Our misguided art education

I was going through my drafts this morning, trying to decide if there were any worth posting, and found this one. It’s appropriate mainly because my wife just gave me the book that historian and critic Daniel Seidell comments on for Comment magazine:

There are few cultural practices more misunderstood and misinterpreted than art. The misunderstanding starts in grade school art classes and is affirmed every step of the way through adulthood. We are taught that art is fun, it is whatever you want it to be, anyone can do it if they really wanted to, and that it expresses your individuality and creativity. What is more, we also learn that professional artists are quirky creative types that don’t quite “fit in” with the rest of us. We are also taught that art is a nice decoration to have around but thoroughly unnecessary for daily life. Yet we are also told that “the arts” are important for our local communities. And, perhaps most problematically of all, we are told that even though we don’t know much about art, we know good art when we see it.

This is a fantastic synopsis that, in essence, summarizes a number of things said on this blog over the past few years. Read Seidell’s article in its entirety, a review of Sarah Thornton’s Seven Days in the Art World, via this link.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

One Response to Our misguided art education

  1. Pingback: Our misguided art education « The Aesthetic Elevator - Angryteach

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