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life itself/or academic

updated mon 19 nov 01


Marcia Selsor on sun 18 nov 01

I don't want to dive into the "academic" argument because I don't see
any resolve
in it.
I taught in a university for 25 years in a rural place with no access to museum
The Buffalo Bill Heritage Museum in Cody was the biggest thing around
and 90 miles
away. My students were non-traditional 30s-60s often. There were many
who were
well prepared for art through their own life's experience of traveling, visiting
museums, or their own personal inquisitive nature to learn about art or pottery
through reading, etc.
I tried to supplement my classes with the thousands of slides I have now stored
under my bed in boxes.
My workshops around the country, in Spain or Italy, seem to attract
people who are
interested and knowledgeable to some degree about the topics. I think
that "life
itself" aspect depends on what the person has been drawn into to
discover on their
own throughout their life. People can develop quite a knowledge base on
their own
and sometimes it is more elaborate than the student who does the exact
recipe for
an "A"
-a syndrome among students all too often..

Marcia Selsor, professor emeritus from Montana State University

John Jensen wrote:

> Life itself doesn't teach us to talk, cook, wear clothes, or even wipe our
> nether portions. Being humans, we have to be raised in a social context to
> be able to survive at all. So I don't think life itself can teach us much
> about art either. We are all social cultural beings and what we do in
> everything including art is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg of our
> collective cultural heritage. Once we have learned our portion of that
> heritage we can go on from there and learn from life and perhaps make a few
> truly creative contributions.
> [You wrote: Life itself - if it does not inform, teach, and train us,
> what's the point?
> Roger Korn, still gettin' hit upside the head by Life's Little Lessons
> McKay Creek Ceramics]
> John Jensen, Mudbug Pottery
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