaustive s t u d i e s of the reasons f o r a r t education. However, on l o o k i n g at the impressive amount of work that has been done and the l a r g e numbers of people that have been i n v o l v e d i n the researching and r e s t r u c t u r i n g of secondary school a r t c u r r i c u l a , i t i s apparent that one group of people, s u r e l y v i t a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n what i s happening, does not seem to have been adequately represented. This t h e s i s w i l l be'concerned w i t h s a t i s f y i n g the need, i n c u r r i c u l u m development i n a r t education, f o r a body of i n f o r m a t i o n and knowledge c o n t r i b u t e d by working a r t i s t s of a l l types, which describes the s k i l l s and concepts i n a r t that they consider necessary f o r students to acquire i n the course of school a r t study. Statement of the Problem The purpose of t h i s study i s to present a body of i n f o r m a t i o n and knowledge derived both from w r i t i n g s of major a r t i s t s of t h i s century and from d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h people working i n the v i s u a l a r t s i n B r i t i s h Columbia today, and to compare the views of these a r t i s t s w i t h those-h e l d by the makers of a r t c u r r i c u l u m . The problem with which the study i s c e n t r a l l y concerned i s t h i s : to what extent w i l l p r a c t i c i n g a r t i s t s be able to c o n t r i b u t e i n f o r m a t i o n , i n s i g h t s , and opinions on the conduct of a r t i n s c h o o l s , and on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e i r own a r t and the a r t products of s c h o o l s , that might be u s e f u l i n the development of school a r t c u r r i c u l a . J u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the Study Why have a r t i s t s been so seldom heard i n matters i n which they have such v i t a l i n t e r e s t ? One answer may be that leaders i n a r t education, w hile admiring the v i s u a l works of a r t i s t s , do not give them c r e d i t f o r e x a c t l y the k i n d of i n t e l l e c t u a l a b i l i t y they are t r y i n g to encourage t h e i r students to a t t a i n by studying the works of these same a r t i s t s . Edmund Feldman, indeed, says i n V a r i e t i e s of  V i s u a l Experience (1981) "Scholars can r e a d i l y see emotional d i s t o r t i o n and p a r t i s a n s h i p i n the c r i t i c a l opinions of a r t i s t s . Indeed some f e e l that a r t i s t s are c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y incapable of making c r i t i c a l judgements o b j e c t i v e l y " (p.459), and l a t e r "the a r t i s t i s not n e c e s s a r i l y the best a u t h o r i t y on the meaning of h i s work" (p.476 ) ; Another reason f o r not i n v o l v i n g a r t i s t s i n d i s c u s s i o n s of c u r r i c u l u m change may be that educators do not f e e l that a r t i s t s have enough knowledge of the h i s t o r y of education and of students' needs, and they may t h e r e f o r e produce what seem to be i r r e l e v a n t n o t i o n s . This would seem an i r r a t i o n a l f e a r ; i n any brainstorming s e s s i o n s , such as those that have taken place over the current B r i t i s h Columbia a r t c u r r i c u l u m , a l l ideas were welcomed and considered f o r i n c l u s i o n . The f a c t that most a r t i s t s work p r i m a r i l y i n one area of the a r t s and may know l i t t l e of the t e c h n i c a l processes of others might r a i s e questions of b i a s , but there i s no documented evidence of such narrowness of viewpoint. I t i s even p o s s i b l e that a r t i s t s may have been excluded from e d u c a t i o n a l decision-making because t h e i r l i f e - s t y l e s and a t t i t u d e s were thought to be c o n t r o v e r s i a l and g e n e r a l l y unacceptable w i t h i n a conventional education system. Yet suggestions and opinions from people a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n the a r t s should s u r e l y be of value to cu r r i c u l u m planners. A r t i s t s have been described as v i s u a l l y p e r c e p t i v e , sensuously aware, broad-t h i n k i n g , w i t h a f r e s h informed look at l i f e : they are the o r i g i n a t o r s of what the students are studying. They have a f i r s t - h a n d knowledge of the b e n e f i t s of making and understanding a r t and t h e i r v a r i e d perceptions o f f e r a l t e r n a t i v e s w i t h i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y m a t e r i a l i s t i c and consumer-oriented world. A r t i s t s tend to work from a deep sense of personal commitment to the v i s u a l a r t s which they o f t e n communicate to others. Because of an in t i m a t e involvement w i t h symbolic imagery a r t i s t s are as l i k e l y as educators to be able to evaluate the importance of communication through a r t . They are able to provide examples that may lead students to a greater sense of i d e n t i t y and a d i m i n i s h i n g of the f e e l i n g of a l i e n a t i o n and anomy that increases during adolescence (McFee, 1974) . Are we i n a r t education moving too f a r away from a r t which i s grounded i n a v i s u a l , t a c t i l e , p h y s i c a l , emotional, and personal dialogue w i t h humankind? What do eminent a r t i s t s of our time have to say about a r t education? What do they consider v a l u a b l e i n understanding and knowing a r t ? What do they say about a r t educators? This study w i l l attempt to discover the answers to questions l i k e these. Assumptions A t t i t u d e s h e l d by some philosophers and educators augment and strengthen the p o s i t i o n of many a r t i s t s on the subject of a r t education. One standpoint expected from p r a c t i c i n g a r t i s t s i s t h a t , although c r i t i c i s m and theory are c e r t a i n l y necessary components of an a r t c l a s s , on no account should s t u d i o courses be neglected. An a r t i c l e by John Michael (1980) r e i t e r a t e s the p o s i t i o n o f t e n voiced by teachers that c h i l d r e n l e a r n most from doing. .One strong f a c t emerging from the NAEA study i s that the more a student i s p e r s o n a l l y i n v o l v e d i n c r e a t i n g a r t , the more that student i s l i k e l y to know about a r t , whether i t be i n h i s t o r y or i n r e c o g n i z i n g major a r t elements and'judgemental c r i t e r i a (p.19). I f t h i s i s indeed a f a c t i t seems a c o n c l u s i v e p o i n t i n favour of s t u d i o work. Arthur Efland says: The school uses a r t as therapy, minimizing the p s y c h o l o g i c a l cost of i n s t i t u t i o n a l r e p r e s s i o n . . . the expectations that c h i l d r e n , classroom teachers, and a d m i n i s t r a t o r s have b u i l t up through the years d i s a l l o w any weakening of the therapeutic f u n c t i o n s of a r t (p.41). Although t h i s i s put i n r a t h e r negative terms, given that general school programs are, f o r the most p a r t , t h e o r e t i c a l l y o r i e n t e d , and current preference i s f o r more theory i n the a r t c l a s s , E f l a n d reminds us of i;he dangers of i g n o r i n g the b e n e f i c i a l aspects of the p r a c t i c a l s t u d i o course. While s t u d i o work should not be looked on as i n s t i t u t e d f o r therapy, the fact that i t has therapeutic aspects can surely only be considered an advantage i n an increasingly alienating world. Cutting p r a c t i c a l classes that are enthusiastically regarded, though not always f u l l y u t i l i z e d , by students i s cutting what Efland sees as r e l i e f from repression. What w i l l replace that r e l i e f ? E l l i o t Eisner's (1974) conviction that positive teaching can lead to a keen sense of s a t i s f a c t i o n from the v i s u a l arts also has i t s basis i n the b e n e f i c i a l q u a l i t i e s of studio work. The teacher has a much more complex task than simply providing materials and encouragement. Positive teaching does not have to be insensitive or mechanical. Without positive teaching, students, I fear, w i l l continue to come out of the,schools with a conviction that develops at about age nine or ten, the conviction that they neither have a b i l i t y i n , nor can gain a keen sense of s a t i s f a c t i o n from, the v i s u a l arts (p.92). The people quoted above are educators who are widely known and respected, who have done research into the reasons f o r , and methods of, teaching a r t , and who are i n f l u e n t i a l i n the kinds of change that are occurring i n the schools at this time. To find the opinions of a r t i s t s on the same subjects i s a more d i f f i c u l t task. The writings of a r t i s t s are seldom seen i n the education journals i n North America, though they sometimes speak on matters of curriculum content at educational conventions or symposiums. While many a r t i s t s are reticent to expound at any length on t h e i r subject many started the i r working careers as teachers, and many continued to teach i n schools and colleges, even after t h e i r 7 chosen profession became that of a r t i s t . Sometimes t h e i r choice to teach was made for monetary reasons, but often for the mutual exchange of ideas and enthusiasm that such opportunities brought. Many of these people have the background and the experience to have fully-formed b e l i e f s on what a good art program should contain. Organization of the Study Chapter 2 of th i s study provides a br i e f history of, and rationale for , art education i n the schools. It looks at some areas of art education that have recently assumed greater importance i n the eyes of art educators and about which there has been some controversy. In Chapter 3 the published writings of renowned a r t i s t s are summarized. Many have written widely on th e i r subject; Michelangelo Buonarroti has poems and l e t t e r s describing his feelings about painting and sculpture, Hogarth's memoirs d e t a i l his reasons for painting and his attitude to the s o c i a l mores of his time. Whistler, too, was vocal i n his insistence on the a r t i s t ' s independence from s o c i a l pressures. However,- while many a r t i s t s throughout history had a good deal to say i n and around thei r own area of expertise, there are not many extant examples of th e i r advice to students and educators and much of what does exi s t i s directed towards those who intend to become a r t i s t s themselves,: rather than to the general public. Advice given by such a r t i s t s as Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, and Robert Motherwell i s noted p a r t i c u l a r l y . Chapter 4 contains information on methods used i n interviewing a small cross-section of practising B r i t i s h Columbian a r t i s t s , the type of questions asked, and the reasons for choosing these s p e c i f i c a r t i s t s . A.short statement on each a r t i s t and his or her work i s given. Talks with these a r t i s t s follow the ethnographic type of interview outlined by James Spradley (1979) and Oriana F a l l a c i (1976), ,. that i s , informal discussions with each a r t i s t asking for general thoughts and ideas on school art curriculum based on the i r understanding of whether and why people, both general public and people working i n various f i e l d s of the a r t s , need education i n the v i s u a l arts. A record of f i e l d notes, tape recordings and examples of the a r t i s t s ' work has been collected and from them an analysis of the i r opinions i s d i s t i l l e d . Chapter 5. The interviews. The presentation of these interviews, wherein each a r t i s t ' s opinions are advanced as an e n t i t y , i s designed to preserve the i n t e g r i t y and autonomy inherent i n t h i s type of commentary. Analysis of information gathered from the interviews i s contained i n Chapter 6. An evaluation i s made of how the B r i t i s h Columbian a r t i s t s ' i n d i v i d u a l ideas and convictions reinforce or d i f f e r from those already cited i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Implications are drawn for directions that might be followed by art education curriculum builders. 9 CHAPTER 2 THE NATURE AND CONCERNS OF ART EDUCATION I n t r o d u c t i o n In t h i s study of what a r t i s t s consider to be of importance i n the teaching of a r t to adolescents a c l e a r understanding of the nature of the subject i s necessary i n order to evaluate i t s worth as a part of the p u b l i c school c u r r i c u l u m . A general i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a r t i s that of human endeavour d i s p l a y i n g marked c r e a t i v i t y , u s u a l l y i n the areas of p a i n t i n g , s c u l p t u r e , music, dance, and l i t e r a t u r e . I t i s what Ernst C a s s i r e r (1944) c a l l s an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of r e a l i t y formed from emotion and imagination, a symbolic means of communicating emotionally w i t h others. Those general d e f i n i t i o n s are probably appropriate f o r the a r t of any p e r i o d . The more s p e c i f i c view of a r t as i t i s taught i n sch o o l s , however, has changed throughout the c e n t u r i e s . B r i e f H i s t o r y of A r t Education The i d e a of a r t education as a r e f i n i n g and e n c u l t u r i n g process has been prevalent s i n c e the b i r t h of formal education. Although i n ancient Greece the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e a r t s were regarded more i n the l i g h t of manual c r a f t s and ther e f o r e not of importance i n the academic wo r l d , theory and philosophy of a e s t h e t i c s were seen as necessary areas of study. A r i s t o t l e , i n P o l i t i c s (1941), wrote at length on the subject of a e s t h e t i c education, as v i t a l to the advancement of those v i r t u e s considered d e s i r a b l e i n young men of good b i r t h . I t i s evident, then, that there i s a s o r t of education i n which parents should t r a i n t h e i r sons, not as being u s e f u l or necessary, but because i t i s l i b e r a l or noble,. . .Further, i t i s c l e a r that c h i l d r e n should be i n s t r u c t e d i n some u s e f u l t h i n g s — f o r example, i n reading and w r i t i n g — n o t only f o r t h e i r u s e f u l n e s s , but a l s o because many other s o r t s of knowledge are acquired through them. With a l i k e view they may be taught drawing, not to prevent t h e i r making mistakes i n t h e i r own purchases (of p a i n t i n g or s c u l p t u r e ) , or i n order that they may not be imposed upon i n t h e i r buying or s e l l i n g of a r t i c l e s , but perhaps r a t h e r because i t makes them judges of the beauty of human form. To be always seeking a f t e r the u s e f u l does not become free and exhalted souls (p.1306). Socrates, too, i n P l a t o ' s Protagoras (c.390B.C.) saw a d i s t i n c t i o n between manual c r a f t s such as s c u l p t u r e and a knowledge of a e s t h e t i c s . In speaking of the l i b e r a l a r t s he observed, "You didn't l e a r n these f o r p r o f e s s i o n a l purposes to become a p r a c t i t i o n e r , but i n the way of a l i b e r a l education, as a layman and a gentleman should" (p.49). During the Middle Ages there was a d e c l i n e i n i n t e r e s t i n the a r t s as a c u l t u r a l f a c t o r i n the l i v e s of the young. An " a r t " was a technique, and the people whose work was the c r e a t i o n of p a i n t i n g s or s c u l p t u r e were s t i l l considered as having only a mechanical a b i l i t y . Although a r t expressed the r e l i g i o u s fervour of the time, the a r t i s t was merely an intermediary and h i s work a t e c h n i c a l means of r e p r e s e n t i n g the D i v i n e . I n d i v i d u a l i t y was not encouraged and the production of works of a r t was not considered to.have any i n t r i n s i c value. (Macdonald, 1970). The Renaissance saw the b i r t h of the a r t i s t as a humanist and an i n d i v i d u a l ; the image of the Renaissance man, w i t h h i s understanding of a l l spheres of knowledge, i s even today e x a l t e d and revered as the epitome of e x c e l l e n c e . The great w r i t e r s of the day expounded on the v i r t u e s of a well-rounded education ( R a b e l a i s , 1534; C e l l i n i , 1562). The Renaissance i d e a l was to achieve mental, moral, and t e c h n i c a l e x c e l l e n c e and to perpetuate, from f a t h e r to son, the true and noble form of man. But although a r t was seen as a ple a s u r a b l e and c u l t u r a l aspect i n the l i f e of a gentleman, i t was never considered appropriate ; as a p r o f e s s i o n f o r any but the lower c l a s s e s . Boke named the  Governour by S i r Thomas E l y o t , the f i r s t E n g l i s h book to recommend a r t education, puts the view t h a t : I f the c h i l d e be of nature i n c l i n e d , as many have been, to p a i n t w i t h a penne or to fourme images i n stone or t r e e , he should be, i n the moste purewese, enstructed i n p a i n t i n g or kervinge . (Macdonald, 1970, p.149). E l y o t considered that a gentleman might p r a c t i s e a r t f o r the u s e f u l purpose of mapmaking, astronomy and the l i k e , but would never suggest i t as an occupation, saying "someone w i l l scorne me, sayenge that I hadde w i l l hyed me to make of a nobleman a mason or peynter." In 1692 John Locke published an essay e n t i t l e d "Some thoughts concerning education", i n which the Renaissance i d e a l of a man of many pa r t s was f u r t h e r advanced. Drawing. When he can w r i t e w e l l and quick, I t h i n k i t may be convenient not only to continue the Ex e r c i s e of h i s Hand i n Writing, but also to improve the Use of i t farther i n Drawing; A Thing very useful to a Gentleman i n several Occasions; but especially i f he t r a v e l , as which helps a Man often to express, i n a few lines well put together, what a whole Sheet of Paper i n Writing would not be able to represent. . . . I do not mean that I would have your Son a perfect painter; to be that to any tolerable Degree, w i l l require more Time than a young Gentleman can spare from his other Improvements of greater Moment (Macdonald, 1970, p.153). Although his attitude sounds quaint and rather limited from our no doubt equally limited twentieth century viewpoint, his inclusion of drawing i n the range of empirically-mediated a c t i v i t i e s was an important step towards having art considered as a subject for schooling. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries academies were established i n Europe, f i r s t by monied patrons and l a t e r as government-funded schools. The rules of the academies were r i g i d , the courses r e s t r i c t e d , and only "high a r t " , or the art of the e l i t e , considered of any great importance. Such was the power of these academies that instructors l i k e S i r Joshua Reynolds could i n s i s t on following the most e l i t i s t and i n f l e x i b l e rules, with s t r i c t u r e s such as these: For i t may be l a i d down as a maxim, that, he who begins presuming on his own sense has ended his studies as soon as he has commenced them . . .he must s t i l l be afr a i d of trusting his own judgment, and of deviating into any track where he cannot find the footsteps of some former master. . . . You must have no dependence on your own genius (Reynolds, 1888, p . 5 4 ) . Art i n s t r u c t i o n had become temporarily fixed i n a mold of what was t r a d i t i o n a l l y accepted as suitable,and seemly. The eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw the heyday of art education as a r e f i n i n g , enculturing process. At a time when Rousseau's Emile (1762) was making a s t a r t l i n g impact on some educators, with i t s proposal that the c h i l d w i l l naturally do the right thing unless misled by a corrupt s o c i a l environment, the Puritan idea of the c h i l d as naturally s i n f u l unless otherwise tutored was s t i l l very much i n evidence. Child rearing practices, i n general, demanded that children be given good models to follow and d i s c i p l i n e to ensure that they did not deviate. Children i n the wealthier middle classes, whether at school or with tutors, were instructed to f i l l t h e i r leisure time, which might otherwise be s l o t h f u l l y wasted, with such gentle pursuits as drawing, music, st i t c h e r y , and the l i k e . In the second half of the nineteenth century, with the continuing growth of industrialism and of a more democratic schooling system, the emphasis turned elsewhere. Art education, for the most part, was seen as a necessity for preparation for a trade. Schools of Design were established i n England to bring new l i f e into the i n d u s t r i a l a r t s , which were seen to be f a l l i n g behind those of the rest of Europe i n o r i g i n a l i t y . These schools were governed, i n part, by members of the academies whose concern was that these designers should i n no way compete with them as painters. Papworth, then director of one of the Design Schools, i n s i s t e d that the young • 14 men attending them should neither be shown "high a r t " nor be allowed to study the figure l e s t they "be tempted to leave the intended object to pursue that which i s more accredited and honored" (Macdonald, 1970, p. 7 1 ) . Henry Cole, the most i n f l u e n t i a l person i n art education i n the 1800s, gave his opinion that the middle class saw art "as a luxury i n education, permissible to g i r l s but unnecessary for boys" (p.152). But times and attitudes were changing and i n 1836 the secretary of the Central Society of Education stated that: Drawing has hitherto been looked upon as a p o l i t e accomplishment, i n which i t i s graceful to be p r o f i c i e n t . . . . I t however affords great aid i n defining, expressing and retaining certain ideas . . . and must as s i s t i n the formation of habits of attention from the circumstances of i t s requiring so much care and accuracy (p. 153). Art education became more democratic, yet was generally cast i n the form of d i s c i p l i n a r y and rather mechanical exercises. Though Henry Cole had changed the face of art education, many Victorians r i d i c u l e d the idea of art as a useful subject and s t i l l held that the only art of importance was the e l i t i s t Neo-Classical s t y l e . Horace Mann i n 1848 and l a t e r , i n 1870, Walter Smith introduced European technical s k i l l s to grammar schools i n North America i n the b e l i e f that art education should be available to a l l , Smith being responsible for such publications as the Teachers' Manual of Free  Hand Drawing and Design (1873). In his opinion i t was an indisputable 15 fact that anyone who could learn to write could learn to draw; drawing, i n this case, meant copying from his i l l u s t r a t e d manuals (Macdonald, 1970). The Picture Study movement, started i n schools at the turn of this century, was i n s t i t u t e d as something of an embellishment to an art program that was becoming increasingly mechanical i n concept. Its aim was to f a m i l i a r i z e students with great masterpieces of painting, of the l i v e s of the a r t i s t s , and of the stories behind the pictures they painted. This enculturing process was to encourage i n students an appreciation of beauty, patriotism, courage, and piety. It i s worth noting that the only paintings studied were those considered by the pundits to be "high a r t " ; works which displayed those attributes thought by them to be worth imitating. Thus, not only were the s i g n i f i c a n t modern a r t i s t s of the age absent from picture study, but the study i t s e l f was directed to issues that present-day art educators would be in c l i n e d to c a l l extraneous to the concepts of a r t . If picture study was designed to teach something about art hist o r y , i t was mostly used to inculcate certain e t h i c a l values that the paintings were believed to r e f l e c t (Eisner & Ecker, 1966, p.17) . Towards the end of the nineteenth century a major change took place i n art education. Conceived by Rousseau more than a hundred years before, nurtured by such educators as Herbert Spencer, Wilhelm V i o l a , James Sully, and Franz Cizek, and coming to f u l l flower i n the art education of the twentieth century was the recognition of Child Art as a separate e n t i t y , rather than an untutored and ill-formed version of adult a r t . Instead of studying and repeating s t y l i z e d versions of adult drawing and painting, children were encouraged to create self-expressive paintings and three-dimensional objects. Art i n secondary schools today i s s t i l l on occasion seen as primarily a manual s k i l l . This bias i s reflected i n the common assumption that children who do not succeed academically are l i k e l y to be good at working with t h e i r hands. Further, this attitude implies that art i s not i n t e l l e c t u a l l y demanding, that only academic achievement leads to success, and that nonacademic endeavors are second-rate a c t i v i t i e s (Chapman, 1978, p.9). Yet i n general art education today has a broader base and scope than either technical drawing or the study of great masters of the past. The new B.C. Art Curriculum Rationale (1981), for instance, expresses the view that: It i s necessary to develop some mastery of basic s k i l l s and to acquire a working knowledge of the fundamentals, history and heritage of art . Both facets lead to worthwhile art experiences, the s a t i s f a c t i o n of achievement, and the understanding and enjoyment of the a r t i s t i c creation of others. S k i l l s , while not ends i n themselves, are important keys to greater freedom, personal growth and a r t i s t i c confidence (p.6). This seems a heady and wide ranging task and one that has run up against many problems concerning the necessity, v i a b i l i t y , and 17 acceptability i n schools of various subjects connected, either peripherally or immediately, with a r t . Rationales for Art Education i n the 1980s One of the pervasive thoughts about education i s that the basic academic subjects: mathematics, science, s o c i a l studies, English, and foreign language, are an essential part of a l l school c u r r i c u l a , while the arts are desirable but not required (Eisner, 