From: Jack Fulton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 08/21/02-12:54:34 PM Z
> And I won't even touch the topic of how everything, with the exception
> of art(?) is commerce. Or did I mis-read that statement?
I'd say you mis-read, misinterpreted the statement . . and virtually my
whole note. First, it was prefaced by the need for art education at all
levels in the school system. When one then arrives at college level the
critique may (perhaps) hold greater meaning as it could rightly be better
However, I could easily have miswritten or misstated my intent. I wished, or
intended, to say my interest in the critiquing is to find positive threads
through the work. If the thread leads nowhere or is poorly executed it is
then necessary and appropriate to not be "pleasant". I absolutely do not
mean to say one ought to teach in a non-critical fashion. To criticize is to
find both merit and the demerits of a work and then evaluate it. Simply, the
idea is to find the 'faults' in the work and aid that person to grow or
improve. How that is done with right thinking may, indeed, hurt that
person's feelings but that is the point of it: to search out the truth of
the matter. Much of what has been told here as occurrences in people's
academic experience has come across more as outright condemnation and not
As for the commerce part . . here again is my poor syntax . . I assumed when
speaking of pure Art one might associate it with the commerce of the
gallery, that White Cube, we've come to know since the 1970's. Much of that
is, indeed, commercial. However, I do believe the best thing us humans do is
to create Art and that includes literature, the dance etc.
My plea was one would know what I was implying.
> Sure, students get to graduate with plenty of confidence and the wonderful >
> freedom of expressing life (and how they experience it) through their chosen
> art form, but I believe this non-critical approach has done them no favors.
I don't believe it does them favors either if they are condemned for they
try to do. We may be speaking of different ways here but you are directly
relating an overall increase in poor performance to lax methods of teaching
over the past 15 years. If we dated it, the Reagan era would be the period
of the decline's origin. Yet I truly feel there is a subtext to the laxness
which deals with elements of great importance that, for all of us, have been
difficult to understand and accept: cultural, sexual and personal identity.
Few were or have been prepared to evaluate and critique this change in
American life. From glass ceiling to mores the last 15 years have been an
open colloquy to accept difference and diminish patriarchal authority.
> While positive and constructive criticism is obviously preferable, many
> teachers worry about "stifling" students, and so they offer glowing,
> often non-deserved tributes-- or silence. And as Judy says, if a student
> can't accept (in a closed classroom) some harsh and seemingly "unfair"
> criticism that's not sugar-coated, then yes, another profession might be
This is more to the point. One ought wonder nor worry about stifling
students enough to thereby proffer an unnecessary accolade.
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