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Old 10-12-2011, 10:11 AM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Originally Posted by tonofelephant View Post
Cheese you are obviously part of the shows badly. If you can't take the knocks well...tough. Katy paints a true picture that I have experienced.
Which system? Academia? The one that has been at the core of art education for the last few centuries?

Yes, I am “part of the system” as is any artist who places their work in an art historical context.

I am happy to have a discussion about the shortcoming of the institution - and there are ALWAYS shortcoming – but I do take offense to off-handed and generic slander aimed at any and all artist/teachers or student artists who choose to work/study art at college. Katy has every right to her opinion – but if she is going to diss the “system” she needs to rely on more than her own (admittedly not unrewarded) experiences. Even better she should be prepared to discuss contemporary studio practices and pedagogies from a well-informed vantage. Keep in mind I also expect a critical look at any topic to be an open-minded exchange. I do not see evidence of this in Katy’s original post.

Originally Posted by tonofelephant View Post
Give you a couple of examples ….
Yup, and I can offer up one hundred insanely engaged, challenged and satisfied students from my own teaching history (and thousands graduating each year from combined programs). Hell, I have no doubt that the “bad” teachers of your own background had many students who adored them and took away something. The evidence for the general success of the system is reflect in the market and, in turn, the holding of private and public collections. Overwhelmingly the artists of cultural and generational note are rooted in the institution. Sorry you had a bad experience. I too know that there are occasional “bad” teachers…but there are by far more poor students. Even in deep reflection it can sometimes be hard to tell where the fault lies. I had some unengaged teachers in my past – that never stopped me from taking away a huge amount of knowledge. Also, that they didn't reach me didn't make them "bad". Like the vast majority of teachers - they do their sincere best. Very few go into teaching for the fame and money. My experience and belief from the "inside" is that most teachers are well informed and dedicated to their classrooms and studios. I always default to this benefit of the doubt when meeting other teachers or discussing academia here.

Originally Posted by tonofelephant View Post
So no Cheese, get off your elitest pedestal & do not criticize other people for not lapping up all of the college art teaching short-comings & calling the art teachers great educators. Teachers do not automatically have "informed opinions" (your words). Are you saying that other people (non-educators) that do not share your exalted view are uninformed? Choose your words well.
There is nothing elitist about defending my career. I’ve dedicated a huge part of my life to teaching as an extension of my studio. I too see shortcomings in the system – but the advice to simply dissolve art classrooms in favor of some romantic artist collective strikes me as ill conceived.
Keep in mind too that I’ve been participating on this forum for a number of years now and while I may sing the praises of an academic art education I have never put down other paths people take for to making objects including the craft-based efforts of artisans, the “Sunday sculptors” making Modernist parodies, the outsider artists welding nuts and bolts together or the industrial designer. It’s all good in my book. But consistently I have found that community members here are simply threatened by academia – a fear based on misinformation or bad personal experiences. Keep in mind too that not all paths of expression lead to the same place. By this I mean that one should not expect to participate in a contemporary gallery scene (for example) without researching what traditions that scene reflects. Put simply, don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.

Oh, BTW, I never claimed all teachers have “informed” opinions, rather that Katy’s argument (or statement rather) lacked an informed opinion. Big difference.

Originally Posted by tonofelephant View Post
Am firmly in Katy's corner. You may be holding up your corner of the world. Most teachers I am acquainted with were not when I was going through college. They were falliable people looking to get by & hold onto a job. They did not know how to produce figurative work or advise others on it, were not selling their work in the commercial or public art realm, just basting in their own juices of ignorance. They hewed closely to the adage "if you cannot do it, teach". None had an independent art studio/practice.
Right, so by your own admission the system you experienced is not necessarily the same as the institution today. How then can you offer an informed criticism? Do you know what is required to get a job teaching art in academia these days? To secure tenure? To get annual salary bumps? Do you understand what the institutional norms are for periodic review and assessment of faculty performance? Are you versed in current teaching trends to provide students with enhanced education through multi-media resources - including traditional fundamental of sculpture? Or the value of teaching with a goal of illustration connections across disciplines?

Again, sounds like you had some bad experience – but surely you understand that judging the institution TODAY based on yesterday’s “standards” is not likely to give you a good picture of how it works.

Originally Posted by tonofelephant View Post
Sorry to blow a hole in your conceits of what students get out of college. Your experience may be different because you have tried valiently to be thoughtful, caring & actually teach something. But your attitude comes off as callous & uncaring of anothers experience. Not a good quality of a teacher.
Like I have already stated, I have ALWAYS been even keeled ‘round here and careful not to judge. Of course I will get defensive when my career is slandered. What you call callous, I call critical – the greatest asset for any teacher.

Originally Posted by tonofelephant View Post
Apologies to Maddie for throughly hijacking this thread. Don't think bullies (Cheesepaws) should get away unchallenged.
I doubt very much that Maddie will see this since her original (and only) post was from three years ago. I did look and it appears that the foundry at her school is THANKFULLY still up and running.

I’d appreciate you steer clear of person insults based on personality – such as “bully.” My ideas and images are all fair game, but you don’t know me and it is generally considered bad forum protocol to insult someone without knowing them.
You’ll note the lack of name calling both in this response and my post to Katy.
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