1979). One reason given for this point of view i s that a very small percentage of students w i l l continue a career i n the arts whereas a l l students w i l l have a need for the "basics" after school. I t follows therefore that art classes should be elective courses i n secondary school. This attitude can only be explained by the fact that art i s here being viewed i n the narrowest possible sense. While i t i s true that the percentage of practicing a r t i s t s and craftsmen i n any community i s small, there i s a growing body of people i n the advertising and design professions. What i s more, i t must be realized that a l l members of the community use a v i s u a l mode of reference every day i n almost everything they do, and, i n fact, every b i t as much as they use mathematical, s c i e n t i f i c , or verbal references. The vast majority of the population chooses or builds a home, furnishes i t and surrounds i t with some kind of landscaping, or at least planters, awnings, balcony decoration and the l i k e . Many also erect some kind of holiday home or temporary dwelling. People choose clothes, personal decoration and h a i r s t y l e s . Almost everyone i s an 18 active consumer of material goods such as cars, boats, books, electronic gadgets, household u t e n s i l s . While knowledge of the functional aspect of a l l these things i s dealt with, to a greater or lesser extent, i n other school courses, one of the major features of a l l of them i s the i r aesthetic appeal, and this i s an almost t o t a l l y neglected area. Those who may say that aesthetic appeal i s not a major concern of a l l , or that i t can only become of concern to the affluent and comfortable, are not supported by history. From the e a r l i e s t construction man has concerned himself with aesthetics. The oldest weavings show, not a p l a i n surface as would obviously be functional and simple, but designs increasingly i n t r i c a t e and varied as s k i l l developed. P l a i n cloths, from the f i r s t , were dyed and painted with consummate care for the i r v i s u a l effect. A l l pottery developed from crude, uneven but functional shapes, to those forms most pleasing to the eye; this was effected not only i n the interests of p r a c t i c a l i t y . Few of us, aware of the personal benefits of certain colours and styles i n clothing, would ignore or neglect them. Clothing styles through the years, amongst a l l nations and s o c i a l classes, have attempted to be v i s u a l l y a t t r a c t i v e . The role of architecture has often transcended that of simple function; ornamentation, beauty of l i n e , proportion, construction material, and design have influenced a l l who b u i l d and buy. The appreciation of setting, whether natural or man-made, has direct input into where people choose to l i v e . Man i s an image maker, a decorator. That which distinguishes him from animals i s his a b i l i t y to create symbols and to use those 19 symbols to enrich and enhance his l i f e . The purpose of art education for a l l secondary school students i s at least two-fold. It i s to f i t a l l students to interpret t h e i r world v i s u a l l y , and to enable them f u l l y to re a l i z e their potential as image makers and symbol makers. The purpose of art education i s no more to make each student a professional a r t i s t than i s science education to make each student a s c i e n t i s t , but rather to give the student the grounding i n aesthetics essential for understanding and evaluating the environment. A r t i s t i c or aesthetic choices are of constant concern both on a personal and a community scale and a knowledge and understanding i n this f i e l d can improve the quality of l i f e for a l l . Art educators d i f f e r i n their evaluation of the r e l a t i v e importance of many of the facets of art education i n schools. Several of these areas of dispute w i l l be examined and they w i l l provide the basis for some of the questions i n subsequent interviews with a r t i s t s . New Areas of Concern i n Art Education Art C r i t i c i s m and Aesthetics Some form of art c r i t i c i s m has always been present i n school art education, from formal picture studies of great masters to informal discussions of the respective merits of such varied forms of c r e a t i v i t y as Greek sculpture, African fetishes, Art Deco design, or air-brushed van paintings. The increasing need to j u s t i f y the very existence of an art program i n public schools has produced the argument that art i s indeed an academic area, where facts can be learned and acquired ,. knowledge tested. Many art educators (Feldman, 1981; Kern, 1970; Lanier, 1980) therefore advocate an increase i n lectures, discussions, and written responses on art c r i t i c i s m , h i s t o r y , and aesthetics, with a corresponding decrease i n emphasis on studio-based art classes. The term "aesthetic l i t e r a c y " has become the catchword of the 1980s. I t i s , Lanier says, "the proper single purpose of art education" (Lanier, 1980, p.19). Aesthetic l i t e r a c y , Lanier says, w i l l be accomplished by a dialogue-based curriculum on each school l e v e l , reserving studio work.as an elective for those with an interest i n p r a c t i c a l application. Few art educators would suggest that a l l art classes be t o t a l l y removed from the studio, but the question of how much theory should be taught and i n what manner i t should be handled i s a hotly debated issue. Those educators who advocate purely theoretical art courses i n secondary school i n an e f f o r t to make art recognized as an academic subject, likening i t as they do to other subjects (Lanier to English, Kern to science), seem not to remember that most English courses require some creative writing from pupils i n the form of short s t o r i e s , poems, and essays, and p r a c t i c a l laboratory experiments are a major part of many chemistry and physics classes. Lanier has been at the forefront of the move towards " l i t e r a t e c i t i z e n s " , and puts, as his view, that: The p r i n c i p a l difference i s that aesthetic l i t e r a c y requires a non-studio curriculum. If we wish to enhance the breadth of the individual's aesthetic experience, we w i l l have to give up our tempera paint encrusted c u r r i c u l a i n favor of those which consist 21 of looking at and tal k i n g and reading about art (Lanier, 1980, p.19)-In t his view Lanier i s i n direct opposition to such educators as John Michael, who hold that knowledge and appreciation come most strongly from active p a r t i c i p a t i o n . He says, "Making art cannot provide learning about art and aesthetic experience i n anything near an adequate measure" (1980, p.20). Lanier envisages a "dialogue curriculum" that encompasses both the type of art t r a d i t i o n a l l y viewed as "fine a r t " (that seen i n museums and g a l l e r i e s ) and also the vernacular arts. In t h i s curriculum teachers focus i n i t i a l l y on t e l e v i s i o n commercials, fast food shop architecture, and i n d u s t r i a l products, objects f a m i l i a r to the students, and then move on to works more readily thought of as art. Other educators, while agreeing that art education must incorporate a more scholarly area, advocate what could be thought of as an extension of the Picture Study of the turn of the century. Edmund Feldman's insistence that the a b i l i t y to interpret v i s u a l information leads to increased competence i n cognitive s k i l l s , most p a r t i c u l a r l y reading, has led him to propose that c r i t i c a l study of the arts should be a major part of the school curriculum. In his paper "Art C r i t i c i s m and Reading" (1981) he says reading i s widely acknowledged to be the most important academic subject because i t i s necessary for the learning of others, and he further notes that the basic concepts developed for reading readiness programs are those included i n studies of art c r i t i c i s m . Thus he suggests an approach to interpreting v i s u a l art that w i l l encourage development i n v i s u a l and r e l a t i o n a l concepts basic, he says, to f a c i l i t a t i n g learning to read. Feldman puts forward four guiding rules to art criticism: description, formal analysis, interpretation, and evaluation, and notes that this " c r i t i c a l method" of teaching has been very successful among children of a l l ages, from kindergarten on, improving learning readiness generally and reading readiness in particular. He considers that this formal, systematic method of understanding art can be applied to a l l areas of the visual arts to establish visual literacy. Feldman uses as his examples well-known modern art works and does not c l a r i f y whether this method of art criticism in the schools would be extended to the popular or folk arts. June McFee (1974), on the other hand, sees the study of art and art history in terms of exploring cultural, social, and p o l i t i c a l changes. Art in i t s many forms, she says, is used to maintain the values, attitudes, and sense of reality from one generation to another. Therefore an understanding of the symbolic communication expressed in forms of the arts and artifacts of our society can help alleviate the growing feeling of alienation amongst much of the less privileged population and can lead to a greater sense of identity. Her concern with mass media (which is so influential to students) being at the mercy of commercial sponsors leads her to the conclusion that teachers must be more aware of what pupils are receiving in order to give them the tools to evaluate i t and to provide wider alternatives. If we accept the assumptions that the school has the further function of improving the environment, improving the standard of core culture as well, then s k i l l s in art criticism need to 23 be developed i n language understandable to a l l age l e v e l s , and to encompass the broad uses of art (1974, p.85). While some educators see art c r i t i c i s m and history as d i s t i n c t i n time and place from studio work, a large number, including many .teachers, see theory as necessarily a part of studio a c t i v i t y . Many teachers know from experience that students can be h o s t i l e to the idea of time taken from p r a c t i c a l work and resent any attempt at history lectures, slide, shows, fi l m s , written commentaries, questionnaires, or work sheets. Many f e e l that the most valuable knowledge of aesthetics comes from interaction between students as they discuss th e i r own and each other's work i n a more or less formal s i t u a t i o n . David Ecker (1973) considers that children think creatively about their work; they c r i t i c i z e t h e i r own work and that of others, and challenge or support the judgements of others. They then theorize about the nature of art and c r i t i c i s m and analyze those theories. John Michael (1980), too, feels aesthetic discussion and evaluation can best be conducted i n conjunction with a student's own work. He proposes that students be c r i t i c a l of the worth of thei r work and evaluate whether they have reached the goals they set themselves i n o r i g i n a l i t y , c r e a t i v i t y , and technical performance, whether thei r work indicates what they were trying to communicate. His view of the necessity of art history i s , again, as i t personally relates to the student, so that he "sees himself and his work on a continuum with that of the f i e l d " (p.17). He contends that i t i s because of the emphasis on a theoretical means of teaching art that art has lo s t c r e d i b i l i t y 24 i n educational f i e l d s . Art has become simply another academic subject i n the school curriculum, but without the s o c i e t a l t r a d i t i o n of belonging there which the three R's enjoy (p.19). He agrees with E l l i o t Eisner that there i s an unequivocal need for art education programs to base thei r j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n schools on the unique and prized contribution of that which i s indigenous to art rather than to attempt to squeeze i t into the mold of an "academic subject". Thus the controversy appears to be not whether art hist o r y , c r i t i c i s m , and aesthetics are essential to a school art program, but rather i n what manner they are best handled. Environmental Awareness While the need for a concerned, thoughtful attitude to one's environment has of late been seen by educators as a very necessary part of a child's education, and while the art room has been seen to be one of the most dynamic and positive areas i n which environmental awareness can best be stimulated (Chapman, 1978; Lanier, 1980; McFee, 1981), art teachers have been slow to relinquish t h e i r perception of the art room as primarily a place for the development of s k i l l s i n painting, drawing, and c r a f t . This reluctance i s fed by the r e a l i z a t i o n that, for most students, time spent i n the art room i s minimal, and the amount of information an art class can offer i s i n f i n i t e . Therefore, i n this l i m i t e d time, art classes tend to offer t r a d i t i o n a l , basic, economical, well researched and well documented information and a c t i v i t i e s . Add to this the fact that most primary teachers do not have a great deal 25 of teacher training i n a r t , and that many secondary school art teachers have had train i n g and interest focussed on drawing and painting with, at best, a smattering of knowledge and s k i l l i n a few other areas such as pottery, weaving, photography, sculpture, or fabric design, and i t i s obvious that few fe e l they have the time or expertise to approach such vast (and related) subjects as architecture, urban planning, environmental aesthetics, and the l i k e . Nevertheless, many educators see a commitment to environmental concerns as meeting the most obvious and prevalent lack i n education at this time. This i s , of course, not now or hitherto a t o t a l l y neglected f i e l d . John Dewey, i n Art as Experience (1934), looks at the aesthetic experience as a much larger basic area for exploration and response than merely a concern with the fine arts. Esthetic experience i s a manifestation, a record and celebration of the l i f e of a c i v i l i z a t i o n , a means of promoting i t s development, and i s also the ultimate judgment upon the quality of a c i v i l i z a t i o n . For while i t i s produced and i s enjoyed by in d i v i d u a l s , those individuals are what they are i n the content of their experience because of the cultures i n which they participate (p.326). His catholic view gives a warning of the p e r i l s of a narrow v i s i o n of e l i t i s t a r t . As long as art i s the beauty parlor of c i v i l i z a t i o n , neither art nor c i v i l i z a t i o n i s secure. Why i s the architecture of our large c i t i e s so unworthy of a fine c i v i l i z a t i o n ? I t i s not from lack of materials nor from lack of technical capacity. And yet i t i s not merely slums but the apartments of the well-to-do that are 26 e s t h e t i c a l l y repellent, because they are so destitute of imagination (p.326). As an architectural c r i t i c with an abiding interest i n the ecological approach to architecture and education, Lewis Mumford (1928) i n s i s t s that the community be treated as a major element i n design; just as the architect must be aware of the effects of the environment i n a l l i t s elements so children should be encouraged to understand the functions, potentials, and l i m i t a t i o n s of th e i r habitat i n order to contribute to future planning. He holds that the organic and human components that are now missing i n our compulsively dynamic and over-mechanized culture must be restored; that we must not merely follow the architect's wish for novel forms but that teachers and students should search for a f u l f i l l i n g , a e s t h e t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t environment (1968). Albert Parr, i n his a r t i c l e "The Happy Habitat" (1970) takes the view that: Our environment i s the entire universe. When we speak of the aesthetic environment we presumably l i m i t our discussion to the surroundings perceived by our s e n s e s . . . . Our minds have needs of sensory intake quite s i m i l a r to our bodily appetites for food . . . a most basic demand on the environment i s that i t must offer a s u f f i c i e n t l y r i c h , fine-grained, enduring, and varied d i v e r s i t y of forms and colors to offer satisfactory stimulus f i e l d s (p.29). Any idea of a one-design c i t y of complete uniformity i n any aspect of our v i s u a l habitat i s unacceptable, or, i n his words, "a frightening nightmare". Parr's assertion that juvenile delinquency born of boredom i s r i f e i n the suburbs i s , he says, a direct result of the suburbs' f a i l u r e to supply the excitement to i n q u i s i t i v e teenagers of either the farms of a century ago or the more doubtful charms of c i t y l i f e . An understanding of this problem by the c i t i z e n s and the i r input into what would constitute a blend of mental and physical comfort, well-being, and pleasure would, he f e e l s , produce an aesthetically satisfactory environment for a l l . Vincent Lanier (1970) considers that the root problem of education i s that " i t does not deal with those fundamental economic, p o l i t i c a l , and s o c i a l forces whose oppressive impact on our l i v e s has become increasingly overt" (p.22). He feels that such ecological problems as are touched on i n the schools are handled s u p e r f i c i a l l y , that the root of s o c i a l problems i s a moral issue, that "teaching of art should promote c r i t i c a l consciousness" (p.29), and that "art education should recognize and accept i t s obligation to participate i n teaching the young about the societies i n which they l i v e and how these might be bettered" (1982, Prop.#9). Perhaps the most vocal advocate of an increased awareness and focus on environmental concerns i n the schools i s June King McFee. In an address to the NAEA Conference i n Chicago i n 1981, on the nature of art education i n the 80s, she said a lowered government support for public education and an economically deprived and ethnically diverse body of students would increase the need for concern about the quality of our surroundings. As she said, "T-he need to prepare students to 28 take aesthetic as w e l l as s o c i a l and economic r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the shared environment w i l l increase rather than decrease as government support and concern for c i t i e s decreases" (McFee, 1981, p.9). As she points out: We i n art education have been slow i n accepting t h i s as one of our r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . The contribution of education i n the v i s u a l arts to q u a l i t a t i v e survival when so many must use so much less i n much more densely populated spaces, must be made clear (p. 10). In "Society, Art and Education" (1974) she looks at the broader aspects of the v i s u a l arts with a view to possible changes i n c u r r i c u l a . Art i s used to maintain the values, attitudes, and sense of r e a l i t y from one generation to another. I t i s used to give character, i d e n t i t y , and status to groups of people, i n d i v i d u a l s , i n s t i t u t i o n s through mutually understood symbols . . . the styles of architecture and costume (p.81). McFee sees present c u r r i c u l a as middle class oriented and as possibly widening the gap between s o c i a l classes, leading to a larger dropout rate and greater alienation. Art forms should give a sense of continuity and belonging to a community; they should include the symbols of a l l members of the community. If not, teachers are helping to devalue students' perception of their own backgrounds. Art Versus Craft A major stumbling block i n the organization of art education c u r r i c u l a i s the controversy over the amount of time which should be devoted to the learning of s k i l l s and techniques of such crafts as 29 f i b r e (spinning, weaving, dying, macrame^ , pottery (handbuilt and wheel), wood and metal working, and photography. When an art becomes a craft deserves at least b r i e f discussion. There are many people working i n the areas mentioned above who consider themselves craftsmen. They are highly s k i l l e d , sensitive people who produce functional goods as quickly and expertly as possible. Each piece of work i s i n d i v i d u a l l y made with care, forethought, and concentrated attention to good form and design. There are, on the other hand, people who work with these same raw materials i n the i r various forms and who have been increasingly recognized as a r t i s t s and sculptors. While few people writing about aesthetics or art c r i t i c i s m care to touch'on what i s becoming an increasingly provocative subject, Collingwood (1938) has endeavoured to make a clear d i s t i n c t i o n between craf t and what he c a l l s "art proper." To paraphrase his ideas with rather brutal abruptness, he considers craft to be a manipulation of material to a preconceived end and to produce a general emotion, while art produces a specialized emotion, i s conceived and i s complete i n the mind of the a r t i s t , and has of i t s e l f no raw materials. The archaic meaning of the word a r t , i n Greek and Roman terms, i s "the power to produce a preconceived result by means of consciously controlled and directed action" (p. 15); the word craft i s now more usually applied to t h i s process. Craft, Collingwood says, has a d i s t i n c t i o n between "means" or such things as tools, machines, and actions leading to the production of a work, and "end" or the finished product. This end i s preconceived; the craftsman must have foreknowledge 30 of his intended result and that result must occur through his actions. The craft i s the transformation of i t s raw material; although the form changes, the matter remains the same. "Art proper," says Collingwood, i s not the manipulation of materials that we see as necessary for the production of c r a f t ; i t i s expressive and imaginative, and i t i s a language, a means of communication. Art i s not mere sensation nor merely to do with concepts but an " a c t i v i t y of consciousness" which, he says, " i s a l e v e l of experience intermediate between the psychic and the i n t e l l e c t u a l " (p.275). Collingwood also feels that the a r t i s t has a duty to his community, a commitment to convey to them through his work the necessity of a healthy consciousness because, he says, "no community altogether knows i t s own heart" (p.336). Ananda Coomaraswamy's views seem d i r e c t l y a l l i e d to Collingwood's when he says: What i s art? An answer may be made as follows. Art i s the involuntary dramatisation of a subjective experience. In other words, the c r y s t a l i z a t i o n of a state of mind i n images (whether v i s u a l , auditory or otherwise). This excludes from art the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y of mere i l l u s t r a t i o n , which involves only the combination of empirical observation with s k i l l of craftsmanship. Even the setting down of notes, etc., that serve to communicate aesthetic experience by the indications of gesture, or audible sounds, i s a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y to be distinguished from that of creation (1920, p.240). To move from the somewhat esoteric views of the philosopher to the more p r a c t i c a l terms of the teacher and potter Michael Cardew, a 31 swift and simple working d e f i n i t i o n of the essence of .a c r a f t , as opposed to an a r t , i s that i t i s useful. In a talk with young potters he i s reported to have said that there are more a r t i s t s now than at any other time who are using the ceramic medium for pure expression rather than for u t i l i t y . Some started as potters and have discovered i n ceramics an exciting new vehicle for expressing the i r perceptions of what we are and where we stand. To pursue a craft with that intention, he says, i s to make i t then an art. It would seem from these views that the use of clay, f i b r e , wood, and metal i n a school art program would only be j u s t i f i e d i f geared to exploration towards a means of communication, rather than to the i r manipulation to ensure a busy classroom capable of producing mugs, macrame'd owls, and pot holders by term's end. One common complaint of the teaching of crafts i n schools i s that, i n attempting to learn the s k i l l s involved i n a wide range of different c r a f t s , students emerge either frustrated by their f a i l u r e s or too easily and u n c r i t i c a l l y s a t i s f i e d by the production of objects with no aesthetic or technical merit. Kern (1970) speaks for many art educators when he talks of a "cafeteria approach" to the teaching of art where, as he says, the students certainly learn something; "they learn that they cannot throw a pot, paint with watercolors, draw people, or l e t t e r a poster" (p.51). Teachers, he says, move from one medium to another i n an e f f o r t to cover a wide variety of experiences without the time to explore any of them adequately. Art c r i t i c i s m , environmental awareness and the question of the 32 extent to which crafts should be taught i n school art programs are major areas of controversy. Folk and Popular Art There i s an increasing recognition of the need for a more open acceptance of folk and popular arts. McFee (1974), Lanier(1980), and Chalmers (1981), indeed those most vocal on the environmental scene, f e e l strongly that no area of v i s u a l communication that i s of interest to young people should be ignored i n school art programs. Folk art has always been of great importance to a community and, while some may f e e l the popular arts of the day are aesthetically limited (Broudy, 1978; Smith, 1981), they are powerfully interconnected. Visual arts and music are often incorporated i n f i l m and t e l e v i s i o n . Books become movies overnight, movies lead to books; costumes r e f l e c t art and vice versa. This melding of the ar t s , seldom seen i n the so-called "high a r t s " , makes for unity and strength of impact. There has always been folk art and i t has always reflected the thinking of the times. There has always, i n h i s t o r i c a l times, been what Smith c a l l s e l i t i s t a r