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HOW TO TEACH ART:


(in 89 simple lessons!)  Paul Thek taught art classes in the 1970’s and gave provocative long lists of instructions including questions such as “where do you sleep?”, and “on what do you sleep?” “add a station to the cross”, “redesign the human genitals”, and redesign the Taj Mahal”.      Easy and obscure assignments such as those.

NY Times writer Dwight Garner offers this:  “what is the best art assignment you have ever given or received or heard of?

Some answers sound like wild party games that might make the neighbors call the police at midnight.  The art installations currently on view  sometimes require a list of instructions as to the proper way to fully understand them.  Do you lie on your back to look up (as I once did at a glass exhibit of Dale Chihuly at the Seattle Art Museum?)  Do you walk around it to see all its possibilities?

Can art really be taught or do students simply grub for grades?  Upper class students have a better idea of where they want to go with their creative abilities.  It’s up to the teacher to give them guidelines to better achieve their goals (and possibly become the student in the process.  I had many “student-teachers” during my teaching years.)

An art class should give some thought to marketing the work.  (Don’t show up at an avant garde gallery  carrying an adorable sculpture of Miss Piggy.) In the hopeful event that a gallery is willing to take a chance on your precious offering be sure all the contracts are clear.  How to behave at an opening would be a nice addition—-don’t over-imbibe and make a complete ass of yourself.  It is true that artists are sometimes known for imaginative dress and hairstyles occasionally referred to as ” art wear”, but try not to become the artwork yourself.

“Don’t forget how easy it is for them to find images of your own work on the internet”!

“Art lives through the imagination of the people seeing it.  Without that contact, there is no art”.  Keith Haring

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