Monthly Mentor

Shelly Breaux (December)
Each month, a different member and NAEA awardee is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Shelly Breaux established the Art Program at David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy in Lafayette, LA. In her classroom, Breaux focuses on inquiry-based learning, problem solving, collaboration, conceptual thinking, and constructive criticism. She believes in using art as an educational tool, and that art provides her students with a voice and an outlet. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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May 26, 2013

Using FTC for Encoding Meaning That Leads to Deeper Discovery

As far as I’m concerned, there is only one study and that is the way
in which things relate to one another.   
—Wayne Thiebaud

Having shared some ways that I use FTC as a balancing tool for decoding works of art and museums, this entry focuses on how learners can use FTC for encoding that leads to deeper exploration, understanding and discovery.    Specific criteria provided under Form+Theme+Context headings can be used to prompt and engage learners to embrace many of the creative considerations that artists "naturally" explore in creating meaningful artwork.

Using the FTC Palette helps individuals navigate their own explorations and creative processes to solve any visual problem.  For example, take a look at a studio assignment entitled Marking and Mapping the History of Art Education where students explore the history, research and issues pertaining to the field of art education.  FTC is used to guide their creative processes and gain knowledge and understanding while reading Roots of Art Education Practice (Stankiewicz, 2001) and other sources.  Students engage in 15 weeks of marking and mapping1 their research to help them personally visualize their professional roots and discover their place in the field of art education.  Intended to provide needed scaffolding for the semester-long assignment on a single sheet of Canson 140 lb watercolor paper, black Sharpie pen, set of 6 Derwent Inktense pencils, and a waterbrush, the FTC Palette helps document the evolution of the creative process stages leading to a final product examples as shown below.  All students engaged in encoding visual evidence through a range of selected formal qualities, using the elements of art and principles of design related to the theme and contexts at play.

Using an FTC Palette for Marking/Mapping Discoveries from the History of Art Education: Past to Present, students explore “how a balance of formal, thematic, and contextual qualities shape our professional roots and ‘shoots’,” while finding their place in the “big picture” of art education.   In exploring thematic qualities of our evolving field, students found unique ways to represent relationships with art and other subjects as they recorded the big ideas within the field throughout time, noting trends and patterns in art education history and contemporary issues.   Finally, students’ History of Art Education Maps revealed their own shaping and discernment of art education’s significance and relevance that preceded them, rooted in a wide range of underlying contextual qualities.

Below are some final examples from students studying with Drs. Kim Sheridan, Mary Ann Stankiewicz and Jacqueline Kibbey, assigning this problem at their universities with variations of emphasis, scaffolding, and assessments.   As you look at these History of Art Education maps, consider: how might YOU visualize our field’s history and evolving issues?

1     2
Lois Peterson, George Mason University, Fall 2011, Kim Sheridan, Instructor
Sue Young Kim, Penn State University, Spring 2013,
Mary Ann Stankiewicz, Instructor

Cassandra Mazur, MAT Art Student at SUNY Oswego, Spring 2013, Jacqueline Kibbey, Instructor

-Renee Sandell

Since many people find the acquisition of traditional drawing and compositional skills intimidating or even threatening, I often use the construct of Marking & Mapping™ to ease access to artistic literacy while rekindling the pleasure we all remember from early years.


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