t . There has probably never been such a common meeting of the two as there i s now. Oldenburg, Marisol, .. Rauschenberg, Rivers, Warhol and a host of others have crossed what have been t r a d i t i o n a l boundaries between folk and high art and have made i t easier for teachers to do the same. 33 Gallery Education Art gallery and museum education i s an area art educators generally f e e l has been underutilized or mismanaged. The physical problems of transporting a group of students to a gallery are many, especially i n the rest r i c t e d time schedule art classes have. However many museums and g a l l e r i e s now arrange for exhibits to be taken to schools. Laura Chapman (1970) found that 50% of teachers questioned about gallery v i s i t s said they scheduled f i e l d t r i p s , while 33% reported in-school exhibits or v i s i t s by l o c a l a r t i s t s and about 17% would v i s i t a r t i s t s ' studios. Only 25% of the teachers themselves v i s i t e d g a l l e r i e s with any regularity. Chapman found that children who do v i s i t museums and g a l l e r i e s tend to have a more substantial knowledge about a r t — " v i s u a l recognition and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of w e l l -known s t y l e s , v i s u a l l y i d e n t i f y i n g s t y l i s t i c influences, and a general grasp of chronology" (p.18)— but she notes that almost half of the 17-year-olds interviewed had never v i s i t e d an art gallery or had v i s i t e d only once. Museum personnel, l i k e art educators, are increasingly challenged to produce a rationale for the continued existence of th e i r museums and t h e i r continued support through public funds. Educational programs and exhibits geared to school children are now a major part of many museum plans and provide unique examples of the history of our own culture and that of others. Almost every American museum now offers a broad-based education program for a l l students and surveys have found that 92% of art museum directors consider the provision of educational experiences for the public i s very important (Alexander, 1979). Summary Art education i s a wide-ranging subject. Its breadth gives i t both i t s strength as a necessity i n any l i b e r a l education, and i t s problematic aspect when trying to pin i t to an academic requisite for university entrance, a required subject for students who say they have no interest i n leaning to paint and draw, or a quantitative learning technique that w i l l compare with mathematics, science, and technical t r a i n i n g i n government-funded schools. CHAPTER 3 HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF ARTISTS' OPINIONS Introduction While i n t h i s study the expression of a r t i s t s ' understanding of important issues i n art education takes the form of interviews with a r t i s t s working i n B r i t i s h Columbia, some knowledge of the opinions of a r t i s t s i n the past and from other parts of the world i s of interest i n revealing the i r influence on the i r pupils, and on so c i e t i e s ' attitudes to art and art education. In the previous chapter a b r i e f look at the history of art education showed certain trends and widely held b e l i e f s on the subject. So, too, the words of a r t i s t s i n different periods of time show attitudes accepted by either the a r t i s t s themselves or by the general public but not necessarily both, a r t i s t s often being noted as at odds with society. The style of an a r t i s t i s as d i s t i n c t i v e i n his wr i t i n g as i n his v i s u a l works and provides a dimension of i n d i v i d u a l character that i s , perhaps, not possible to present through interpretation by another. There may be contradictions i n an a r t i s t ' s speech due to changes i n mood or changes i n attitude but the most intense thoughts, the p i t h i e s t statements on a r t , come more from the utterances of a r t i s t s themselves than from outside observers. Such a r t i s t s ' writing i s more than a footnote i n a factual history of a r t ; i t i s a primary and important document i n the history of taste, and i n the formation of our own l i k e s and judgements (Goldwater & Treves, 1945, p.8). It i s also a primary source of information on what a r t i s t s f e e l necessary i n the education of pupils and of the general public. Many a r t i s t s have a wealth of l i t e r a t u r e and c r i t i c i s m written about them which envelopes and sometimes v e i l s or screens t h e i r personal t r a i t s . The desire to sl o t people into h i s t o r i c a l , s o c i a l , class, and school associations often results i n a blu r r i n g of the indi v i d u a l character and of the events of that person's l i f e that have been the motivating forces for the work produced and the ideology held. To hear what these people have to say on th e i r subject i s to explore t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y , t h e i r thought processes, the unadulterated force of th e i r genius. If the purpose of art education i s to encourage personal image-making, the words of accomplished image-makers have par t i c u l a r relevance and importance. Before the Twentieth Century As with art educators of the past, the bulk of wri t i n g by a r t i s t s concerns i t s e l f with drawing, painting, sculpture, and to a lesser extent, architecture: the "fine a r t s . " The broader, ethnological approach to art i s of recent vintage. So too i s the conceptual, i n t e l l e c t u a l stance that art of the twentieth century i s so concerned with. A r t i s t s of the Renaissance, notably Cennino Cennini (1933) and Leonardo da V i n c i (Notebooks translated and edited by McMahon, 1956; MacCurdy, 1939) produced craftsman's handbooks of technical i n s t r u c t i o n setting down s p e c i f i c rules on painting methods. Art was generally defined as a copy of nature by the master painters, and the i r pupils were encouraged to study the work of other masters of the i r time and of past eras. They were exhorted to obtain an accurate knowledge of the human body and to study constantly from nature. Physical and mental d i s c i p l i n e and re s t r a i n t were considered e s s e n t i a l ; the professed concern was for an accurate representation of the natural world and, where i n modern times the study of aesthetics i s of paramount inte r e s t , i n former times there was no such discussion, aesthetics seeming more implied than examined. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a time of great p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l upheaval, a profound change i n a r t i s t i c thought was evident. Neo-classicism, i t s theories embodied i n the writings of such noted a r t i s t s of the times as S i r Joshua Reynolds (1798) and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (Pach, 1939), was at l a s t giving way to the exuberant wave of Romanticism. Eugene Delacroix's outpourings i n journals, l e t t e r s , and a r t i c l e s (Mras, 1966) present notions of what the Romantics considered es: e n t i a l i n art that were quite different from the accepted patterns o f Neo-Classicism. Art o s c i l l a t e d between an i n t e l l e c t u a l and an emotional approach, and a more catholic attitude towards a l l forms of v i s u a l expression was evident. The Twentieth Century While most of the instructions of painters of the past have l i t t l e that can be applied d i r e c t l y to present public school art 38 studies, since they are not only distanced by time from art theories of today but also were intended primarily for students who would be a r t i s t s , the writings of many a r t i s t s of th i s century hold great interest i n t h e i r explanations of why these people are image makers, how they f e e l image making can best be nurtured i n students, and what kind of environment i s most productive for t h i s sort of a c t i v i t y . One reason for changes i n professed reasons for producing art i s , as Francis Bacon (1963) puts i t : Photography has completely altered figurative painting. I think Velasquez believed that he was recording the court at that time and certain people at that time. But a r e a l l y good a r t i s t today would be forced to make a game of the same si t u a t i o n . He knows that p a r t i c u l a r thing could be recorded on f i l m ; so this side of his a c t i v i t y has been taken over by something else (p.13). Paul Klee (1959) considers that man accepts a wider environment than before. Formerly we used to represent things v i s i b l e on earth. . . . Today we reveal the r e a l i t y that i s behind v i s i b l e things, thus expressing the b e l i e f that the v i s i b l e world i s merely an isolated case i n r e l a t i o n to the universe and that there are many more other, latent r e a l i t i e s . Things appear to assume a broader and more d i v e r s i f i e d meaning. . . . There i s a s t r i v i n g to emphasize the essential character of the accidental (p.9). Giorgio de Chirico i n 1912 said the aim of future painting i s "to create previously unknown sensations; to s t r i p art of everything routine and 39 accepted, and of a l l subject matter, i n favour of an aesthetic synthesis" (Chipp, 1968, p.397). Materials have changed; most a r t i s t s of our time are much more experimental i n the i r use of materials, and more f l e x i b l e about what can be considered acceptable. Things now considered " a r t " are sometimes vastly different i n physical substance and subject matter from those of a century ago. Education, i t s purpose and i t s needs, has changed; as education became more democratic so did s o c i a l culture. The majority of people i n North America has equal p o s s i b i l i t y for possession of reproductions of art and of the associated arts of design and decoration; these l a t t e r have t h e i r basic structure i n the pri n c i p l e s of art and these pri n c i p l e s must now meet the needs of a l l . No longer can i t be considered reasonable to say with Ingres, " I t i s rarely other than the lower types of the arts . . . which naturally pleases the multitude. The more sublime e f f o r t s of art have no effect at a l l upon uncultivated minds" (Goldwater & Treves, 1945, p.216) . While the writings of great masters of bygone times are of peripheral interest for art education, the thoughts of a r t i s t s of this century have direct relevance to today's educational needs. The very range of t h e i r reasons for producing, their attitudes to society, and thei r p o l i t i c a l involvement are important to students. They are not necessarily technically adept at drawing and the mechanical s k i l l s needed to produce a painting or sculpture, but primarily concerned with expressing a universal trut h , a private conviction, a p o l i t i c a l 40 point of view: f i r s t comes the reason for c r e a t i v i t y , the i n t e l l e c t u a l basis, the inner stimulus, the i r r e p r e s s i b l e emotion or force. Art of the twentieth century demands a more i n t e l l e c t u a l approach to i t s understanding than does the openly accessible art of preceding eras. Such movements as Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism c a l l for interpretation by the a r t i s t s involved. Ferdinand Leger (Chipp, 1968) gave lectures and published a r t i c l e s on the technological aspects of l i f e which led him to his way of evaluating the world through his pictures. Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger were both interested i n a theoretical explanation of thei r painting, expounded i n Du Cubisme (1912). Metzinger explained i n an a r t i c l e written i n 1910 that Picasso "invented a free and mobile perspective" and that "form, used for too many centuries as the inanimate support of color f i n a l l y recovers i t s right to l i f e and i n s t a b i l i t y " (Chipp, 1968, p. 196). Juan Gris, too, gave theoretical j u s t i f i c a t i o n s for non figurative art (Chipp, 1968). Matisse (1904) i n "Notes of a Painter", offers his opinion on composition, colour and form so c l e a r l y , concisely, and honestly that nobody could doubt his i n t e l l e c t u a l and emotional devotion and i n t e g r i t y to his work though many, seeing i t for the f i r s t time, have r i d i c u l e d his painting as c h i l d i s h and crude, even seeing i t as a hoax. Paul Klee's diaries (1964) , The Pedagogical Sketchbook (1953) and various publications for the Bauhaus Academy, where he taught for several years, offer not only thoughts on his own work, but his intense interest i n sharing the i n t a n g i b i l i t y of his art. Sybil Moholy-Nagy, i n her introduction to The Pedagogical Sketchbook, says of Klee: A mind so i n f l u x , so sensitive to i n t u i t i v e i n s i g h t s , could never write an academic textbook. A l l he could retain on paper were indications, h i n t s , a l l u s i o n s , l i k e the delicate color dots and l i n e plays on his pictures. The Pedagogical Sketchbook i s the abstract of Paul Klee's inductive v i s i o n . His written work has the same imprint apparent i n his painting; his words combine the q u a l i t i e s of i n t e l l e c t and imagination so necessary to a r t i s t i c expression. We construct and construct, and yet i n t u i t i o n s t i l l has i t s uses. Without i t we can do a l o t , but not everything. One may work for a long time, do different things, many things, important things, but not everything. When i n t u i t i o n i s joined to exact research i t speeds the progress of exact research. . . . Art, too, has been given room for exact investigation, and for some time the gates leading to i t have been open. . . . One learns to dig down, to uncover, to find the cause, to analyze (Goldwater & Treves, 1945, p.444). Thoughts about the art of portraiture. Some w i l l not recognise the truthfulness of my mirror. Let them remember that I am not here to r e f l e c t the surface (this can be done by the photographic p l a t e ) , but must penetrate inside. My mirror probes down to the heart. I write words on the forehead and around the corners of the mouth. My human faces are truer than the rea l ones (Klee, 1964. p.47). 42 Marc Chagall's writings show teaching i n very different circumstances from those of the Bauhaus. His empathic attachment to his students i n a colony of orphans at Malachowka i s evident from this excerpt from Ma Vie (1960). I taught those unfortunate l i t t l e ones art. Barefoot, l i g h t l y clad, each one shouted louder than the other: "Comrade Chagall, Comrade Chagall!" . . . The clamor came from every side. Only t h e i r eyes would not, or could not smile. I loved them. They drew pictures. They flung themselves at colors l i k e w i l d beasts at meat (p.170). Here the enthusiasm of the a r t i s t could release c r e a t i v i t y i n his pupils starved though they were, both physically and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y . Here, too, the emotional release and therapeutic value of art i s obviously appreciated by Chagall. On the American scene many of the a r t i s t s involved i n the Abstract Expressionist movement of the mid-twentieth century hastened to share thei r views on the new form the i r art was taking. Hans Hofmann (Chipp, 1968) wrote at length on the aim and nature of a r t , on p i c t o r i a l laws, saying "Art i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the s p i r i t , a result of introspection, which finds expression i n the nature of the art medium" (p.539). Barnett Newman (1947) expounded on the subject of man as es s e n t i a l l y and universally an image maker. Mark Rothko presented one of the fundamental changes from art of centuries past. The romantics were prompted to seek exotic subjects and to travel to far off places. They f a i l e d to r e a l i s e that, though the transcendental must involve the strange and unfamiliar, not 43. not e/erything strange or unfamiliar i s transcendental. . . . Ideas and plans that existed i n the mind at the sta r t £of a painting^ were simply the doorway through which one l e f t the world i n which they occur (Chipp, 1968, p.548). Art teachers, unless closely i n touch with these ideas, can lead students too s u p e r f i c i a l l y to s i m p l i s t i c "abstract a r t " and leave them, at the end of school, with no substantial understanding of why art of this century has developed as i t has, or to where i t w i l l be advancing. Where a r t i s t s go the general public follows with varying degees of reluctance. As Impressionism was once r i d i c u l e d but i s now generally accepted and admired, so much art of today i s , and w i l l be for some time, misinterpreted and despised. To hear a r t i s t s ' reasoned explanations of the i r works, of t h e i r understanding and interweaving of other art forms, and of t h e i r ideas for future directions i n a r t enables the public and especially students, whose ideas are often more f l e x i b l e and less intolerant, to appreciate t h e i r point of view more readily. A r t i s t s ' Opinions at the New York A r t Education Seminar of 1964 While many renowned a r t i s t s of the twentieth century have taught i n educational si t u a t i o n s , and many have expressed opinions on various aspects of teaching, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to unearth statements from them dealing d i r e c t l y with curriculum necessities. A four day seminar on elementary and secondary school education i n the v i s u a l a r t s , held at New York University i n 1964, however, brought together a group of 44 a r t i s t s for exactly that purpose, and the i r considered opinions have great bearing on the direction of t h i s thesis. At this seminar the energetic enthusiasm of these American a r t i s t s attested to the interest and knowledge that working a r t i s t s have i n the future of art education i n the schools. The seminar participants, who included not only people working i n the v i s u a l arts but also musicians, mathematicians, and s c i e n t i s t s , addressed themselves to a l l modes, products, and h i s t o r i c a l periods of art expression. The media of the v i s u a l arts were taken to include drawing, painting, sculpture, the c r a f t s , architecture and i n t e r i o r design, printmaking, advertising design, i n d u s t r i a l design, s t i l l -photography, and cinemaphotography. A r t i s t s would thus be defined as people responsible for the production of these arts. The proceedings of t h i s seminar were recorded i n Howard Conant's report, Seminar on  Elementary and Secondary School Education i n the Visual Arts (1965). Robert Motherwell was by far the most vocal of the a r t i s t s present, and his view of art education as i t exists i n North America today was, unfortunately, v i t r i o l i c and somewhat pessimistic. In art education, the b l i n d are leading the b l i n d , from the top down. Most art teachers know nothing about modern art . . . . There i s a very deep alienation of art educators, including university art teachers, from the p r i n c i p a l works of art of modern times. . . . Most art teachers are r e a l l y miserable people because they do not f e e l what's magical and moving and a l i v e about ar t . . . . From the stand point of making a picture or responding to i t , most of what's talked about i s so generalized that i t i s meaningless and has very l i t t l e to do with the magic of a picture or a sculpture (p.85). However, he also had much i n the way of constructive advice and at the end of the seminar put forward a proposal for an i n t e n s i f i e d teacher t r a i n i n g program i n both history of art and studio work. While i t i s not possible here to go into a l l that was covered during the four days of intense discussion and evaluation there are some statements of pa r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t : Helen Frankenthaler's idea on the controversial issue of learning by the exercise of copying a work. A teacher might say, what i s this Matisse, or what i s this 1910 cubist picture about? What makes i t work? What gives i t space? Try to figure i t out! Copy i t ! You might hate the exercise and fe e l that you got nothing out of i t . But, i n a year, you might fe e l i t was right (p. 157). George Segal's views on teaching abstraction. By means of what some teachers have thought to be the "Bauhaus method" attempts have been made to bring students too quickly and quite a r b i t r a r i l y to a high l e v e l of abstraction. Students should, over varying periods of time and i n various ways, develop the i r own concepts, the i r own abstractions. The function of a teacher i s to provide many media of expression, to suggest many ways of using them, and to encourage students to discover for themselves the pr i n c i p l e s , patterns, and p o s s i b i l i t i e s inherent i n thei r works (p.182). Architect Noel McKinell on designing. The only way I can help students learn anything about designing i s by finding out the problems of building with them. I think the only way you can help students learn to involve themselves i s by working with them as individuals (p.182). Cartoonist Robert Osborn on the use of f i l m . The use of f i l m as a medium of art expression and study i s becoming more and more important. Plans for new schools and renovations w i l l have to include f a c i l i t i e s for f i l m showing and production (p.165). Robert Motherwell's agreement. We must make i t known that the f i l m i s a major art form of the twentieth century. Helen Frankenthaler. One of the most t o t a l l y constructive things we could do would be to raise the l e v e l of quality i n art education by making teaching more appealing and more readily available to the best possible a r t i s t s of our time. I've been taught by a r t i s t s , and I know i t was they who gave me the most feeling and the most understanding and the most imagination (p.201). A summary of the recommendations made by the participants of the seminar included the following conclusions. 1. That the nature of art education must not work at cross purposes with the essential nature of art i t s e l f ; that i s , that i t must be open ended, f l e x i b l e , and broad i n scope. 2. That both elementary and secondary art classes must have spe c i a l l y trained art teachers and that tra i n i n g should include more l i b e r a l arts courses, much more time f o r , and less r i g i d l y scheduled, studio courses to be taught by the best available professional a r t i s t s , and fewer but more intensive courses i n art education methods and art history. 3. That students and art teachers should have more involvement with master a r t i s t s through personal t u i t i o n , f i l m , and study of o r i g i n a l art works. 4. That i t i s necessary to establish a sequential program of art education for a l l , from nursery school through to adult education with emphasis on the development of v i s u a l perception. The seminar, funded by the United States Office of Education, was planned by people who believe that "art educators should stop l i s t e n i n g mainly to each other and begin l i s t e n i n g to leaders i n other d i s c i p l i n e s " ( p . l ) , and the outcome was that those leaders had much to say that was relevant. 