Teaching College Art: Projects

December 6th, 2006 · 3 Comments · Education

Robert Morse, Chair, 2005 (one of my favorite projects ever completed in my 3D Design courses)

College art projects are a teacher’s tool to help students know how to pursue their individual creative voice. Projects are not the goal — they are merely a tool to help students make their own work.

In my experience, many teachers use the same projects they were given as students. Many of these projects have been recycled through multiple generations of teachers and reflect methodology that can be decades old and have nothing to do with contemporary concerns. Art has become much more complex in recent times and curriculums must allow for this.

I’m not arguing against using projects in art courses. I’m arguing for projects that achieve the ultimate goal, and are not an end themselves or worst case, only serve to fuel teachers’ nostalgia. The ultimate goal is to encourage students to pursue their individual creative voice, which is a difficult task. It’s arguably not possible within a 4-year curriculum. The fact that this might take longer only makes it more important to start earlier. This philosophy must be envisioned through every course in a curriculum, particularly foundations courses that so often set the tone for an entire department’s curriculum.

Category: Education

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Cat conner

    I like your idea of art, I feel the same waay I think you have a very refreashing idea of art and how it is thought about. i also love art and is my favioute thing to do in my free time.

  • Murray

    Thanks Cat

  • Angela Huber

    I agree with your first paragraph, however I think student, especially in 2D, 3D design class need to learn the “basic” and know how to build “thing” right. Jump right into contemporary or conceptual art in foundation courses just encourage student to make poor works (craftsmanship).

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