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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Art is...

Copyright, Jim Lane
This one I made up myself.
As an art instructor in the public schools, I'd like to, as they say, have a dollar for every time I've put up an inspirational bulletin board, usually at the beginning of the year when there is no student work to post. The first few years were fairly easy, but as time went on it became harder and harder to come up with something new and original. I suppose I could have recycled some of my ideas and images after a few years (and probably did), but to me, that seemed contrary to any message I might post regarding the relationship bet creativity and communication. That is to say, my favorite all-purpose definition of art being "creative communication." The two go together. Subtract either one and the effort is no longer a work of art. My favorite bulletin board messages always started with the words, "Art is..."

This one is an adaptation. It originally read, "Life is art drawn
without an eraser."

I'm assuming that at least a few of those who read my words from time to time are, in fact, art instructors. If so, then these words and images are for you especially. Some of them I've picked up from the Internet, others (above) I've adapted, while still others (top) I've created myself. All are suitable for bulletin boards but some are aimed at an adults and teens. They are intended as conversation starters. Some could be the basis for an entire lesson.

For some students, the quotation might serve as their
first introduction to the name, face, thoughts, and works
of the artist involved. 
Some of these quotations are quite famous and may already
be familiar. I tried to choose some I'd never encountered before.
This one has both a literal and figurative interpretation.
It's uncertain which Picasso intended (perhaps both).
The remainder deal not with what art is but factors such
as imagination and creativity, as seen by non-artist.
This one could not only introduce the artist to students
for the first time, but serve as a lively topic of discussion.
A familiar image given a whole new meaning. True, in essence,
though Michelangelo may have oversimplified somewhat.

One of those clever sound bytes I wish I'd thought of.
Not exactly the typical bulletin board item but ideal for a situation
involving adult students who are often far too "up-tight" about
themselves, their art, and art in general.
This item is actually quite historic. It was one of a series of full-page newspaper layouts from the 1970s paid for by a group of women artists fed up with the male dominated New York City art scene. Today, we find it somewhat amusing. Forty years ago, it was no laughing matter.


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