48 CHAPTER 4 THE ARTISTS Rationale for the Interviews This chapter explains the reasons for presenting the interviews within the body of this thesis rather than as an appendix. I t describes the format of the interviews with a limited sample of B r i t i s h Columbian a r t i s t s , the reasons for choosing p a r t i c u l a r people to interview, and gives a b r i e f introduction to each a r t i s t . One thing that becomes apparent from looking at a r t i s t s ' work and from speaking to them i s that a quantitative evaluation of t h e i r ideas would be of l i t t l e worth. Their value l i e s i n t h e i r disparate characters, th e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y , t h e i r very contradictions and opposing viewpoints. We admire a work of art because i t i s removed from the mundaneness of our usual experience; i t i s exotic, an extrapolation of r e a l i t y , l i f t e d beyond the realms of everyday normality. The personality of each a r t i s t i s , i n s i m i l a r manner, unlike another, and to categorize t h e i r thoughts under arbitrary headings i s to diminish th e i r essential force. In order to avoid this p i t f a l l , opinions of B r i t i s h Columbian a r t i s t s are presented almost verbatim i n the next chapter. They have been pared down to those statements most closely associated with secondary school curriculum, but to reduce them further would be to rob them of impact. The questions posed by the interviewer are put i n a more formal manner and a l i s t of the subjects covered appears 49 as an appendix. The a r t i s t s had different areas of interest and expertise and this i s reflected i n the i r r e p l i e s . Interviewing a r t i s t s i s a t r i c k y task. The concept of art education i s anathema to some; many r e s i s t any hint of i n t e l l e c t u a l i z i n g or theorizing about thei r profession. Even with a w i l l i n g subject the type of question asked must be thoughtfully and s e n s i t i v e l y presented i n order to e l i c i t a f u l l , relevant, and coherent response. The type of interview conducted for this study f e l l somewhere between a formal and an informal interview i n that, although the meetings were arranged ahead of time and i n some cases my o r i g i n a l thesis proposal and the l i s t of questions to be considered were sent to the a r t i s t , meetings were held, where possible, i n the a r t i s t ' s home or studio and the conversation was encouraged to flow freely with as l i t t l e interruption on my part as possible. This indeed was what the a r t i s t s themselves preferred, one t e l l i n g me that he had recently been interviewed by someone who would not stop t a l k i n g . Although a l i s t of questions of current problems and issues i n art education had been prepared for reference i t was used only as a back-up or mild goad when conversation lagged. The most v i t a l consideration, and the question most dear to the a r t i s t s , was why the v i s u a l arts are essential to the well-being of every human being and to the continuance of our c u l t u r a l existence: why, indeed, they should be considered at a l l i n the public school system. The question sheet i t s e l f was based on the issues raised by art educators which appear i n Chapter 2 of t h i s study. Choosing a r t i s t s to converse with, and the type of questioning appropriate, posed some thorny problems. B r i t i s h Columbia has a t h r i v i n g , enterprising art community consisting of t r a d i t i o n a l and avant garde a r t i s t s of a l l .ages, working with many mediums. I t comprises persons with varying degrees of academic and vocational t r a i n i n g . A representative selection, even i f possible, seemed too large to deal with. Rather than sending questionnaires to many, which might prompt shallow, hasty, even worthless responses, in-depth interviews were undertaken with s i x a r t i s t s chosen for t h e i r different areas of proficiency. These a r t i s t s were a l l well-known i n B r i t i s h Columbia, a l l were enthusiastic about p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the study, and a l l had shown evidence of working with a commitment to excellence i n the i r own f i e l d and an open-minded ^.enjoyment of other forms of the vi s u a l arts. Introduction to the A r t i s t s Though the professional f i e l d s of these a r t i s t s overlapped to some extent they worked with different materials: Jean Kamins was a fabric a r t i s t , Colette French was a printmaker, painter, and sculptor, Tom Graff was a performance a r t i s t , Marian Penner-Bancroft was a photographer, Greg Murdock was a draughtsman and painter, and Richard Prince was a sculptor. A b r i e f introduction to each a r t i s t w i l l serve to show th e i r major directions a r t i s t i c a l l y and their interests and propensities. Jean Kamins The interview with Jean was held i n her house, a b r i l l i a n t red, 51 mock-Victorian i n K i t s i l a n o , with newspapers l i t t e r i n g the uncut 1 front lawn. The kitchen, where we sat and talked, was l i k e a country kitchen of l a s t century: a large cast-iron stove, jars of l e n t i l s , plants on the window-sill, warm and cheerful. Jean's studio was strewn with scraps of fabric and pieces of sculpture and pottery from a r t i s t / f r i e n d s . Large finished canvases were neatly housed i n a rack and sketches for work i n progress covered the walls. Jean was raised i n Los Angeles where she was a mathematics teacher before studying painting at U.C.L.A. She moved to Vancouver i n 1967 and some years l a t e r started the enormous fabric paintings for which she i s now known. These works portray homely scenes of women at the i r housework and families at play or exotic scenes such a "The Bathers" a s i x by ten foot tapestry of plump nudes i n a Roman bath. An exhibition at , Eros Gallery had the walls covered, as Eve Johnson (1982) said: i n chubby normal consenting adults, amorous, but not kinky. " I t ' s an image I want to get across," she says, "to counter this emphasis on bad painting and bad art and bad people, on b r u t a l i t y . . . I wish the e r o t i c were more integrated. What I am doing i s putting love-making into the context of a family s i t u a t i o n . I t ' s only by always separating i t that i t becomes d i r t y " (p. 11). Jean i s very involved i n the Vancouver art community and i n group projects such as "Mail Art" where several a r t i s t s have made small v i s u a l works such as drawings, photos, and graphics, gathered them i n envelopes, and mailed them to friends and acquaintances. 52 Colette French Colette i s a graduate from the painting department of the Emily Carr College of Art and Design and, as well as painting, works with silkscreen and three-dimensional materials. Her work has a nostalgic, dream-like quality, pure and innocent. She travelled extensively as the c h i l d of a naval family and believes that her work i s not "gut-wrenching and soul-searching" precisely because she spent her childhood surviving a chaotic family l i f e . At the time of the interview we met i n a cafe near the gallery that handles her work because her private l i f e was again i n upheaval as she moved both her l i v i n g quarters and her studio. Her cool clear water-colours of "The Ovaltine Cafe" stand as a remarkable contrast to her ebullient personality and disrupted l i f e s t y l e . In a review of a recent exhibition at the Equinox Gallery Eve Johnson (1984) says: The paintings are more complicated than they look at f i r s t glance. French plays with r e f l e c t i o n s : i n Capital Barber Shop, the window, seen from outside, r e f l e c t s the buildings across the street. French fuses inner and outer space. . . a l l swimming i n the semi-transparent , overlapping washes of a c r y l i c . In Groceteria Window, ' " a r e f l e c t i o n of what i t ' s l i k e to l i v e i n t h i s small town on the edge of the continent," the dappled shadows across the plants are also a map of the B.C. coastline (p.13). Colette's work combines the world she knows and enjoys with a peace and harmony she hopes to obtain. 53* Tom Graff I met Tom i n his house i n East Vancouver. I t mirrors the a r t i s t ; i t i s loquacious and e c l e c t i c , jammed to overflowing with exciting snippets from works of fine art to in t r i g u i n g junk. Tom i s a performance a r t i s t and he speaks most eloquently on what that means. As more and more a r t i s t s present the i r art by staring us i n the face, we find we can no longer evade thei r presence. They cannot be dismissed as fringes of "proper" painting and sculpture, nor can performance a r t i s t s be ignored as frivolous elves of theatre. . . . Instead of playing the piano solo, these people want to be the conductors of their own orchestra (Graff, 1982 p.65). He c a l l s i t a " l i v e collage." The h i s t o r i c a l roots of performance arts are, he says, i n Roman and Medieval Circuses of feats without s t o r i e s , the eighteenth century "Salon de Machine" of Pari s , Futurists, Dadaists, New York "Happenings" of the 60s, and, i n amateur form, today's Punks. "They have always acted as the purposeful unstuffers of stuffed s h i r t s . " Tom's works are, i n his own words, three-dimensional s p a t i a l , environmental canvases upon which he has "sculptural intentions." Tom was born i n San Francisco and studied music there, but has been i n Vancouver since 1969, touring Canadian g a l l e r i e s with a group of other performance a r t i s t s , working as choreographer, teacher, art curator, and t e l e v i s i o n personality. In this interview Tom ranged, i n subject matter, from Canada Council grants to encourage young a r t i s t s , to the paper museum he i s hoping to establish, based on his own vast c o l l e c t i o n . 54 His knowledge of sources for teaching materials, information, experimental designs, interested a r t i s t s , educators, and other informed people and societies i s extensive. Greg Murdock Greg Murdock comes from Saskatoon and has recently studied sculpture at Emily Carr College of Art and Design. His works, produced i n graphite, coloured pencil and a c r y l i c s on painted plywood, show both sculptural and architectural influences. Art Perry (1984) says of his work: Murdock i s a cool clean draftsman. His eye i s shaving his white plywood drawings down to a near s p i r i t u a l emptiness. Murdock's art i s not a playground for runaway paint, but rather a s i l e n t and s t i l l space of empty chairs and barren tables . . . With his bent and seeming awkward perspective Murdock pays homage to the early masters of the I t a l i a n Renaissance—Duccio, Giotto, Fra Angelico. The e c c l e s i a s t i c t i t l e s of his work, "Annunciation", "Sac red Conversation", indicate that his Roman Catholic upbringing and schooling have influenced the d i r e c t i o n of his work but the asymmetry and skewed perspective hint at the humour and warmth of the a r t i s t . I met Greg i n his Yaletown warehouse studio, as uncluttered as his drawings with i t s supporting columns, stark whitewashed walls, and spartan furnishings. He had recently returned from New York where several g a l l e r i e s had expressed interest i n mounting exhibitions of his work. With an exhibition closing i n Vancouver and another to open soon, he 55 was h a v i n g d i f f i c u l t y s e t t l i n g down t o d r a w i n g b u t t o o k t h e t i m e t o be i n t e r e s t e d and i n v o l v e d i n t h e s u b j e c t o f s c h o o l a r t . M a r i a n P e n n e r - B a n c r o f t M a r i a n s t u d i e d a t U.B.C., E m i l y C a r r C o l l e g e o f A r t and D e s i g n , and R y e r s o n Photo A r t s C e n t r e i n T o r o n t o . Her p h o t o g r a p h i c p r o j e c t s i n v o l v e h e r i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h o t h e r s i n f i l m s on p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l i s s u e s and a l s o i n v e r y p r i v a t e c o n c e r n s : a j o u r n a l o f s l e p t - i n beds d u r i n g a s i x - w e e k t r i p t o Europe by h e r s e l f , and " C h a n g e / P o s i t i o n " an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l document o f seven months i n c o r p o r a t i n g r e c o r d e d sounds and w r i t t e n words t o i n c r e a s e a c c e s s t o t h e images. Her most s e r i o u s body o f work, "For D e n n i s and Susan: Running Arms t o a C i v i l War", c h r o n i c l e s M a r i a n ' s b r o t h e r - i n - l a w , D e n nis w h e e l e r ' s f a t a l i l l n e s s . She says o f h e r work: I'm becoming much more c o n s c i o u s o f t h e camera as some t h i n g I use to r e s p o n d t o i d e a s and e v e n t s , and t h a t t h e r e s u l t i n g t r a n s l a t i o n s ar e p e c u l i a r t o t h a t machine. F o r " C h a n g e / P o s i t i o n " . . . I a t t e m p t e d an i n t e g r a t i o n o f camera s y n t a x w i t h my own e m o t i o n a l momentum: I s t o o d s t i l l , I moved, t h e s u b j e c t s t o o d s t i l l , t h e s u b j e c t moved, we b o t h s t o o d s t i l l , we b o t h moved (Rosenberg, 1980, p.9). M a r i a n t e a c h e s a p h o t o g r a p h y c l a s s a t E m i l y C a r r C o l l e g e and I met h e r i n t h e s t a f f r o o m t h e r e . R e n o v a t i o n s n e a r b y and p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r an imminent e x h i b i t i o n a l l b u t drowned M a r i a n ' s q u i e t , c o n s i d e r e d o p i n i o n s . She i s i n s i s t e n t on t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f an i n f o r m e d , aware p u b l i c and o f t h e n e c e s s i t y f o r t h e a r t i s t ' s v o i c e t o be h e a r d . 56 Richard Prince Richard Prince i s an art history major from U.B.C. and now teaches in the Fine Arts Department there. I met him in his office and, as he was pressed for time, the interview was a somewhat formal one, indeed more of a monologue. He is one of the tfew Fine Arts faculty members who have any contact with art education students and has, on several occasions, talked to groups of those students about his work and about art in general. His office contains examples of his intriguing sculptures: an.elderly red and green, bicycle, intricate wood, glass, and metal boxes, precisely positioned; one is uncertain whether they are purely sculptures or also useful articles. Richard Prince's works have been widely exhibited and reviewed. Mary Fox (1976) says: The pleasure Prince takes in natural, objects i s equalled and, to a degree, balanced by his layman's interest in science. He expresses a somewhat Renaissance wonder at machines and overlays his theoretical understanding of mechanics onto his and the viewer's comprehension of natural phenomena, (p.7) Rosalie Staley (1982), at a more recent exhibition comprised mainly of cast female forms says: Richard Prince's current sculptures interpret the traditional bust in terms of castings of a shell, cut-away for an austere^perspective, . . . Our interest is more in Prince's design of the form, cutting away hair and part of the body for a strange reality... . . The 57 woman seems desexualized, as a placard representative of c u r i o s i t y and seriousness. . . .The pieces, " C l a s s i c a l Knowledge" and "Simple Objects" are able to be seen i n the round, unlike the busts. . . . A l l are shiny graphite. There i s a hint of the turn-of-the-century magic show. One wonders i f .they w i l l soon disappear (p.38). Conclusion These thumbnail sketches of the a r t i s t s chosen for interviews show thei r various backgrounds, propensities, and mod:us operandi. They are not chosen as representatives of anything more than the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of the a r t i s t and of the a r t i s t ' s devotion and commitment to a career and to furthering v i s u a l enlightenment i n the community. 58 CHAPTER 5 THE INTERVIEWS Introduction In this chapter an abridged version of my discussions with the s i x a r t i s t s interviewed i s presented. Some talked for several hours; some for a much br i e f e r period. A l l conversation had to do with art i n i t s many forms but much related'to the a r t i s t ' s own work and milieu which, while very i n t e r e s t i n g , do not f a l l within the scope of th i s study. Included i n these excerpts are those statements dealing, i n the most part, with secondary school art education. They are presented, as nearly as possible, i n the a r t i s t ' s own words. Jean Kamins Interviewer: What are the benefits of a secondary school art program? Jean Kamins: I f you want to teach people to have any appreciation and understanding of what the aesthetics of art are one of the techniques i s to have people do i t and by doing something you have a s e n s i b i l i t y about art that you never have by reading about i t . I remember a story about Beethoven who played a sonata and afterwards people said "What does i t mean?" and he sat down and played i t again because i f he could have said i t i n words he would have said i t i n words. I think with art i f you want to say i t i n words that's a l l fine and dandy, and I know there i s a big i n t e l l e c t u a l approach to art$ but that i s n ' t a r t . Art i s the actual physical doing of i t ; the other i s philosophy or history but Lt i s n ' t a r t — a r t i s the actual doing of i t . It i s vsry important to teach kids to do art because only by doing i t w i l l we [ a r t i s t s ^ develop an audience. Funding for arts comes from the audience; i f you want.a culture interested i n art you have to put money into i t . There i s plenty of sports news but very l i t t l e art news; you cannot expect an art culture unless money i s put into i t . There i s no funding to i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t s . I: Why have art classes i n the public schools? J.K.: There are few classes i n school that you remember. Anything that comes out of the education system i s an appreciation and understanding. Not very many students go on i n a r t ; t h i s i s true i n science or history also. The gestalt understanding of where we stand i n the world comes from these courses. I f you want a c i v i l i z a t i o n that has any kind of well-roundedness you have to give an equal appreciation j^ to a l l subjects We're not teaching h i s t o r i a n s , teaching government, or voting any more than we are teaching a r t i s t s . At the moment i n B.C., society i s being run by ignorant small businessmen and we are suffering the r e s u l t . They have no appreciation of education and knowledge and they don't want an educated public who might complain about them. This i s what has led to a l l these cutbacks i n the schools. I: Are the crafts important i n school art? J.K. I happen to be i n a craft medium and there i s a tremendous snobbery and I think i t i s important that this approach be broken down a b i t . The e l i t i s t approach to art does several t h i n g s — i t makes people think they can't do a r t . You want to have people understand that everyone should be allowed to do art and that art i s OK for everyone to do. If you approach art only from an i n t e l l e c t u a l standpoint '* ultimately you get people who don't l i k e art because of the art i n t e l l e c t u a l s , but who might enjoy i t i n other forms. Approaching art means they r e a l i z e they can make curtains for the i r house, . paint walls i n decorations. These aesthetics you can develop i n an art room si t u a t i o n go with them i n their everyday l i v e s much more than people appreciate. A l l classes should be taught with this attitude of "Where does what I am teaching you today f i t into your l i f e tomorrow?" U n t i l children understand that they don't know why they are taking courses. One of the problems with education i s that our society has changed a great deal l a t e l y and the education system i s s t i l l functioning i n quite an archaic way or else there wouldn't be such a large dropout rate i n the high schools. That, i s a sign the system is n ' t working, not that the children are stupid. I: Are v i s i t s to art g a l l e r i e s and museums important? J.K.: Those art works that make i t into the gallery system tend to be the more conventional things. There tends to be a f o s s i l i z a t i o n of art and a hierarchy of a r t , but there are a l l sorts of g a l l e r i e s and i t i s up to the teacher to take the kids to a variety of options i n the art world. This throws i t back on the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the teacher to be an enlightened person and some are and some are not. We need to have g a l l e r i e s and museums; those are the places our work i s transferred to. In North America people don't go to g a l l e r i e s and museums much but i n Europe everyone does. This appreciation must 61 be taught i n the schools. There has been a l o t of discussion about T.V. and the v i s u a l side of the brain taking over i n the way people learn and i f this i s true, and I think i t may be, then there should be more of an incorporation of this i n our concepts. I: What sort of teacher training i s important? J.K.: A serious problem i n education i s that people have been taught how to teach rather than what they are teaching. If you are going to be an art teacher you should know about a r t . Not every a r t i s t knows about every element about art and I think that's a l r i g h t . I'm not an abstract a r t i s t so I'm not very a r t i c u l a t e on i t , don't have an actual sympathy for i t , but I don't think y o u ' l l ever have anyone who i s a l l things to a l l people. Teachers should be s p e c i a l i s t s i n t h e i r f i e l d . I: How should popular art be approached i n the art class? J.K.: I'm not convinced that kids are always interested i n what people think they are interested i n . You say "I want kids to be able to paint thei r vans," —why do they have to paint them with those hero-looking guys who have stepped right off comic books or record covers? That's a very male art form and i t ' s certainly not helpful to women. Why aren't they st a r t i n g off painting their canisters? I'm not trying to say one has any great value over the other; both are an extremely u n a r t i s t i c element i n our society and they have chosen the p r i o r i t y of men's toys over women. I'm being s i m p l i s t i c about painting canisters but I f e e l i t ' s important to teach people how to see i f you're going to teach them ar t . 62 I: What basic s k i l l s should be taught? J.K.: There has to be a sense of colour taught but I hate colour charts. A way of k i l l i n g any incentive and love of colour i s to make you mix i t so i t i s perfect. You can't teach people a love of something by making them do a formula. You can go back to the colour chart after you've played around with colour. If you can't make orange, go back to the chart. But t e l l them when they need i t , otherwise they w i l l , have every single tool they ever needed and no desire to use i t . I: How can evaluation of school art work be handled? J.K: We somehow have to spark these children into doing something other than cliche images that are handed down from age to age. I'm sure at age fi v e kids a l l draw the same image. Somehow teachers have to break through that and then, when you find creative elements, you almost have to evaluate them on that, on whether they are being o r i g i n a l or not. I have d i f f i c u l t y with the concept of grading. Education should be making a person learn, every day, a l i t t l e b i t more. To say someone is n ' t learning a l i t t l e b i t more as fast as someone else, so he gets a worse grade, i s only a device to register the quality of the teacher. The a b i l i t y to test i s not the only important thing. People think that i f you can't test you can't know i f you've got your money's worth. As long as we're s t i l l thinking i n terms of a p r o f i t orientation, we have to get our money's worth. If we've paid for f u l l value we have to be able to test. The idea that we have a cultured society i s something we are not able to see 63 on a monetary l e v e l , but i t i s something of value to me and I'm prepared to take the chance. For instance there are people who cheat on welfare but there are others who need i t . Do we get r i d of welfare because there are cheaters? Do we get r i d of art because i t ' s nontestable? I think i t i s testable but only within the range of an educated audience. An educated person knows what the essential elements of art are. There are variations but i f you take 24 well educated a r t i s t s into the schools to look at people's work, i n general they w i l l come up with very si m i l a r kinds of approaches to what they are seeing. I believe there i s aesthetic knowledge that comes with t r a i n i n g and observation that i s r e a l and tangible but i s only testable i n terms of a v i s u a l test. This i s what people who work within a verbal reference are incapable of d o i n g — accepting the v a l i d i t y of a v i s u a l vocabulary. This i s true of music and dance too. The university i s controlled by verbal people and non-verbal people are not given access and not given c r e d i b i l i t y and thereby not given funding. Specialization pushes the concept of competition. One of the most t e r r i b l e things i n our society i s that one has to judge oneself i n r e l a t i o n to another person; t h i s i s what the grading system does. This i s a serious problem, the accountability of the education system. In our society there doesn't seem to be any other p o s s i b i l i t y . I would l i k e to see educators working on an alternative because only by changing through a generation w i l l there be a change i n t h i s ; the p o s s i b i l i t y of another form of accountability. 