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mfa wonderings

updated fri 20 dec 02


Richard Mahaffey on wed 18 dec 02


At one time the program in Seattle was mostly figurative. Vessels were
out unless they were supporting figures. Not sure what is going on
there now as to weather it is all figurative or if there is some non
objective sculpture being made. Have not seen any vessels without
figures on them there for ages.


Elizabeth Herod on wed 18 dec 02

Diana wrote:

>>I would love to see more artists teaching introductory classes in all
mediums at all levels, in particular middle to high school. I think it
would be wonderful for someone who works with ceramics on a regular basis t=
teach for an hour a day at local high school (or lower level). Learning
from someone who "does" is so much better than learning from someone who
"has" but doesn't anymore, no matter the topic.<<

I couldn=B9t agree more, Diana. However, it is not so simple. The artists
are willing, but the art teachers resent the competition.

I was teaching at a private school up until 18months ago. In private
schools, you are assigned where they need you. All was happy and good whil=
I was teaching computer and history. Then, all was taken away, and I was
forced to teach foreign language.

At any rate, I worked with the art teacher and some students who had
tremendous difficulty in art class to create digital art. In the beginning
this worked very well. However, there was resistance from many different
sides. Ironically, after I was forced into FL, the subsequent computer
teachers began to include animated gifs in their basic class. There was
even an attempt to teach a 3D modeling class, although my proposal of
combining it with the Art dept and starting on paper with perspective was
not followed. Now, nearly 4 years down the line, I was asked to come back
and teach art and the computer. I offered to do workshops instead.
If I could walk in and teach a class and leave, I would do it in a
heartbeat, but the politics involved are too much for me in this stage of m=

On another note regarding education... My brother was the one who had the
art lessons as a child. Because I was =B3musical=B2, I had music lessons. My
creativity with my hands seemed to be designing doll clothes. (I was also
instructed in all forms of handwork, NOT my cup of tea)

I loved art and wanted to paint and do various things with my hands. I
attended a large university, (FSU), where one does not just register for ar=
classes. They were full of art majors with portfolios. However, I found a
back door. As a Leisure Services major, I had to take an Art Ed class.
There was a department called Art Education and Constructive Design. After
that first class, I began to take the Constructive Design classes, and afte=
3 of them, I was able to ease on into the Design classes that were offered
only in the Fine Arts program. At the time, ceramics, fabrics, plastics an=
metals were in the Constructive Design program, so the exposure was perfect
for me. Students were given design problems, and told what media to use.
Not only did I learn various processes, I gained more confidence, and went
on to take more advanced classes.

Overall, my experiences were good, even with painting, (and I don=B9t draw
well, unless I really, really focus and someone hovers) hehe, the disciplin=

Now, as a middle aged adult, I find that when I take a class, I want to
learn a particular =B3thing=B2, and I want to perfect the process. I really do
not like being told that I have to make a casserole, when I want to make th=
perfect cylinder, or that my alterations must be done by paddling with a
particular paddle. Somewhere, there has to be a compromise.


(I finally made the casserole, since I realized it would be better to just
keep the peace, but it is used as an outside cat food bowl) Imagine if I
were really stubborn, I would have rakued the casserole.