Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Goal of Being a Cultured Person in this Money-Crazed Society We Live In

I’m currently teaching a large lecture course called Art Orientation. It’s for non-art majors, and satisfies a humanities requirement for general education. So my students are from all over the map. The course combines aesthetics (the study of beauty), basic design principles, art-making techniques, art history, and art criticism.
As opposed to my Art History course, which is difficult for me, teaching Art Orientation comes easy. I strive to turn my students on to Art, get them excited or outraged just a little bit. I want them to know about all aspects of art, to go to galleries and museums, not to make money or get ahead in life, but to become more interesting people (I sneak in that being art-educated also makes them more attractive to possible dates, art = sexy). This goal of becoming cultured is not at all valued by the average American, even those attending college.
Anyway, I’m about to give my first test, so we’ll see if any of this is sinking in. Attendance has been pretty good for such a large class with this bad flu season we’ve had here.
painting by Gail Roberts, and yes, still have dogs on the brain...

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