64 Words from the Chinese Revolution, "friendship f i r s t , competition second." The Russians called t h e i r games the Friendship Games—a very important point. I t i s very important that we work on a noncompetitive method of tr a i n i n g . Infants are asked "which one do you l i k e best, the green or the orange?", They are not given the idea that they are of equal value but diff e r e n t . We have to change th i s i n an ef f o r t to make us love each other more. I f we always think of our peers as our competition we can't think of them as our helpmates. This i s a very insidious approach based on the thought that there i s no i n t r i n s i c value unless it's.making a p r o f i t . I: How can environmental awareness be encouraged? J.K.: I've worked with kids i n the school system painting murals. They get very excited about doing these things. Down i n L.A. where mural painting i s very popular those walls that have murals on them are not vandalized. When kids are involved i n thei r own c i t y b e a u t i f i c a t i o n there i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y less vandalism. They have a sense i t i s theirs and them. There i s a tremendous i s o l a t i o n and channelization of children i n society. One of the problems with teenagers i s there i s no place for them i n the adult world. I: Is f i l m an important art form for school children to learn and use? J..K.: Film i s important for different i s s u e s — i t can be used as an art form, though not a l l f i l m i s a r t i s t i c . I t i s very immediate; with video you do i t and look at yourself seconds l a t e r . That's pretty good. It teaches us a l o t of things on a soc i o l o g i c a l l e v e l . I t ' s important for people to know how they look. I t teaches you about 65 your appearance to others. I t teaches you not to say anything you're going to be stuck with without thinking f i r s t . I t ' s important on these levels and that's how people can approach i t when they're teaching i t . I t happens to be big at the moment and i s thus getting funding (now we are back with the s o c i a l l y accepted art form getting the money). There i s video that i s interest i n g ; most i s as boring as can be and I think that's true i n almost every new art form. I'd l i k e to know how i t ' s being used [in schools]. Is i t being used r e a l l y as a teaching form or r e a l l y as an h i s t o r i c a l form, or as an art piece? Probably a l o t of a l l ; I'm not against that. I t can be used for recording an instantaneous experience that would otherwise be lo s t forever. Learning how to f i l m , s p l i c e , etcetera, can be done i n a greater or lesser a r t i s t i c way. But i t ' s a different thing from painting and shouldn't be exclusive. I think i t ' s important not to exclude any art form, and that's how I f e e l about fabric a r t s , and the hierarchy of art . They're going to s t i c k f i l m and video into fine art faster than they are going to put fabric art and I personally believe that that i s because women do fab r i c . Men control the "high a r t " . I t i s important that f i l m and video should not take over as the only art form. I: Should art classes be required at the secondary school level? J.K.: I f we have time for art sure, s t i c k i t i n as a required course. But i f we don't have time for i t — I don't know. I think learning to read i s very important, and English and l i t e r a t u r e , but I'm against learning techniques over and over again. I think you learn things 66 when you want to know them. I never wrote a term paper but now I'm writing a r t i c l e s for magazines. I t ' s important to have an educated popuJace but perhaps taking different electives i n a r t , pottery, home economics, music, and so on i s more feasible. There has to be an exclusion of things because of lack of time. The rea l issue then i s , should there be more class time? Colette French Interviewer: Why i s art education necessary to the general public? Colette French: I f you t r a i n people to be a r t i s t s then you are train i n g them to open themselves to ideas and to interact with the world rather than simply absorb what i s said to them. There i s a dialogue that i s set up i n the arts and the kind of enthusiasm that you see i n kids who are interested, or have a good teacher, or are suddenly made aware of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of a medium. A l l of this s p i l l s over into th e i r other a c t i v i t i e s , and, of course, i t i s one of the great openings into your own culture and a l l the cultures of the rest of the world. We l i v e i n a r e a l l y v i s u a l l y oriented society i n which a r t i s t s ' ideas are used constantly; even the work of the Abstract Expressionists has i n fact been absorbed and accepted to a large degree into main-stream culture, more than people understand—some of that i s f a i r l y subtle. -Our culture i s very specialized. A r t i s t s tend to specialize i n the same way. There should be much more engagement from a whole cross-section of the population. The other thing i s that art i s one of the great leisure time a c t i v i t i e s . Thousands are Sunday painters, or are • • 67 interested, or go out and look at things. Lots of people actually try to do i t on their own one way or another anyway. Art a c t i v i t i e s are native to being a human being; I think i t i s part of what people are a l l about. With tra i n i n g they would enjoy what they do more and they would enjoy what they look at a l o t more. It's also a great l i n k e r ; i t joins up different kinds of d i s c i p l i n e s that are involved i n , and referred to, and touched on, and opened up with a good basic training i n a r t . Learning to paint and draw and handle materials can be as mind expanding as learning to read and write or learning mathematics. A l l the different d i s c i p l i n e s are just keys i n a way and I don't know why art i s considered such a f r i l l r e a J l y ; i t i s so fundamental. I t helps you to l i v e , when you are painting your house or buying clothes or when you buy a present for someone you care about. Our attitude to art has to do with a culture that encourages a kind of p a s s i v i t y . We consume things. Art appreciation i s seen as a matter of taste rather than anything you are involved i n yourself. I think that i s bad for us as a society. You have to have individuals who w i l l go out and make the move and have the courage to do i t . There i s nothing l i k e having to come to terms with yourself on that piece of paper. When you are engaged i n making art i t puts you i n touch with your heart's desire. I think students see themselves as inept and unable to do that. They are intimidated by the stuff that they want to do. There i s an imperfect understanding of art that they see i n g a l l e r i e s which makes them think "Oh, i t ' s a bunch of garbage anyway." If art materials were presented and made a basic part of the 68 learning process right from the very early ages, you could bypass that [teenage block about art^j • There should be some acknowledgement too of the different stages that kids go through. One of the problems i s that young teenagers have been given: "here are some painting materials; now express yourself. I want to see some nice big paintings" and there are certain periods when children wish to paint i n different ways. Young children up to about s i x or seven do fabulous paintings and they are very uninhibited, and then the i r s o c i a l awareness begins to dawn on them and they become very interested i n d e t a i l , i n their place i n the world. Their drawing suddenly becomes small, t i g h t , f u l l of tiny pieces. The boys are a l l drawing cars with elaborate d e t a i l s and the g i r l s w i l l have every l i t t l e bow and r i n g l e t drawn i n . I t ' s a type of response that i s part of children's development as they grow up. The kind of art education when I was at school put down that type of a r t . I t would be more useful to see kids doing that and simply supplying an emotional need at that time. That's the point that kids look at th e i r work and think i t i s n ' t as good as advertising a r t . Part of what art education should be about i s appreciation of other people's work, not just looking at great art i n books; that should almost be a separate thing. I got my daughter through that d i f f i c u l t period by showing her reproductions of twentieth century a r t i s t s ' work and saying "adults-^^ did t h i s work, they had th e i r own reasons—how do you think your work stacks up against, say, Picasso." She wasn't very sophisticated about i t at the time and she was t h r i l l e d . She saw that as permission 69 for her to do whatever she l i k e d and i t changed her focus from comparing what she was doing with magazine advertisements and cartooning which we are inundated with. We don't look at r e a l a r t ; we look at mass media and i t ' s not the same thing. Mass media imagery i s there to s e l l you things; i t ' s very manipulative and i t i s n ' t expressive. I: Should elementary schools have art s p e c i a l i s t s ? C.F.: I t should be a specialty. What i s society for? What i s our culture a l l about? The essential nature of art and culture i s what \ • • • . i t means about being human and what i t means about everything good i n our society. I t seems to me i t should be treated with a whole l o t more respect. People get the i r aesthetic s a t i s f a c t i o n from different places and my concern i s that the primary way they get s a t i s f a c t i o n i s from consuming things, looking at things that are b a s i c a l l y made to manipulate rather than objects that are made as re a l expressions of something that an i n d i v i d u a l person f e e l s . The idea of conforming, mass culture, I find very disturbing. I: What subjects should be covered i n studio courses? C.F.: Teaching students the mechanics and then l e t t i n g them use them teaches them the value of i n d i v i d u a l interpretation. Those mechanics are an enabling process, l i k e taking piano lessons. You have to do scales and learn how to hold your hands. Learning s i l k screening, how to use a camera, to draw with a p e n c i l ; i t ' s exactly the same sort of thing. Once somebody has i t i t can't be taken away from them. I t 70 gives them some understanding of what other a r t i s t s are doing, and i t i s an immensely useful learning t o o l . You can draw something, make a graphic r e a l i z a t i o n of an idea and that i s as good as being able to write a paragraph of good English prose. This i s comparable i n that i t i s something that you can teach kids to do. This i s aside from encouraging people who a r e r e a l l y g i f t e d , who are going to give us a wonderful creation at some point i n thei r l i v e s . There i s no reason not to give people these kinds of s k i l l s . I t i s teachable. Cr e a t i v i t y gets mixed up with the actual mechanics of doing something. In cultures where large numbers of people paint or draw, where i t i s considered just part of everyday l i f e — p l a c e s l i k e Baker Lake where you've got an Inuit community where nearly everybody does i t — t h e r e i s a recognition that some people do i t better than others. Just l i k e a community where everybody goes to church and sings i n the choir. There are always some who are r e a l l y good, but that doesn't stop everyone else from doing i t . Then they have more appreciation for the individuals who are r e a l l y outstanding. This stuff about how essential the arts a r e — i t ' s r e a l l y , r e a l l y important. I f e e l that art i s such a potent form of expression that I question a democratic society that doesn't teach people how to do i t —almost l i k e keeping people i l l i t e r a t e . Any way that you can increase l i t e r a c y i s worth pursuing; you are going to have a more creative, inventive group of people. For teenagers there are enormous benefits. Why drop art education at t h i s point? Certainly at an early age they do wonderful creative 71 drawings. So they do at eleven and twelve and so on; they are just different drawings. When you cut them off [from art education^ you are cutting them off from a process that i s never given a chance to properly unfold. I: What sort of evaluation of art products i s possible? C.F.: When you get down to the n i t t y - g r i t t y and st a r t looking at what an art program i s , there are ways to evaluate people's work just as there are ways to mark essays. You can make the same demands and you can make the same mistakes, such as l e t t i n g some re a l l y creative impulse go by and not react to i t or acknowledge i t . You can do that to kids wr i t i n g paragraphs just as e a s i l y as you can to kids drawing; there i s an area of ambiguity. But you can also address the formal quality of the work without trampling over everything else. If they have learned to make a good clean image with a s i l k screen, i f they've answered the requirements of a drawing test; that sort of testing has been done for years. And then spontaneity and e f f o r t — i f you're asked to do a series of paintings or drawings—did you do i t . The other part of that—who i s best and who i s n ' t — y o u can't judge that anyway. Certainly talent should be appreciated but you can leave a l o t of that out; as soon as you start doing that you are making value judgements. I: How can the popular arts be handled i n the art class? C.F.: We're running into the business of kids being asked to respond to things that don't have anything to do with the i r r e a l l i v e s ; as i f you are teaching.a music appreciation course and trying to get 72' kids to l i s f e n to Beethoven when they r e a l l y want to l i s t e n to The Cars . Educators have to face up to what our culture i s r e a l l y t e l l i n g people. You can put across to the kids that what they do i n the art class i s respond to the environment, that part of what you do as an a r t i s t i s put down what your world view i s , what you think about a l l t h i s you're being handed. Do you really love i t or have ambivalent feelings about i t ? Your best l i n e of defense against this v i s u a l manipulation i s an art class i n which they can look at, deal with, and come to terms i n some way with what they are being v i s u a l l y manipulated by. There i s nothing l i k e making your own work for understanding the mechanics of how a work i s put together. The other thing a good art class can do i s look at f i l m and te l e v i s i o n and media and the aesthetics of advertising. Kids are so smart and .they're r e a l l y hep to a l l that s t u f f . They are r e a l l y open to the dynamics of media manipulation and are very interested i n i t too. Another t h i n g — i f you get a ki d i n your class who i s r e a l l y good at designing record album covers, good for him. .He'll make a l o t more money. That's a perfectly legitimate outlet, that's one of the applications. What you're up against there i s the separation of a sort of "fine a r t " . I'm not sure what I fe e l about that but I'm quite suspicious of the e l i t i s m that's involved, the element of snobbery, while at the same time being conscious of just how awful and horrid and banal a l o t of the advertising s t u f f i s . Kids seem to get intrigued by i t . But then, what do we know? Then you're up against t you own experience. We never dressed l i k e that, but we had our own 73 version of what hot stuff was. Pop culture was originated by young kids, a l o t i n response to what was being sold to them. Now i t ' s being absorbed back into the main stream and being fed back to us i n a sort of cleaned-up version. Giving kids the tools to deal with that — t h e r e ' s nothing wrong with that. But wouldn't i t be wonderful to have a more creative, more appreciative population; people who weren't so intimidated by a r t . Looking at magazines on handicrafts and sewing ideas—people are sold patterns where every decision i s made for them. They buy k i t s where every single item i s dictated. People don't have a sense of what i s possible for them to do. There i s much more r e a l i z a t i o n of how important a good a t h l e t i c program i s to school kids. There i s not the recognition that the arts.are just as important and fundamental. The kids would work better i n a l l the other areas i f they had a good art program; i t ' s a part of people's l i v e s . I: How can the crafts best be introduced into art classes? C.F.: I think, with c r a f t s , you're skating around the main issue. Rather than clay pots have them do clay sculpture, work with figures. The crafts aren't intimidating and they are areas people f e e l free to get into. You see people who are c l e a r l y really dedicated who would do well i n any expressive medium and maybe they went into ceramics or weaving because they didn't find i t intimidating, or they thought i t was more acceptable. I think you would break that down i f you made the other modes of expression more available. When I went to art school they gave us a basic program; we took pottery and weaving and those f i e l d s 74 are r e a l l y important; i t ' s just that they are not the main issue. I'd r e a l l y l i k e to see people being able to come to terms with things that are e s s e n t i a l l y quite d i f f i c u l t and a b i t scary when they are young enough and they can handle i t . Those things don't have to be that intimidating. I t took me years to come to grips with my own medium and what I wanted to do; a l o t of i t was just pure fear. I: How would you approach environmental issues? C.F.: You can teach kids things l i k e c i t y planning; that can be part of an art program. You make for a more responsible c i t i z e n . Open their minds and eyes to what i s around them; ask them what.they think about those things, about b i l l b o a r d s , and various kinds of signs, whether there should be trees on the street or not. The way things work—that's part of what art i s . There i s a point where art comes very close to science and engineering. As a professional a r t i s t what I'm r e a l l y aware of i s the structure and underpinning of what I'm doing and i t makes me appreciate the structure and underpinning of what other people are doing. That i s where people's talents and a b i l i t i e s come up and art can provide an opening, for instance, i n engineering. I have a nephew who does the most i n t r i c a t e drawings of factories and assembly l i n e s . He's invented them but a l o t of his ideas are b r i l l i a n t and possibly, i f he pursued this or was shown the right materials or just had his interest appreciated he may become a top-notch engineer. When you draw something i n a diagramatic way, the way that kids do i n adolescence, you are making a diagram of some sort, whether i t ' s a 75 fashion model or an i n t r i c a t e car design. I: Do you see gallery and museum t r i p s as important i n the art class? C.F.: Get the students to the g a l l e r i e s ; the benefits are worth the problems. The docents and guides i n the ga l l e r i e s are well trained, they are up on what they are doing, and they know how to talk to different groups of people. I f you have a thr i v i n g art community you often have g a l l e r i e s i n groups and then you can do a l i t t l e tour. I think getting them out into the g a l l e r i e s i s great. Reproductions are not a r t , they are pictures of art. Seeing the actual physical pieces can just knock people's socks o f f . I t ' s also very demystifying; a l o t of what happens i n reproductions i s that things are miniaturized. They look a l o t f i n e r ; they look more finished and that's intimidating. If you look at a rea l Rembrandt you are looking at how this man put paint on a canvas; you can see the physical process that he went through to do t h i s . If you look at a rea l l y good modern abstract expressionist painting you are looking at this incredible, undeniable energy and presence that i s not there i n a reproduction. You cannot look at a three by four inch Baselitz and have the faintest clue of what the painting i s a l l about. I think the thing i s not to scare them o f f , to l e t the kids look at a painting and say "yes there i s a p o s s i b i l i t y that you could do t h i s . " That i s an approach to art appreciation; f i r s t of a l l just to get the h i t of what some a r t i s t i s doing, but then to make i t r egister. The human a c t i v i t y — t h i s i s something that people do. Take the genius down off the pedestal. Every genius was supported by several hundred people, pursuing the same sort of ideas. 76 There are a number of different drawing traditions i n the world that involve d i s c i p l i n e . What I would l i k e to see i s a choice made. I think i t i s just as legitimate to learn Chinese brush drawing. The same d i s c i p l i n e and i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y and the same hand and eye coordination i s involved. I don't l i k e t h i s prejudice i n favour of Western modeled realism. We are bli n d i n a way; we are so simple i n our c u l t u r a l stereotypes that we seem to think we are the b e - a l l and end-all and we're not. Other traditions from other places i n the world should be recognised; to do otherwise i s r a c i s t . Two thousand years of Chinese and Japanese a r t — h e y , you can't sneeze at that. Academics p a r t i c u l a r l y are r e a l l y hung up on the Renaissance. They've never got past i t . You can t e l l they r e a l l y don't get Jackson Pollock. Also, here i n Vancouver, we have one of the most fabulous, collections of West Coast Indian a r t ; one of the great art trad i t i o n s of the world. If you are going to teach art appreciation what I would l i k e to see i s those art forms opened up and made as available and given the same status as learning about Breughel, Rembrandt, and Rubens. When you talk to young West Coast native a r t i s t s they talk about learning th e i r own form language. Rather than going to l i f e drawing classes they talk of the d i s c i p l i n e involved i n drawing from totem poles. They are learning a language that almost disappeared. Even now, talk i n g about i t , i t makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I f you look at the collections and read what came so close to happening. A generation ago there was only a handful of people who were s t i l l working i n the t r a d i t i o n a l way. Tom Graff Interviewer: What do you consider to be of importance i n a secondary school art program? Tom Graff: We've got to l i s t e n very carefully for the motivation behind the recent reaction to both cutbacks and the c r i t i c i s m that studio courses aren't really doing much for the students; that they are not as valuable as math and other pursuits. F i r s t , i s i t to keep a job, and secondly, i n teaching academically, are we really being academic or are we just picking up material from the United States and Europe to rehash the same old view of Western culture? That's an anthropological question and a deep c r i t i c i s m of the education system i n our province. There i s , i n the ar t s , a disrespect for teaching. A r t i s t s have a t e r r i b l e prejudice against educators. I t ' s unfounded. If teachers were encouraged they might be helped, but i t ' s t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to come to the party; the in v i t a t i o n s are there a l l the time. There i s important work to be done going around Canadian a r t i s t s , B.C. a r t i s t s , and really exposing the students to the greatness that i s going on. We must learn to suspend judgments on recent work because one cannot say "This i s great and this i s n ' t . " That i s taste. Michaelangelo i s great and we should expose students to him, but he should get second b i l l i n g (because he gets such exposure i n l i f e and on television) to our own Canadian a r t i s t s i n schools. They are just as exciting and often the students respond more. Let's face i t , what the students are handing i n to the colleges i n ' ' • • • . ' 78 studio classes i s copies of record jackets. What i s going wrong? I can only assume that someone i s t e l l i n g them that i t i s OK to submit a p o r t f o l i o l i k e t h i s . I t ' s not OK; I want to see an o r i g i n a l work. There i s a l o t of o r i g i n a l work with the very young—simply so c i o l o g i c a l work. There i s a l o t of young children's painting shown i n B.C. that i s nothing to do with art r e a l l y . I t ' s probably based on an anti-egghead, a n t i - a r t i s t idea of "Anything my k i d can do i s a r t . " I t i s also almost free (where a r t i s t s i n Canada have very wisely organized and say " I f you're going to show my work, you're going to pay me a couple of hundred dollars")- I t ' s also a system of reward and award that our government loves; someone who wins i s very popular with the B.C. government. I don't think children are learning anything about art from t h i s ; they are learning at f i v e years old that you win. Art i s about continuing to make your art whether you are known or not, and art i s tremendously d i f f i c u l t work. I: Are studio courses important at the secondary school level? T.G.: I t ' s the old story; i s art a thing you do or i s art a thing you look at and keep outside youself. Those who would academize and make art history courses usually don't l i k e a r t . They w i l l study and get r e a l l y turned on by the sociology of a r t . I t ' s a danger; i t ' s a way of turning people away from a r t , to keep culture on slides and i n books. There's enough l i v e art i n Vancouver; I'd get the students on the buses and out to see i t . Students must understand that methods count. Teachers must i n s i s t that people f i n i s h t h e i r projects and decide whether they 79 are teddy bears or not, whether they are cute or strong, whether to throw them out or not. Keeping art that i s lousy i s one of the basic d e f i c i t s to a young a r t i s t . Teachers should say that i t w i l l stunt your energy to keep i t around. You don't have to be a great a r t i s t to transmit a love of and a respect for a r t . You don't have to be an a r t i s t to teach a r t . Children should not be talked of as "Oh they're so creative, you know. If you just give them paint and paper . . . " I'm t i r e d of that; i t ' s just not true. They're not creative. They'll slop around, but i t ' s not c r e a t i v i t y or imagination that we're talking about—they're a l l doing houses. I t ' s imitation; i t ' s how we learn a language. Don't give them paint; i t ' s much too expensive. I give them paper that's printed on one side and a pencil and say "go and f i l l the page." Great art can be made on a shoestring; so can lousy a r t , and we need to make a l o t of lousy art before we become a r t i s t s . Learning to make art can be a way of hiding, just as having the decorators i n to do your house i s a way of hiding your own personality. That i s why i n a l l school art the teacher i s i t ; the teacher w i l l speed experience or constipate i t . I: What i s necessary i n teacher training? T.G.: Methods, methods, methods. That's what has to be taught. You can't give imagination. I stayed away from art classes i n school; they had me designing wallpaper a l l the time, and grading i t . How i n the world do you grade wallpaper? I took one course and then stopped and now I am a successful a r t i s t and that's a t e r r i b l e indictment of the 80 school system i n North America. Another teacher, Sister Corita, turned us on to the great a r t i s t s , and she took us downtown and had us look at junk, l i k e car-sales places, a block from the school. She'd have us take a view finder. Her methods of teaching were just wonderful. She was turned on to l i f e ; i t was her personality. You have to teach methods suitable to your own personality. I don't think a r t i s t s should teach methods to teachers. [Tom read from his lecture, "We should take the Mona Li s a at face value," which he presents to school children. I t i s one of his many miniature, i l l u s t r a t e d books and contains quotations from a r t i s t s i n various media and other notable people. An example i s C e c i l B. de M i l l e ' s statement: "The way to make a f i l m i s to begin with an earthquake and work up to a climax. Young people love quotations, they love to play with them themselves and they love to c o l l e c t them. The juxtaposition of them, even ordinary quotes, makes them even more interesting. The reason behind my choice of these quotes i s that I think we should stop analyzing things and sta r t experiencing them. Everything i s packaged so well for us; everyone carries into the classroom cliche's about the Mona L i s a , the David. Certain things about art are defined by advertisements and notions of beauty. One thing I do s o c i o l o g i c a l l y i n the classrooms i s a whole system of the notion of beauty i n people. We look at people for a long time and decide what i s beauty. We do the " 6 i l of Olay" thing, look at models and fashion magazines, look a l l through that stuff and question i t . That would help a l o t of people who are afr a i d of the i r pimples. - 81 Of course, i n a r t , there i s always going to be an extrapolation of your l i f e i f you are doing anything important. Then one can look at what i s b e a u t i f u l ; young men i n the class should be shut up i f they start making sexist remarks. You could discuss pornography; the kids, goodness knows, are seeing i t so you'd better deal with it> There i s a l o t of inexpensive a r t , a l o t that f i t s w e l l into the budget. I'm surprised how many teachers don't have any art when I go to t h e i r homes. If you l i k e art and teach art you should be wanting i t i n your l i f e . I f you go on a t r i p , say to Mexico, you should c o l l e c t folk a r t , which i s very inexpensive. For $100 you could r e a l l y stimulate your class for a year, and yourself. It would be a good idea to set up a continuing curriculum from grade three through twelve—-it would also teach the teacher. There would have to be alternatives to suit different personalities and methods that are adaptable to the teacher's milieu and preferences. I: How much importance should be placed on teaching crafts? T.G.: There i s so much junk that i s produced i n , for example, pottery that should be thrown away before i t i s f i r e d and taken home; those are teddy bears. Students should make t i l e s for the school's walls instead. At least you could use them for something. The students would think more i f they knew the t i l e s would be seen. I'm not for government res t r a i n t because then you have to leave out something, but I am for personal r e s t r a i n t . I would rather see the teacher s t a r t i n g from zero—no money—"where can I go from here?" Maybe the students could get a p e n c i l , newspaper, ra i d the garbage cans and assemble scraps. 