Each summer, I take time out to re-think what I do in my classroom. I feel it is my job not only to teach the Elements and Principals that make up Art, Art History, critical thinking, and cross curricular connections, but also to inspire creativity.
Creativity ... Can it be taught?????????? Think about it.
The answer is ... certainly it can, and where is there a more apt place than in an artroom. Creativity is the ACT of taking what we know and applying it to an idea or to the solution of a problem in a new way.
Students often think that because someone can copy a work of art or a photograph that they didnʼt think THAT student was a good Artist. I point out that there is great value and much to be learned from copying someone elseʼs work, but that was someone elseʼs idea or solution and the person copying simply demonstrated a good command of the medium. For example, if you look at Georgia OʼKeefeʼs work (most everyone has seen her flowers) and you look at the size and detail of the flowers she painted, you realize that she took a commonly painted subject and painted it from a totally different perspective. My creative follow up to this discussion would be to assign my students to select an organic or non-organic subject that is commonly seen everyday and illustrate it in part or whole in such a manner that it gets oneʼs complete attention as Georgia Okeefeʼs flowers do.
Teaching color, line, value, form, shape, and the rest of the elements and principals are import aspects of art, but teaching creativity is essential to art.
Not long ago, I started a blog at my school site for my studentʼs parents to dispel preconceived conceptions of what many people believe Art is and give them a little better understanding of what goes on in an Art classroom. There is a common thought that only things that are beautiful are Art; something you might hang on the wall in your home or place on a coffee table. Yes, that may be Art, but there is much, much more. Some art is really not beautiful at all. In fact , it is completely the opposite. Beauty was not the artistʼs point. The artist may have been trying to grab your attention and get you to think about or realize something you may have never thought about before. Or, he/she might be simply trying to get you to look at something you see everyday in a new way.