82 Get books, not the year they come out, but next year from the book warehouse. There i s a way to do anything on almost any budget, but our governments don't know how not to spend money. There are people i n industry who w i l l come to the classroom and t e l l you s t u f f . People from the paper industry would bring pulp and students could play with i t and do a whole paper project. We ought to have a paper curriculum here because we are the paper c a p i t a l of the world. The Native population should also v i s i t the classroom to talk about what they do. The anthropology museum would help anyone who wanted to do that. The iconography of, for instance, the Haida i s not understood i n our Western viewpoint. I t i s a vocabulary a r t ; i t ' s a whole other way of a r t , not just design. There are a l o t of a r t i s t s who want to show their films and video tapes. Schools can offer $25 to show them or have the a r t i s t s there too. Take resources l i k e the National Film Board. Animation i s one of t h e i r fortes; they are known world-wide for the i r animation films. Bring the films i n and discuss animation; do small animation projects. Show other films about Canadian a r t i s t s . The students might come up with something else, a l i v e performance, or a drawing that r e f l e c t s what they have seen. They might come up with horrid derivative junk but i t doesn't matter; they've been exposed to something good. How do you deal with that as a teacher, that most of i t i s copy-cat junk? Well you're not there necessarily to produce great work, you're there to learn a great respect for art (those who go on with i t and those 83 who don't) and you are learning that i t ' s work. The teachers should stay i n the classroom with the a r t i s t s ; they could probably learn more than the students but they usually go off to the staffroom for coffee. Something from Goethe: "Thinking i s more interesting than knowing but even less interesting than looking." I'd say an art teacher i s teaching looking. We are i n a post-holocaust state and don't know i t . I f I were teaching art I would teach about nuclear holocaust because i t i s going to destroy the art collections of the world. I: How should art history be taught. T.G.: I don't think most teachers have enough experience, not only about Canadian art but art of t h i s century, so they end up showing the " C i v i l i z a t i o n " series. The poor man [^Kenneth Clarkj treats everything as though Chartres i s his backyard; nothing about the twentieth century. I'd rather Hughes' "Shock of the New", but he has a put down for everything. Teachers are not made aware of a l l the information and resources that are available to them: aids for teaching, f i l m s , lectures, equipment. Much more experimental art has to happen i n high school and grade school. I started doing performance arts with students i n grade school; i t ' s i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y . I l i k e to get them before they've got hard rules i n thei r heads. It's not true that you can't do multi-media works u n t i l you've got a l l the s k i l l s . I: What about environmental awareness? . T.-.G.: I t must be taught with no materials; you go and find i t a l l . Teachers have got to learn to save on materials; we are the throw-away society. A l o t of the projects that students do are l i k e designer 84 a r t ; they are doing what designers would do for a layout i n a magazine. We must allow the bad things to happen as well as the good. Teaching a r t , or showing a r t , i s l i k e a public forum and I must put i n what I disagree with as w e l l . I have great sympathy for teachers; students come late to class, they have shoddy habits, "prove i t to me" i s the main thing on the i r l i p s . We are teaching placebos for art instead of a r t — a l l the expensive trinkets that look aesthetic that you see i n art gallery shops and glossy magazines. I lament the a v a i l a b i l i t y of Yuppy junk i n our art g a l l e r i e s . Put a Gathie Falk i n the class room and copy i t t h i s week; that would be a r e a l l y interesting experiment. They'll s t a r t looking. That's called audience development, i f you have student a r t i s t s look at artists', work. I: How can an art teacher handle the popular arts? T.G.: I f you are teaching math or English the rules are a l l set out. I t is n ' t a l l set out for the art teacher and you have to be a stronger person to be, able to handle that. You have to be clued i n to what the students are looking at, for example, on t e l e v i s i o n , to know the v i s u a l things that w i l l get them stimulated beyond the normal record cover. One must st a r t educating students to video content, to see that rock tapes are t e r r i b l e contentless junk that are put together perfectly. Teachers must bring to class video tapes that are useful to counterbalance t h i s g l i t z y rock phenomena that i s so compellingly a t t r a c t i v e . They are wonderful and h o r r i b l e ; f u l l of drugs and violence and sexism; they 85 go nowhere. Why shouldn't art works be brought into the schools? Hang a painting by a B.C. a r t i s t i n the.art room for a week. There i s an art bank i n Ottawa that ships them a l l over Canada; a system whereby people get exposed to excellence. There i s a huge embarrassment that art i s n ' t i n t e l l e c t u a l enough. We look at art books and see more writing than picture; there i s something wrong with that. We have more curators and educators and talkers-about-art than we have a r t i s t s . Greg Murdock Interviewer: Why i s art an important part of a secondary school education? Greg Murdock: My high school program i n art was v i r t u a l l y non-existent. Art history i s as much a part of the other aspects of s o c i a l history as anything else; a l l of these areas i n t e r r e l a t e . I put that together a l o t l a t e r than I would have i f I'd had an adequate art education i n high school. That would have sparked my i n t e r e s t . In other words, the relationship of music and l i t e r a t u r e to. the v i s u a l arts i s almost growing on each other and i n t e r r e l a t i n g h i s t o r i c a l l y . What i s important i s having somebody who i s capable of r e l a t i n g those subjects i n that manner. A big problem i n art education i n general i s that the people who teach i t are not competent to teach this view, so i n that respect you start to think that there i s not much hope of interrelated a c t i v i t i e s . I think i t ' s important that everyone become sympathetic to v i s u a l art because we are a very self-conscious society i n anything that has to do with our capability to be creative and the more we can broaden our base of awareness the less insecure we w i l l be about producing a r t . 86 There i s a lack of confidence among Canadian a r t i s t s . There i s such l i t t l e chance of a r t i s t s here breaking ground and getting work out. A r t i s t s here often tend to overdo thei r i n i t i a l idea or statement because of that insecurity, because they are not w i l l i n g to stop and say, "That's what I intended." They tend to overwork. And i f they move to somewhere l i k e New York thei r work changes and becomes more certain. I t ' s a b i t off the subject but maybe that's what i t i s with art i n the high schools. How can you give anyone else any confidence i f you have none yourself? That i s what an art education i s a l l about, making you f e e l confident enough to say to yourself, " t h i s i s what I do and I f e e l strong about i t , and I am able to defend what I do." You get an increased awareness when you look at things, whether they be ,-contemporary or h i s t o r i c a l , and are able to analyLze them, feed them into your own ideas and see that what you are doing stands up. Maybe i t i s important to have certain high schools with that s p e c i f i c focus. We can't hope, f i n a n c i a l l y , to have a system that would allow for an adequate art education through a l l high schools. There are not enough people being trained to do that. Maybe, i n the same way that art schools provide a foundations course to whet the students' appetites for certain areas of the a r t s , i t ' s possible, towards the end of elementary school, to have a s p e c i f i c , compulsory art course. This would give an overview to students and, i f i t has twigged t h e i r interest enough, they can choose to go to a high school that relates those subjects to them on a much f u l l e r art curriculum. Having special high 87 schools geared to the arts might mean l i m i t i n g the other students i n terms of art education. I don't know what can be done about that because a l l people need some form of art education. I t allows them to become more sympathetic. Understanding art begins with keeping as many doors open as possible i n terms of why the a r t i s t i s doing t h i s , what the a r t i s t i s looking for. Either through my own lack of attention or the fact that no one was t e l l i n g i t to me i n the right way (that there was something of interest to be learned), I was not aware of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of art. A l o t . o f the time the fa u l t l i e s at the beginnings, but the high schools are ultimately responsible for the education. In art schools there seems to be a f a u l t within the system; a great lack of knowing what i s going on once you get out of the school, the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of a job. There are many who aren't suited to working as studio a r t i s t s but may have a re a l knack putting together art works. I don't think the art school helps them look i n these directions. A l o t of people never r e a l l y discover what they are doing at art school. To me the most important thing to discover at. art school, as a working a r t i s t i s the a b i l i t y to function by yourself. A l o t of people never f i n d what i t i s that interests them, thei r notion of what they want to do with their own imagery, and become very dependent on the whole school system. Then when the system i s no longer around them i t ' s very easy to just bow out and not continue with art work. The f a u l t l i e s , i n a sense, with the educator because, whether at high school or art school l e v e l , i f you can't stimulate the student 88 because you're not stimulated yourself, a l l you can teach i s the mechanics of the subject and never get down to the heart of the matter. You're not going to move the student i n any di r e c t i o n . Only a few educators allow the student to explore, to try different things, to be as experimental as possible, to do whatever i s necessary to find the confidence to continue. I: What do you f e e l i s important i n teacher training? G.M.: A l o t i s i n the personality of the teacher. Many go into the teaching profession who aren't suited for i t . There i s also a lack of quality and consistency i n the education system, both i n the teachers and i n those who teach them. I think that 90% of people teaching art are not aware of what i s going on i n contemporary a r t . I go to a l o t of openings and art a c t i v i t i e s i n the c i t y and i t i s rare that I see someone there who i s an instructor at one of the art schools, l e t alone the high schools. How can you stimulate a student to understand something about the current issues i n , say the German neo-expressionistic movement i f you have no clue yourself about what i s going on int e r n a t i o n a l l y l e t alone i n your own backyard. Also, of that 90% hardly any of them are practicing a r t i s t s . You've got to star t wondering who's at the reins here. I: Are gallery v i s i t s useful to students? G.M.: I don't know how many classes you've seen taken to a gallery but i t ' s not many. You can only learn.so much.from a s i x inch reproduction i n a textbook. You don't see what the actual work i t s e l f i s . If the a r t i s t i s w i l l i n g , you could take a group of students to his studio. 89 If you see enough of them you r e a l i z e that i t ' s d i fferent for eveiry one. Some have p r i s t i n e studios; some have a hole i n the w a l l . The si t u a t i o n would f i n a l l y become relevent to the students i n that they would see that art i s a personal form of expression that they can do as well as anyone else; that they can have an idea that i s strong enough for them to wish to pursue. Somehow there has to be an increased awareness of the art that i s being made now, whether through students going out to the g a l l e r i e s , or by bringing i n a r t i s t s to give guest lectures and workshops and to talk to the students. Possibly having working a r t i s t s coming i n on a regular basis would be one of the best ways of dealing with this because you would get a broad range. They could come on ah honorarium basis. Having professional a r t i s t s would provide a l o t of stimulus to students who have a potential interest i n pursuing an art career. Maybe art i s a very s p e c i f i c subject that only a few students are going to be able to absorb—I don't know. There seems to be a very small percentage of students who are receiving a strong amount of information i n a r t . I: How can you evaluate students' work? G.M.: That has always been to me one of the hardest things. How do you b u i l d up the confidence of the student? Sometimes the most subtle, underscored conversation can be the most devastating to someone who i s very vulnerable. The a b i l i t y for a c h i l d or an adolescent at high school to st a r t feeling good about his work i s primarily the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the teacher, i n terms of how he i s directing the flow of the class. I t w i l l determine whether the c h i l d picks up or f a l l s by the wayside. 90. How many instructors take the time, or are broadminded enough, to understand that certain things about the way someone works are highly i n d i v i d u a l and something to be proud of and develop? - Our grading system doesn't do j u s t i c e to that. One way would be to give private critiques and after that give some evaluation that i s n ' t as cut and dried as A, B, C. When I look at a l o t of a r t i s t s , they come from a complete bypassing of art i n the school because of things there that were deterrents at the time i n terms of their feelings about themselves. To my mind one way of assessing i s to see how much interest there i s , how much work these people are producing. I think that i s a good measure of how much you, as a teacher, are managing to stimulate. Art education has got to be a combination of theory and practice. I think our education system i s .strong enough that students should be able to do both. I don't think we have to have huge studios teaching a l l the technical aspects of the work. What i s the point i f they've got nothing they want to do with i t ? What's the point of learning to weld i f you've got no focus? I t ' s more important to instruct a student i n the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of why you might want to do something than i n learning the mechanics of how to do i t . If art classes are being cut for f i n a n c i a l reasons you could cut down on equipment. As far as wri t i n g curriculum, maybe' the a r t i s t s should.be working i n council with the people who are doing that. 91 Marian Penner-Bancroft Interviewer: What are the reasons for a secondary school art program? Marian Penner-Bancroft: The art room i s one of the few places i n one's public school education where one i s able to r e a l l y use the imagination and develop, the use of the imagination. ,It i s very important that there be some place where creative a b i l i t i e s are encouraged. For the fortunate few, that can happen at home with parents who are interested i n making sure t h e i r c h i l d goes to g a l l e r i e s , hears music, or has materials to play with. More often than not they don't and school may be the only place where they are exposed to t h e i r own p o s s i b i l i t i e s . F e r t i l e imagination can be applied to any area, be i t art or music, history or computers. So, to me, art education i s important, not only for those who plan to become a r t i s t s , but for anybody, just i n order for them to become acquainted with t h e i r own p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n creative a b i l i t y . This does not stop at high school age. My most important experiences i n art classes happened when I was about 15, when I was? just at the edge of knowing what I could do myself that wasn't directed or assigned by a teacher. I could draw from my experience; art class was one of the few places where my experience had a place i n school, where I could put things that were important to me. In no other class was that r e a l l y possible. The other classes consisted of memorizing someone else's facts with very l i t t l e room for personal c r e a t i v i t y . I had a wonderful art teacher who was very supportive of my desire to paint. He encouraged me to use a l l sorts of materials; the teacher makes the difference. I: How important are art history and aesthetics in the art program? M.P.-B.: I never had any art history at school; what I did get was by-the-by, the teacher talking off the top of his head while we worked, and relating the structure of the work we were doing to one of the masters. My art history came from home, from books my parents had. The history of art is very much a part of the history of human activity; i t i s one more way of understanding why humans behave the way they do. It would be wonderful to have i t in school. I don't think i t ' s necessary to have i t in with the studio course, i t could be a separate course quite easily. I don't think you can teach art history at the same time as someone is trying to paint. But a program that would incorporate both the studio and the academic—that would be wonderful. People planning to become artists need to know a lot more than they used to; demands placed on an ar t i s t in 1985 are very different from 20 or 30 years ago. The responsibilities are greater — o f knowing what is going around them p o l i t i c a l l y , emotionally, intellectually. I feel the responsibility more than ever now to know where work comes from, where i t f i t s in and doesn't, and why. ItsV function i s changing. I: What do you think about gallery education and outside influences? M.P.-B.: Bringing artists into the school, having them come with their work or slides of their work is really important. It's feasible; they would be interested, especially i f they were getting paid. Trips to the galleries are very important, more than just to the main galleries. A lot of the small ones around town are showing the work of very 93 hard working people. Students need role models and that's how they would see them i f someone came i n and said "Look, this i s what I do, this i s why I do i t . " I t ' s not just for those who are going to be a r t i s t s , just as i t i s important for those who are not going to be musicians to hear musicians play. You can enjoy an amazing experience without feeling you have to go out and do that. I t ' s quite enriching to have examples of creative thought and empowered energy i n practice, people taking control of the i r l i v e s and making something of them, doing something. I: What about the popular arts? M.P.-B.: Voodoo a r t , I c a l l i t . That's as much as they've been given to think i s a r t . In the i r limited way they are using t h e i r imagination. If they don't know they can do anything else, that's too bad. But i t ' s not to be frowned at; given encouragement t h e y ' l l go on and do more. Some of those people w i l l turn into r e a l l y good graphic a r t i s t s and designers. I think as an a c t i v i t y for young people as a means of ide n t i f y i n g themselves within t h e i r l i f e and within their whole s o c i a l structure art i s very important. High school students, now, are expressing themselves i n how they dress; people have got more adventurous with the i r v i s u a l presentation of themselves, which i s great, t h i s kind of c r e a t i v i t y with clothing and fashion often starts i n the lower economic groups and that then becomes the palette of art a c t i v i t y . I t i s important, when surrounded by so much media imagery, that students become aware of a l l the structure that supports a l l that information. Then they w i l l understand that a l l that work comes from 9 4 somebody, that someone with a point of view made that, that i t doesn't just happen out there from some blurry mass of j e l l y that makes t e l e v i s i o n , that people are putting magazines together. We see why those images work the way they do and how they affect us and our l i v e s . I: Is a knowledge of f i l m important i n the art room? M.P.-B.: The more tools students can acquire the better. I see the media as tools that can serve the ideas and imagination of the people using them. The more access they have to a range.>.of too l s , from paints and brushes to video cameras and posters,, the more wisely thety w i l l be able to use them. I t might be d i f f i c u l t to get access to film-making equipment but there may be a way of school boards having a central depot of equipment that could be lent to schools on a short term basis. Art should be used to communicate and to acquire some kind of c r i t i c a l faculty. , The way media has been able to manipulate thinking and our s e l f images i s astounding. People f e e l desperately inadequate i n the face of the imagery around them that t e l l s them they should be someone else. I f you continually feed a person's sense of lack of perfection, lack of s e l f worth, then you get a docile population. I don't see myself as separate from a l l of t h i s but I do f e e l privileged to be able to look with some detachment at the structure of the media. We should a l l be able to observe the structures that mold us and therefore understand them. I: What sort of teacher tra i n i n g i s necessary? M.P.-B.: In elementary school I remember being given mimeo-graphed sheets to colour, so you acquire your s a t i s f a c t i o n at the l e v e l of 95 being able to f i l l i n someone else's l i n e s . You need better trained teachers. You have to go back further; there has to be a value placed on the teaching of art such that people are attracted to i t as a profession. People must have i t i n th e i r minds that i t i s a valuable a c t i v i t y . There i s not enough value placed on a r t . People don't r e a l i z e how much fun art i s . They also have i t i n t h e i r minds that to work creatively i n art means that you have to put i t out there for sale and have some kind of blue ribbon attached to i t for i t to be a j u s t i f i a b l e a c t i v i t y for the i n d i v i d u a l . It ' s r e a l l y important for kids that i t becomes one more thing they ' can do i f they choose. If they are never exposed to art then they are missing something. The s k i l l s you learn i n terms of your own motivation and imagination through working.with art materials can be carried over to any profession or kind of work. I t a l l has to do with f l e x i b i l i t y of the mind and developing an emotional capacity. The more people are able to express themselves the more sensitive they are to the people around them. I: What sort of evaluation can be used? M.P.-B.: In any art class the r e a l l y talented people are going to emerge and you want to be able to acknowledge that s k i l l and hard work with a good mark. On the other hand you may have someone who hasn't had the encouragement from the beginning but i s working hard; i t ' s impossible for them to catch.up i n one year. Everyone has i n them the capacity to be an a r t i s t — i t i s n ' t one s k i l l to acquire; i t ' s an attitude to being a l i v e and a c u r i o s i t y and a sense of adventure with materials. 96 It ' s a natural human impulse to make things but everyone gets a different dose of encouragement. Evaluation i s a d i f f i c u l t problem for me—giving marks i n a high school and making them the university requirement. I t ' s not a quantifiable exercise the way a math test might be. The way I give marks at the art school i s a combination of elements: half the mark w i l l be on t h e i r actual work, 25% on p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n class discussions and c r i t i q u e s , and 25% on a research presentation. So there i s a range of ways of p a r t i c i p a t i n g and working within one class. The work i s the most important but p a r t i c i p a t i o n also plays a part. Each person i s dealt with separately. I f e e l very limited by having to give As, Bs, Cs, and Ds; I would l i k e something a l i t t l e more subtle. The one-to-one contact i s r e a l l y important i n education, where I am speaking d i r e c t l y to them about t h e i r work; this i s more d i f f i c u l t i n the large classes i n high school. I: Should art be a required course i n secondary school? M.P.-B.: I don't know that anybody should be forced to take art because that immediately makes i t suspect i n some sense, but i t also lends i t , c r e d i b i l i t y . There must be enough credit attached to i t that i t i s , an a t t r a c t i v e course. I: Is environmental awareness a proper concern i n art class? M.P.-B.: This i s central to an a r t i s t ' s concern,* the notion of being able to locate oneself as an i n t e g r a l part of a system. A teacher should provide a l e v e l of experience for the students which allows them to understand t h e i r place i n the environment. Physically i t could mean v i s i t i n g places of industry, getting outside the school walls, and tal k i n g 97 to people who are working. Reading and seeing films can help but i t ' s a l l so second-hand, so distanced. The more first-hand experience they can have of the i r environment the better. We know most certainly what i s happening i n the world from what i s happening to us. I t i s important for students to acquire graphic s k i l l s partly so they can make posters and advertising material but also to understand a l l the design that i s around them. To understand the s k i l l s involved i n advertising, choosing a typeface, to understand the i r role as consumers and producers of information i s es s e n t i a l . I: What basic s k i l l s should be taught? M.P.-B.: I t ' s a l l t r a i n i n g ; they are a l l tools to be used by the i n d i v i d u a l to lend some kind of substance to the i r own l i v e s , some kind of weight to their experience, to know that who they are i s important. I t ' s important to get as many s k i l l s as possible while you are at school. Colour theory; certainly i t ' s important, not as an end i n i t s e l f , but as a means to understanding. And drawing—everyone can draw. Though the way we have been taught has put a l i d on a l o t of people's sense of themselves as being able to draw. I t ' s a l o t more d i f f i c u l t to be an a r t i s t than i t was. A l o t of people equate art with painting but now the i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y approach to art i s becoming more prevalent i n the art schools. Again i t i s a case of choosing the right materials and the more you know about them the more you w i l l be able to choose what i s appropriate for a p a r t i c u l a r project. With photography you have to struggle with some art teachers who f e e l i t i s not r e a l l y an art form, or i f i t i s i t ' s a secondary form. But i t i s a very expressive t o o l . There i s a fear of the medium among some teachers because i t i s a democratic one; most people have access to a camera. I t i s n ' t an e l i t i s t tool and there are some who wish to keep art e l i t i s t . I f you keep art e l i t i s t i t becomes a commodity that has a money value placed on i t . This reinforces an art arena of buying and s e l l i n g which gets away from what the art object i s or means. Its meaning then comes from a monetary value and the other meaning, a connection to someone's experience, i s lost-, I think the need for art education goes beyond just schools. So much of what students get i n the i r attitude to art i s from the i r parents, so i t ' s a huge task. One of the reasons that education and art are not being supported i n this province i s that we have a government that doesn't place a value on the development of the individual's independence. Given the government we have now, the less we know the better. There i s no investment for them i n students knowing more and therefore being less easy to manipulate. A l o t of what i s going on p r o v i n c i a l l y i s very short term thinking. To me, part of an art education i s that i t allows you to develop your a b i l i t y to think and do at the same time. I t ' s not just mindless painting on automatic p i l o t . What proceeds, say Jackson Pollock throwing his paint around, i s a l o t of thinking and knowledge. His spontaneous a c t i v i t y i s incredibly prepared. The only way to. save the world i s to increase an a b i l i t y to think creatively. 99 Richard Prince Interviewer: Why should art be taught i n secondary schools, and what .value does art have i n the community and to young children growing up i n that community? Richard Prince: These are major philosophical issues that have been handled for years and years. I don't think that i t ' s a question that needs to be answered. I think i t ' s a phony question and I think i t ' s one that indicates there must be a reason for i t . I don't.know why mathematics should be taught, or l i t e r a t u r e . A l l I know i s that they are a c t i v i t i e s that have been going on for hundreds of thousands of ' years and are part of the culture and i f you want to teach people about where and how they l i v e then these things should be taught. I don't think there i s any separation of why art should be taught as opposed to why anything else should be taught. I don't think i t can be answered.. I t i s just part of human culture and that i s what schools should be teaching. Schools should be teaching a l l the things humans do. We make a r t , therefore we can teach a r t ; both the making and the looking. Science courses are taught i n the same way; both the making and the looking. Art i s a human a c t i v i t y which has certain kinds of meaning; i t ' s a part of a communicative language, therefore i t should be taught i n the same way that l i t e r a t u r e , science, math should be taught. I think i t ' s a shortsighted thing, for people to decide to cut out that area. One cannot make a special case for a r t , one can only make the same case for art as you can for every other area of human need. Art is n ' t 100 s p e c i a l , i t ' s just part of human a c t i v i t y and therefore should.be taught. There are two aspects to education, one has to do with enculturing in d i v i d u a l s , c i v i l i z i n g them i n a sense, introducing people to the ideas and theories of th e i r culture, th e i r past, the i r traditions and b e l i e f s . The other aspect might be considered that of p r a c t i c a l t r a i n i n g . Some of these are r i g h t l y the.province of the schools and some are not necessarily taught by the school system. Choices have been made that some aspects of education should be continued even i f they are purely c i v i l i z i n g and educational i n the most l i b e r a l sense of the word, not trade t r a i n i n g . Art f a l l s into that aspect. Art could be taught as a whole c u l t u r a l experience, which might include music, drama, l i t e r a t u r e ; i n other words, the c u l t u r a l achievements of mankind could be taught i n one area. S c i e n t i f i c achievements could be taught i n another area, and direct trade training i n another. I f I was running the school system I would try to s t r i k e a balance between those areas: the purely c u l t u r a l , the technical and s c i e n t i f i c , and the trade t r a i n i n g , because I don't see art taught properly as a trade tr a i n i n g thing. I don't think, i n the high schools, there i s any need for i t to be taught as a trade. I f there i s going to be that attitude taken to i t , i t should be at a post-secondary school, l i k e nursing and so on. And there i s a need for certain s k i l l s i n a r t i s t s . More importantly, art i s l i k e l i t e r a t u r e . Students should be taught to be verbally l i t e r a t e , to read and write correctly, and they should be taught to be v i s u a l l y l i t e r a t e , so they can examine the 101 v i s u a l products of culture and find them as informative and meaningful, or as s i l l y , as they are. This should be taught so a student can find his way through v i s u a l language as well as he can through verbal language. That includes theatre, movies, photography, advertising imagery; these are a l l part of a v i s u a l language which i s as potent and as prevalent as verbal language. I: Do you see this as a studio course as well as theoretical? R.P.: The p a r a l l e l would be the teaching of English i n schools which begins with a heavily p r a c t i c a l approach but a l l along students are introduced to aspects of l i t e r a t u r e u n t i l , i n the senior years, they are able to study and read l i t e r a t u r e more i n order to discuss the ideas embodied i n i t rather than learn again the fine points of grammar. One of the problems with education i n art i s that, i n the past, there has been a sense, perhaps formed by Bauhausian i l l u s i o n s , that art was one of those things that was going to save mankind from his fate, something that was superior to other human a c t i v i t i e s and therefore had a special r e l a t i o n to people. I don't know.that that i s true. I don't see i t as having a special "saving" r e l a t i o n to humanity. I t i s a c i v i l i z i n g influence no more than any other c u l t u r a l aspect. One of the things that has to be considered very carefully by art educators i s the notion that art can become a highly psychological enterprise and be taught as such. Or one that i s akin to some kind of mysterious alchemical process, that i t i s not taught as the product of in t e l l i g e n c e . Or, on the other side, that i t i s seen to be some kind of therapeutic a c t i v i t y whereby students can release inner feelings, •102 p r e s umably s u b l i m a t e them o r wha t e v e r one does w i t h i n n e r f e e l i n g s . I t h i n k t h a t i s a h i g h l y r o m a n t i c a t t i t u d e t h a t has been d e t r i m e n t a l t o a r t e d u c a t i o n . I: What do you see as u s e f u l i n s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l a r t c u r r i c u l u m ? R.P.: What woul d have improved my a r t e d u c a t i o n g r e a t l y i s i f t h e r e had been a much l a r g e r component o f l o o k i n g a t t h e a c t u a l p r o d u c t s o f artists» I know t h a t i s d i f f i c u l t on t h e west c o a s t o f N o r t h A m e r i c a , and i t ' s even more d i f f i c u l t i f y o u ' r e t e a c h i n g up i n t h e i n t e r i o r o f B . C . — t o t e a c h what a r t l o o k s l i k e . But I t h i n k one o f t h e problems i n t e a c h i n g a r t i n B.C. i s t h a t t h e r e h a s n ' t been a l o t o f emphasis on what a r t l o o k s l i k e . T h ere has been a t e n d e n c y , i n t h e p a s t , t o t r e a t a r t i n t h a t c l a s s y k i n d o f a r t - a n d - c r a f t s y way where a r t was seen t o be a p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y advantageous t h i n g f o r t h e e x p r e s s i v e n e s s o f an i n d i v i d u a l , w h i c h i t c e r t a i n l y i s i n t h e j u n i o r g r a d e s , t o a l l o w c h i l d r e n t o have some e x p e r i e n c e i n a c t u a l l y making p r o d u c t s . However, once t h e s t u d e n t i s i n s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l , a r t s h o u l d be th o u g h t o f i n t h e same way as t e a c h i n g l i t e r a t u r e where you g e t b o t h t h e sense o f t h e w r i t e r s o f t h e p a s t p l u s some e x p e r i e n c e o f w r i t i n g y o u s e l f , i n t h e c r e a t i v e and p r a c t i c a l s e n s e . I t h i n k t h a t a r t s h o u l d be seen as e x a c t l y p a r a l l e l t o t h a t , where t h e r e i s a need t o s t u d y t h e ac h i e v e m e n t s o f a r t i s t s o f t h e p a s t and t o l e a r n how t o make works w h i c h d i s c u s s one's own i d e a s . I t h i n k t h e h i s t o r y a r e a o f a new c u r r i c u l u m s h o u l d be i n c r e a s e d v a s t l y towards t h e l a t e r g r a d e s . Perhaps one c o u l d have a p r a c t i c a l grade 12 a r t c o u r s e and a grade 12 a r t h i s t o r y c o u r s e . . 103 I: What kind of tra i n i n g should art teachers have? Can we get away from colouring turkeys at Thanksgiving? R.P.: I prefer the turkeys and the Hallowe'en pumpkins i n the junior grades. I think there i s nothing wrong with that. I'm a fan of colouring books. I think children should be given colouring books at an early age and a box of crayons and be told to colour and to try to stay within the l i n e s . I think the notion of teaching children to be e x p r e s s i v e — l i k e "this child's a creative genius"—that's s i l l y . I think children want to be taught to do a l l kinds of things. They should be given blank paper and a colouring book too. I don't think one w i l l cause the c h i l d to be uncreative. I think i t would be a reinforcing and h e l p f u l item for them to play with. I remember doing a l l kinds of c r a f t - l i k e things and they are fine experiences for kids. In some ways they are advantageous because one of the problems i n teaching art at any l e v e l i s that now there are no canons, of beauty. You cannot point to the work of a c h i l d and say"This i s not good." Any i n t e l l i g e n t c h i l d w i l l show the scribble to his parents who w i l l point to a Cy Twombly painting that sold for $20,000 i n a New York gallery and say ' T e l l me the difference." I defy you to find a l o t of people who could t e l l you the difference. I think, because of t h i s , i t makes the teaching of art i n junior grades, except i n purely psychological terms [of encouragementj rather a r t i f i c i a l . There i s a major s h i f t when a c h i l d begins to have some consciousness of quality differences. Kids, at some point, do want to know why one thing i s better than another, and can be told that theirs i s not as 104 good as someone else's without that intense agony and anxiety about i t . That i s the time to say, "There are differences and l e t ' s look at the products of good a r t i s t s . " Once a c h i l d becomes conscious of wanting, himself, to do good quality items, then the idea of changing art to become more expressive and yet to answer questions of commitment and quality and acheivement, both at an i n t e l l e c t u a l and s k i l l l e v e l , can be brought i n . Then art can become less craft oriented. Teaching craft to young children teaches motor control, builds up a whole fund of v i s u a l information. They get the most important lesson of a l l , that things are made. Physically constructing an object that was not there before, whether i t i s your breakfast, a sweater, or a painting, i s very important, whether the c h i l d w i l l ever become a maker or producer of art or not. I t gives him a clue to the fact that this world i s not here by magic, that i t i s produced by humans. I : What about gallery education? R.P.: I think i t ' s very important, once a year, to p i l e the kids into a bus and take them down to the art gallery. Most of them have never been there. I t ' s an awesome experience. It's clean; you walk through and look at the Emily Carr paintings and i t ' s meaningful and they l i k e i t . Whether you should go back and encourage the student to.paint his feelings of the forest—I'm not sure. I think there has been too much stress, i n the teaching of art i n public schools, on the p r a c t i c a l component and not enough on the sense that this i s a human acheivement with a long t r a d i t i o n of history and a set of ideas. 1.05 I: What are your views on popular art i n the school art class? R.P.: I can see no reason why, for example, i n order to lure the students into the idea of imagery, the f i r s t lesson has to be to look at something as appalling as science f i c t i o n magazines. But there would be a way of handling even that, to u t i l i z e that imagery as a t a c t i c a l teaching t o o l . You could admit from the start that i t i s junk but discuss with the class why i t i s appealing. Go from there and find how i t i s done, how you can model a figure to look l i k e a robot. You could bring i n metal pipes from the shop, shine l i g h t s on i t , do a study of l i g h t on metal. Then the student can move on to other areas. There i s a tendency with teachers to think that because one thing appeals to students another won't. I think that i s the fa u l t of the teacher, not the student. Art i s too vast, i n a l l i t s ramifications, to be handled i n one course, or two, or three. I t has to be handled as part of human i n t e l l e c t u a l culture. I: Do you see a value i n a continuing art syllabus throughout school? R.P.: The achievement levels i n contemporary l i t e r a t u r e , poetry, and art are so far beyond the c u l t u r a l levels of those that there i s tremendous d i f f i c u l t y im looking at anything more recent than what was done 20 or 30 years ago. I t i s a complex language game to those involved i n i t . Someone trying to teach that i n schools i s r e a l l y butting th e i r head up against a d i f f i c u l t problem. A course would have to"be designed so students could make sense of i t at every l e v e l , otherwise they would be l o s t . But that kind of problem i n determining 106 a syllabus and achievement .".levels has been solved i n other areas, and could be i n the v i s u a l arts. I think there has been a tendency i n the past to take a highly romantic view of art i n the teaching of art i n the public schools. This has been charming from the point of view of the a r t i s t who i s seen as something very odd and d i f f e r e n t . But i n the long run i t i s a problem for the students because that romantic idea of art i s hard to reconcile with the p r a c t i c a l world they have to l i v e i n . As soon as art i s seen as a human achievement, sim i l a r to but different from, other achievements of s c i e n t i s t s , architects, poets, w r i t e r s , then i t ' s going to be a l o t easier to teach. Once the quasi-religious, evangelical fervour i s dropped from art the easier things w i l l be. Conclusions There had been no preordained number of interviews planned but by the end of the s i x t h one i t became apparent that (a) questions were being answered i n a s i m i l a r way and conclusions drawn from the a r t i s t s ' opinions were following a s i m i l a r pattern and, (b) that the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of the a r t i s t s was i n f i n i t e l y variable. Thus, although continuing to talk to other a r t i s t s would have been interesting, i t would not have furthered the o r i g i n a l premise of t h i s thesis which was that what a r t i s t s have to say on the subject of art education i s of use to the makers of school art curriculum. 107 CHAPTER 6 '  AN ASSESSMENT OF THE INTERVIEWS Introduction A synthesis of the information from the s i x a r t i s t s interviewed i s presented i n th i s chapter under those headings suggested by issues raised by art educators i n Chapter 2, and an assessment i s made of their importance to the secondary school art curriculum. The nub of each a r t i s t ' s remarks and recommendations on various subjects have been extracted and synthesized to form a cogent statement. This makes for a somewhat a r t i f i c i a l interpretation of the a r t i s t ' s intention and should be considered only with regard to the context of the interviews themselves As the interviews were ess e n t i a l l y informal, some of the remarks were, to a certain extent, l i g h t l y or humorously phrased; some were h a s t i l y made and then, on further thought, p a r t i a l l y rejected or modified. These are not f u l l y prepared and polished speeches or documents. This does not however negate t h e i r worth; spontaneous ideas are often most pertinent Summary of the Interviews The purpose of interviewing a r t i s t s was to ascertain (a) their position on whether the making and understanding of the v i s u a l arts i s necessary to adolescents and should be taught i n secondary schools and, (b) i f the answer i s affirmative, what should be taught and i n what manner General Pr i n c i p l e s In answering the f i r s t part of this query the a r t i s t s interviewed 108 were unanimous i n their opinion that making and enjoying v i s u a l forms^ i s , and always has been, a basic component of human a c t i v i t y . The a r t i s t s related the learning of communication through visual forms to the. learning of a verbal, mathematical, or s c i e n t i f i c mode of communication. They saw art i n some ways as different from, but i n others as si m i l a r to, and c e r t i n l y equally as essential .as those other d i s c i p l i n e s . The public school system was seen as the necessary, and possibly for some the only area where a broad-based and l i b e r a l education, v i t a l to a cultured society, could be obtained. Several a r t i s t s saw the present B r i t i s h Columbian government as undereducated i n the l i b e r a l arts and as therefore lacking i n an understanding of the necessity for a ca t h o l i c , comprehensive, and enlightened education for the populace. This, they f e l t , has led to the focus of current cuts on arts-related subjects i n schools and un i v e r s i t i e s . Indeed Jean Kamins saw the r e s t r i c t i o n s as deliberately enforced i n order to c u r t a i l an imaginative, free-thinking public who would then c r i t i c i z e the government. Jean Kamins.1 rationale for including art i n the secondary school system was two-fold; a well-rounded education gives a student an understanding of his position i n the world, his complete and unanalyzable whole, and i t provides a r t i s t s with a knowledgeable, appreciative audience. Without these two factors our c u l t u r a l heritage cannot survive and our sense of ide n t i t y i s diminished. To Colette French the essential benefit of an art course at the secondary school l e v e l i s as a foundation i n expressive s k i l l s that can enable an adolescent to come to terms with his world and can lead, after school, to enriched leisure time. In her opinion there i s a lack of balance i n people's l i v e s between making and observing which leads to a lack of self-confidence i n our creative a b i l i t i e s and our significance as individuals. Tom Graff's opinions on why art i s essential are d i f f i c u l t to pin down d e f i n i t i v e l y . Talking to him one senses that art i s l i f e and l i f e , a r t ; that to comprehend one i s to comprehend the other. To Greg Murdock an interrelationship of a l l art a c t i v i t i e s i s important. He noted a great lack of knowledge of the arts and the p o s s i b i l i t i e s inherent i n them and indicated this should be a major goal i n secondary school art courses. This lack of knowledge has led to a self-conscious insecurity about personal c r e a t i v i t y and the way to combat that i s to ensure a sympathetic attitude to art at the school l e v e l . Marian Penner-Bancroft's reason for art education was based on the conviction that the art room i s an exceptional area of school where the development of c r e a t i v i t y i s acti v e l y encouraged, leading to a f e r t i l e growth i n imagination i n students which can be applied to any f i e l d of learning. Richard Prince said that art i s a part of human culture and that i f schools are concerned with passing on the s k i l l s of human a c t i v i t y then obviously art would be included. Visual communication must be . . . 110 learned to no greater or lesser extent than other forms of communication. The second part of the purpose of interviewing a r t i s t s , that of .finding what subjects and methods a r t i s t s considered important i n secondary school art classes, i s presented under general headings suggested either by the a r t i s t s ' own statements or by the questions put to them. Art History and Aesthetics While i t was acknowledged by a l l a r t i s t s interviewed that art history i s a very important and generally neglected area of secondary school art programs i t was also seen to be a d i f f i c u l t subject to handle successfully. I t was thought by a l l that art teachers do not have a broad or profound knowledge or understanding of twentieth century art movements"or of a r t i s t s i n Canada and therefore are not competent to teach an art history course. Programs based on such works as Kenneth Clark's C i v i l i z a t i o n (1969) were seen as too e l i t i s t - b a s e d and r a c i a l l y biased and several a r t i s t s thought more attention should be devoted to other art d i s c i p l i n e s , i n p a r t i c u l a r , given our geographical position, Northwest Coast Indian and Asian. Traditional art history courses were seen by some as tedious, tending to alienate students from any interest i n a r t , and possibly giving false impressions of general art a c t i v i t i e s because of the narrow "high a r t " emphasis of most art history textbooks and films. A r t i s t s saw the history of art as simply a part of the history of a society's culture, but considered that i t i s not generally taught i n th i s manner. While some of the a r t i s t s interviewed saw art history .111 and aesthetics as best incorporated i n a studio course, others saw'' no d i f f i c u l t y i n having a d i s t i n c t theoretical or academic course, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the higher grades. Studio Art A l l a r t i s t s interviewed thought that, although art history and aesthetics should be a part of art courses, they should not function alone. The studio art class was generally seen as one of the few, i f not the only, part of school curriculum where students are encouraged to use imagination, self-expression and c r e a t i v i t y . Marian Penner-Bancrof t said i t i s the only place where students can relate t h e i r own experience to the i r world. In her own secondary school experience, she said, the art room, alone, was where her opinion was sought and valued. Most a r t i s t s considered that the students learned more about v i s u a l communication from making thei r own work than from learning about other art works, though Richard Prince voiced the opinion that there has been too much p r a c t i c a l work done i n school art with too l i t t l e thought behind i t . Greg Murdock agreed that more emphasis should be given to the reasons behind one's own art work and that there should be a reduction of the mindless production of school art projects. Several a r t i s t s decried our society's preference for passive watching rather than active doing and saw the art class as a positive influence on students at a formative age, leading, they thought, to an adult population more able and w i l l i n g to attempt thei r own creations i n both arts and c r a f t s . Jean Kamins*' rationale for studio course work was that, through understanding at f i r s t hand what goes into making"' 112 different types of a r t , students w i l l leave school with the a b i l i t y to form a knowledgeable audience and market, a necessity i f we are to continue to have an a r t i s t i c component to our society. Studio courses were also seen as combatting, through a p r a c t i c a l understanding of the processes involved, the bewildering fascination of the advertising world with i t s glossy, mechanical perfection. The basic s k i l l s of an art class such as drawing, painting, colour and design p r i n c i p l e s , printmaking, fabrics and clay work, and photography were seen by a l l as too l s , to be learned and mastered to whatever l e v e l possible, but not t c be considered as ends i n themselves. Jean Kamins! view was that the students w i l l learn a s k i l l when they need to use i t , that to force students to learn s k i l l s before they have any knowledge of where they can be applied w i l l k i l l desire for further experimentation. Colette French considered that i n studio courses, as i n art history courses, the emphasis i s too biased i n favour of teaching only those s k i l l s accredited by the Western culture and that to learn other s k i l l s such as Chinese brush painting would give a broader c u l t u r a l aspect to an art class. Tom Graff's opinion was that there should be a more serious attempt at d i s c i p l i n e d work and that the basic s k i l l s should not only be taught but should be more severely and c r i t i c a l l y evaluated. Far too much work, he said, i s made without thought or s e l f c r i t i c i s m and too many projects are l e f t uncompleted. Environmental Awareness Environmental awareness was seen by the a r t i s t s as the central 113 thrust of the art of the twentieth century. Knowledge and understanding of one's environment and one's position i n i t were considered v i t a l . Several a r t i s t s saw the ideal way of involving the students i n such a f i e l d as getting outside the school se t t i n g , v i s i t i n g diverse areas i n c i t y , country and industry to get personal and first-hand experience of situations different from, but related to, the i r own l i v e s . Mural painting, both i n school and on other public buildings, was seen as a way of involving students i n the care of th e i r surroundings and i n making them aware of their future role i n society as adults. Colette French related an interest i n one's l o c a l urban environment i n an art class to a possible future interest i n architecture or engineering, saying that the detailed, diagranmatic models and drawings beloved by students i n their early teens lead naturally to the more i n t e l l e c t u a l l y based plans and studies for technical design. Tom Graff suggested that environmental projects should be composed of materials found by the students i n their environment. Craft The reasons for teaching crafts at the secondary school l e v e l were seen rather d i f f e r e n t l y by the a r t i s t s interviewed. Colette French said that many students and adults are prepared to work i n craft areas because they see them as less intimidating than art as they understand i t . However she considered that, rather than take the easier road of craft making, students should be encouraged to see that a r t , i n i t s many forms, can be approached and attempted by a l l , and that teachers should suggest, for instance, making clay sculpture rather than the less experimental mugs 114 and ashtrays that form part of school craft classes. , Jean Kamins said there i s a hierarchy of the arts where some ar t / c r a f t i s a r b i t r a r i l y considered to be of lesser worth and that th i s e l i t i s t approach stops people from thinking some forms of expression and decoration are permissible. I t i s important, i n her view, not to exclude any form of self-expression. The crafts were seen as an important aid to small muscle development and a feeling of achievement, especially i n the lower grades. Richard Prince saw the making of a r t i c l e s i n school as an important step i n the students' understanding of how material things i n this world have been created through human a c t i v i t y . Tom Graff i n s i s t e d that badly made work should not be encouraged, kept, or taken home; money should not be spent and wasted, i n producing useless c r a f t , scrap materials could be found or cheaply bought, and many craft products could be used i n the school. I f these things were done, he said, students would be more thoughtful about the quality of the work they produced. Popular or Folk Art While the sty l e of the v i s u a l art of advertising was generally d i s l i k e d the a r t i s t s interviewed saw an examination, evaluation, and an exposure of i t s shallow content and manipulative power as necessary p a r t i c u l a r l y at secondary school l e v e l . Teachers, they said, should be aware of what thei r students are seeing on t e l e v i s i o n , f i l m , b i l l b o a r d s , and magazines and find ways of helping students understand how they are put together, why they have mass appeal, what values they are portraying, and how the public i s influenced by those values. • • . '. 115." Tom Graff and Marian Penner-Bancroft spoke of the erosion of students' (and indeed the public's) self-esteem by the flawless perfection of advertising models and suggested that examination and production of graphic materials would dispel some of the mystique surrounding such works. Jean Kamins saw much of the popular art as being very sexist i n orientation and recommended art classes leaning more towards decoration of home and personal environment, s k i l l s and ideas that would be patently useful to students i n t h e i r occupations and homemaking a c t i v i t i e s after school. Colette French decried the fact that most people's art and craft work after school takes the form of working from prepared handicraft k i t s . This, she says, arises from a basic insecurity i n one's own a b i l i t y to create o r i g i n a l works.. The o v e r a l l opinion of a r t i s t s on t h i s subject was that popular art should be observed i n order to be evaluated but that this evaluation should lead to discovery of other forms of expression which bear a closer relationship to the students' own l i v e s and experiences. Most popular art was seen as commercial art rather than folk a r t . Gallery Education A l l the a r t i s t s interviewed considered that there i s a lack of knowledge of the work of recent Canadian a r t i s t s , and of twentieth century, art i n general, by both art teachers and students. This they saw, as a deterrent to the student's understanding of art as a part of t h e i r own personal experience and l i f e s t y l e . The most obvious means of overcoming this obstacle to an enlightened public was seen as getting the students out to the g a l l e r i e s . The physical problems of 116 moving groups of students around town were seen as s l i g h t beside the enormous benefits of seeing actual examples of a r t i s t s ' work, both those established and generally acclaimed works i n the Vancouver Art Gallery and those more avant-garde works showing i n the many small g a l l e r i e s . I t was considered very advantageous to encourage a r t i s t s to v i s i t schools to give workshops, lectures, informal t a l k s , and s l i d e shows of t h e i r products, and i t was generally f e l t that a r t i s t s would be . enthusiastic about doing t h i s and should be paid for i t . V i s i t s to a r t i s t s ' studios were seen as a way of demystifying works of a r t , and at the same time, allowing students to see the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of working i n a si m i l a r manner, providing role models for those students thinking of pursuing a career i n the ar t s . Art works by Canadian a r t i s t s should be borrowed from i n s t i t u t i o n s and shown i n art rooms and teachers should develop the i r own collections of art works and share them with t h e i r students. There was unanimous agreement that for students to see examples of o r i g i n a l art works of a l l types i s a great deal more stimulating and i n s p i r i n g than to be confronted by reproductions, often miniaturized and consequently appearing more intimidatingly perfect and impersonal than the r e a l work. Teacher Education Many of the a r t i s t s ' opinions dealt either s p e c i f i c a l l y or peripherally with the quality of art teachers i n the school system. They acknowledged that the generally held opinion that a r t i s t s have no high regard for teachers . 1 1 7 was confirmed i n the i r own experience and that teachers make l i t t l e or no attempt to keep up with what i s happening i n the art community i n B r i t i s h Columb i a . Tom Graff backed his opinion by saying that, although teachers have a much greater salary than almost any a r t i s t i n B r i t i s h Columbia, very few have any o r i g i n a l or l o c a l works of art i n the i r homes, and Greg Murdock said that few teachers attend the gallery openings and other art-related functions around Vancouver. The a r t i s t s ' c r i t i c i s m of teacher training was based on the following observations. Jean Kamins f e l t that there i s too much emphasis on teaching educational methods i n teacher tra i n i n g and not nearly enough time spent i n learning about the future teacher's subject area. A l l of the a r t i s t s thought a greater knowledge of twentieth century and Canadian art i s essential for a l l art teachers, and that they should pass t h i s knowledge to t h e i r students. Marian Penner-Bancroft and Colette French thought that the elementary schools should have sp e c i a l l y trained art teachers and that the stereotypic junior art classes of Valentine's day cards and Hallowe'en decorations should be replaced by more innovative lessons. Richard Prince, i n contrast, considered that these somewhat s t i l t e d and d i s c i p l i n e d a c t i v i t i e s could be b e n e f i c i a l i f combined with other art forms of a more expressive nature. A l l a r t i s t s agreed that the personality of each teacher affects the way he or she teaches, the way the students react, and the quality of the work produced i n class. There was a strong feeling that v i s i t s by a r t i s t s to the schools would spark interest i n teachers as well as students, though Tom Graff complained that teachers a l l too often 118 r e t i r e to the staffroom i f they have a guest speaker i n the class. His opinion was that the teacher would benefit as much as, i f not more than, the students from seeing an innovative lesson by an a r t i s t . He also thought that teachers should learn more restraint i n money spent on equipment and materials. It was Colette French's opinion that the often observed change from the openly expressive painting of young children to the t i g h t e r , more controlled drawings of adolescents i s generally misunderstood and discouraged. I t should, instead, be seen by teachers as a natural and necessary t r a n s i t i o n to,an i n t e l l e c t u a l approach to v i s u a l information. Evaluation Exams, test i n g , and grading were seen by most a r t i s t s to be an uncomfortable and unsatisfactory area of an art program. While no one doubted that art work can be evaluated i t was thought that a quantitative type of evaluation i s unsuitable, a l e t t e r grading system i s too abrupt and unsubtle, and the only appropriate way to assess a student's competence i n art i s through personal interviews and v i s u a l examination of work done, with some kind of indi v i d u a l comment and discussion. I t was appreciated that this i s very d i f f i c u l t to do with large classes and that some kind of compromise must be reached. Tom Graff, whose own work with students has been on an experimental and i n t e r - d i s c i p l i n a r y basis, f e l t students should be assessed on the fact that they had participated rather than on thei r products. Greg Murdock was disturbed by the p o s s i b i l i t y of insensitive c r i t i c i s m destroying a student's confidence. He recommended evaluation on the. 119 basis of the amount of work done and the amount of interest shown'' by the student. Jean Kamins expressed disapproval of the grading system which, she said, leads to a competitive society, but nevertheless agreed that evaluation of art products i s possible by an educated audience of a r t i s t s . Colette French also considered that one cannot and should not judge who i s best but that i t i s possible to evaluate the formal quality of a work to see i f the requirements of the course have.been met. Other Areas of Interest a. Although learning the basic s k i l l s of an art class i s useful, what i s of paramount importance, i n the a r t i s t s ' opinion, i s that students be encouraged by th e i r teachers to understand the power of v i s u a l communication, as an expressive vehicle. b. A r t i s t s generally decried the e l i t i s t attitude to art adhered to by many working i n art-related f i e l d s such as g a l l e r i e s , u n i v e r s i t i e s , and art publications, feeling that i t did th e i r profession a disservice and distanced them from much of their public. c. A r t i s t s ' own works of art are based on their experience, thei r backgrounds, t h e i r way of l i f e , and th e i r environment. They f e l t that students should be making art from a sim i l a r foundation rather than from images drawn from advertising media. d. Film and video were seen as powerful tools i n the school setting which can a i d , but should not overpower, other forms of v i s u a l expression. 120 Conclusions The claim of this study i s that professional a r t i s t s have a great deal of knowledge and information on why the v i s u a l arts are v i t a l to our society and how they can best be passed on to subsequent generations. Both the responses to direct questions -and the spontaneous remarks of the s i x a r t i s t s interviewed for this study show that they have a concern for the same issues as art educators (Chapter 2), but i n many ways they approach those issues from a different viewpoint. The same i s evident from an examination of the views of participants i n the New York seminar on art education (Chapter 3). To the a r t i s t art i s ar t i s t - o r i e n t e d and art education should, i n l i k e manner, be openly aware of, and receptive to, the presence of the a r t i s t . One of the strongest impressions gained from t a l k i n g to a r t i s t s i s that the i r work r e f l e c t s t h e i r l i v e s and the i r attitudes. They are working from personal knowledge of materials and subject matter. The force of the i r influence i s that they wish students to work i n the same way, to have, i n i t i a l l y , a reason for making ar t . They understand, also, that making art i s a revealing process, intimidating to adolescents but with the p o s s i b i l i t y of great personal reward. A r t i s t s have said that the most successful way of helping students overcome thei r fear of exposing themselves to unknown c r i t i c i s m i n this f i e l d i s by meeting a r t i s t s , working with them, and seeing the i r works. Educators, to some extent, agree with these convictions and such recent publications as Bennett and Hall's Discovering Canadian Art (1984) may put students i n touch with p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n v i s u a l communication 121 s k i l l s . Howeverj the point of this study i s not that educators are negligent or faulty i n thei r assessment of the needs of an art education program but simply that the active p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a r t i s t s i n any study of art curriculum adds a further and necessary dimension to what i s , i n essence, the i r sphere of influence, their world. The s i x a r t i s t s interviewed showed a p r a c t i c a l understanding of the needs of adolescents, sympathetic but not sentimental, whether or not educators agree with the i r opinions, they are producers of a r t , they are interested i n what students learn, they have ideas on what should be taught, and they have knowledge of the benefits of making ar t . Therefore they should be acti v e l y approached by art educators in. matters of curriculum, for a r t i c l e s for publication, and for p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n forums and discussions on art education. 122 REFERENCES Alexander, E. (1979). Museums In Motion. Nashville:American Association for State & Local History. A r i s t o t l e . (c.335 B.C.). P o l i t i c s . In R. McKeon (Ed.) (1941). Basic  Works of A r i s t o t l e . New York:Random House. • Bacon, F. (1963). Excerpts from an interview with David Sylvester. Sunday Times Magazine. London. B.C. Art Curriculum Rationale, (unpublished). Bennett, B., & H a l l , C. (1984). Discovering Canadian Art. Ontario: . Prentice-Hall. Broudy, H. (1978). The Arts as Basic Education. Journal of Aesthetic  Education. 12(4), 21-30. Cassirer, E. (1944). An Essay on Man. New Haven and London:Yale University Press. C e l l i n i , B. (1562). The Book of the Courtier. In The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Vol.1. New York:W.W. Norton and Co.. (1970). Cennini, C. . (1933). The Craftsman's Handbook. (trans. D. Thompson). New HavenrYale University Press. Chagall, M. (I960). Ma. Vie. New York:Orion Press. Chalmers, G., & Moorcroft, F. (1981). B r i t i s h Columbian Houses. W.E.D.G.E. Publications. Chapman, L. (1978) Approaches to Art Education. New York:Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich Inc.. Chipp, H. (1968). Theories of Modern Art. Berkley, L.A.:University of C a l i f o r n i a Press. Collingwood, R. (1938). The Principles of Art. Oxford:The Clarendon Press. Coomaraswamy, A. (1934). The Transformation of Nature i n Art. Cambridge:Harvard University Press. 123 Conant, H. (1965). Seminar on Elementary and Secondary School Education  i n the Visual Arts. New York:New York University. Dewey, J . (1934). Art as Experience. New York:Minton, Balch and Co.. Ecker, D. (1973). Analysing Children's Talk about Art. Journal of Aesthetic Education. 7(1), 58-73. Efland, A. (1976). The School Art Style. Studies i n Art Education. 12(2), 37-44. Eisner, E. (1974). Examining some Myths i n Art Education. Studies i n Art Education. L5_(3), 7-16. Eisner, E. (1979). Convention Address: Art Education. Art Education. 32_(6) , 10-18. Eisner, E., & Ecker, D. (Eds.) (1966). Readings i n Art Education. Massachusetts:Blaisdell Publishing Co.. F a l l a c i , 0. (1976). Interview with History. New York:Abrams Inc.. Fox, M. (1976). Tales of the Pale and Silvery Moon. Western L i v i n g . A p r i l , 6-8. Feldman, E. (1981). Varieties of Visual Experience. New York:Abrams Inc Feldman, E., & Woods, D. (1981). Art C r i t i c i s m and Reading. Journal  of Aesthetic Education. 15^(4) , 75-96. Goldwater, R., & Treves, M. (1945). A r t i s t s on Art. New York:Random House. Graff, T. (1982). The Dance for Bass Baritone. Interface. February. Hofmann, H. (1948). Search for the Real and other Essays by Hans  Hofmann. (Eds. S. Weeks & B. Hayes J r . ) . Massachusetts:Addison Gallery of American Art. Johnson, E. (1982). A r t i s t ' s Fabric of Love. The Vancouver Sun. May 26. 124 Johnson, E. (1984). Images of Instant Nostalgia. The Vancouver Sun. September 24. Kern, E. (1970). A Proper Function for Art i n the Seventies. Studies  i n Art Education. 12(1), 4-10. Klee, P. (1953). The Pedagogical Sketchbook. New York:Praeger. Klee, P. (1959). The Inward Vision. (Ed. N. Guterman). New York: Abrams. Klee, P. (1964). The Diaries of Paul Klee. (Ed. F. Klee). Berkley and Los Angeles:University of C a l i f o r n i a Press. Lanier, V. (1970). . Art and the Disadvantaged. Art Education. 23(9), 7-12. Lanier, V. (1976). The Unseeing Eye. The Arts, Human Development and  Education. (Ed. E. Eisner). Berkeley:McCutchen. Lanier, V. (1980). Six Items on the Agenda for the Eighties. Art  Education. 33(5), 16-23. Lanier, V. (1982). Aesthetic Literacy as the Product of Art Education. INSEA, Rotterdam. (unpublished). MacCurdy, A. (1939). The Notebooks of Leonardo da V i n c i . New York: B r a z i l l e r . Macdonald, S. (1970). The History and Philosophy of Art Education. New York:American Elsevier Publishing Co.. McFee, J. (1974). Society, Art and Education. In Hardiman and Zernich (Eds.). Curricular Considerations for Visual Arts Education. Champaign I l l . : S t i p e s . McFee, J. (1981). Defining Art Education i n the Eighties. N.A.E.A. Conference. Chicago. (unpublished). McMahon, A. (1956). Leonardo Da V i n c i , Treatise on Painting. Princeton'.Princeton University Press. Matisse, H. (1951). Notes of a Painter. In Matisse; His Art and His  Public. (A. Barr, trans.). Museum of Modern Art. New York. 125 Michael, J . (1980). Studio Art Experience: the Heart of Art Education. Art Education. 33(2), 15-19. Mras, G. (1966). Eugene Delacroix's Theory of Art. Princeton:Princeton University Press. Mumford, L. (1928). The Arts. In whither Mankind. (Ed. C. Beard). New York:Longmans, Green. Mumford, L. (1968). Architecture as Home for Man. Architectural  Record. 143(2), 113-116. Newman, B. (1947). Excerpt from Tiger's Eye. New York. Vol.1, October. Pach, W. (1939). Ingres. New York:Hacker Art Books. Parr, A. (1970). A Happy Habitat. Studies i n Art Education. 12(3), 28-31. Perry, A. (1984). Murdock: Helping Regenerate West Coast Art. The  Province. February 20. Plato. (c.390 B.C.). Protagoras and Meno. Handsworth: Penguin Books. (1956). ' Rabelais, F. (1534). Gargantua and Pantagruel. In The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Vol.1. New York:W.W. Norton and Co.. (1970). Reynolds, J . (1798). The Works of S i r Joshua Reynolds. London: Chatto & Windus Ltd. Reynolds, J . (1888). Seven Discourses on Art. In The History and Philosophy of Art Education. (Ed. S. Macdonald). New York: American Elsevier Publishing Co.. (1970). Rosenburg, A. (1980). After C i v i l War. Vanguard. 19, 8-11. Rousseau, J. (1792). Emile. New York:Dutton. (1955). Smith, R. (1981). E l i t i s m Versus Populism: a Question of Quality. Art Education. 34(4), 4-5. > Spradley, J. (1979). The Ethnographic Interview. New York:Holt Rinehart and Winston. Staley, R. (1982). Gathie Falk, Richard Prince. Equinox Gallery Vanguard. 11(4), 37-39. 127 • APPENDIX QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION IN INTERVIEWS History, C r i t i c i s m , and Aesthetics Some art educators advocate purely academic art classes for a l l secondary school students who do not seek future careers as practising a r t i s t s . Art history and c r i t i c i s m , they say, can best be taught i n the class room rather that the art studio. Others contend that these subjects are better understood and appreciated when taught i n conjunction with p r a c t i c a l work and i n the art studio. Do you f e e l a knowledge of art hist o r y , c r i t i c i s m , and aesthetics i s essential i n a secondary school program? > Is the art room the best place, or could i t be better taught i n a lecture h a l l atmosphere? Could i t be incorporated i n a general history or English course? Studio work Is studio work v i t a l to the general education of adolescents? To a l l students? To what age? Should i t be a compulsory class or an elective? Painting and drawing have always been the backbone of a school art program; are these s t i l l of value as subjects to be taught i n secondary school where students are increasingly conversant with f i l m , computer drawings, xerox, and other mechanical forms of design and reproduction? Is i t of importance to teach representational drawing and painting, perspective, colour and design p r i n c i p l e s , anatomy, lettering? .. 128' ' Environmental Awareness This i s an area of concern with many art educators who f e e l the schools have a moral commitment to society to ensure that students are made aware of their possible contribution to the care of thei r environment and that the art room i s the obvious place for this i n s t r u c t i o n to take place. Do you agree with t h i s premise, and how could i t best be handled i n secondary schools? Are architecture and urban planning areas for concern for adolescents? Is t h i s an area only for academic study or could model building, map drawing, f i e l d t r i p s , etc. expand an understanding of environmental problems? Art and Craft The controversy over what crafts should be taught i n the high schools and how much time should be devoted to them i s d i f f i c u l t to resolve. I t has been argued that c r a f t , as i n the production of useful objects, has no place i n academic studies. Contrariwise, the manual s k i l l s and personal sense of accomplishment gained by craft work can be seen as therapeutic i n much the same way as physical education (compulsory i n most schools to grade 11). Do you f e e l that crafts should be taught i n secondary school? What crafts and to what l e v e l of expertise? Is i t , perhaps, more satisfactory to concentrate such studies i n a few, arts oriented schools? Art theory classes could cover a knowledge of the a r t i f a c t s of a culture, leaving studio classes for experimentation i n various media towards a means of communication, rather than many classes devoted to one c r a f t . 129 What do you think about this? Folk or Popular Art Of what interest and importance to a school art program i s the popular art of today that i s so fascinating to adolescents, i . e . record covers, van painting, rock concert decoration, etc.? Should i t be studied, taught, encouraged? Alone, or i n conjunction with other art forms? Art Galleries and Museums . How important do you f e e l i t i s for students to v i s i t g a l l e r i e s and museums, or to have exhibits brought to the school? What are the benefits? Are there any undesirable side issues? What do you f e e l about reproductions of art works i n the studio? How broad would your interpretation of art works be? What place would the popular arts play? Film and Video Production To what extent can these be used i n the art room? What are your views on i n t e r r e l a t i n g these with other classes: English, music, s o c i a l studies? Art Teachers i n Elementary Schools Should elementary schools have art teachers and what train i n g should they have? I f th i s i s not fea s i b l e , what training should regular teachers have i n art? Evaluation What do you f e e l about a set curriculum so that each grade would cover a certain amount of work, either p r a c t i c a l or theoretical? '. • 130. What do you f e e l about examinations and evaluation on either academic or studio work? What kind of grading system i s possible? Should an art course be considered an academic q u a l i f i c a t i o n for university entrance? In what f o r m — p r a c t i c a l , t h e o r e t i c a l , or a combination? 

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