"What are they thinking!?" If you're like me you constantly wonder what is going through your student's minds. That's why I love blogging. It gives me the opportunity to see what they think and feel about their work.
The following are exerpts from my student's blogs about our reciently finished unit Artists Steal, where we examined how ideas are formed - from the concept of plagerism to inspiration. Here's what they wrote - the example of work are from the unit's various lessons :
"I have learned a lot this unit as an artist, not only in the classroom but also at home. A piece of Art is never your own idea because great artist steal. No matter what sketch or video you do it can be connected to something else. There is a difference from taking a piece of art and stealing a piece of art. The artwork above is combining history and art together. By stealing ideas from the subject I was able to create a new fresh piece of artwork, if you can’t tell the face represents all the races and genders of the world. And the little drawings around it represent events in history that have affected a lot of people. Like the smoking building is there for when the twin towers were attacked, and a mask the doctors would where during the black plague. There is also a hand rapt in chains representing slavery, a tear representing the trail of tears, and a knife to symbolize all the murders that ever happened. Knowing that it was ok to go look at other peoples art for inspiration, helped me realize that you can take ideas from other people but you have to make it your own." - Heather, Art 1
"As this project went on I changed how I thought of stolen art, as in my two grammar book poems, I manipulated words that were already present within the text. The change in the affect and meaning of the pages by adding and taking away just a few words showed me how much change can take place when you make something yours." - Ryan, Art 2
"Our final summative project was titled "Subject Steal" and required taking an aspect from a school subject and turning it into art. I decided to make art of out the various civil rights movements that occurred throughout history. I loved the idea of watercolor over text so I cut out a bunch of laws that restricted civil rights over the years and painted fall water colors over them. Then I found black and white images of people who have had their civil rights restricted and glued them to the background. Then I drew, cut out, and painted a barn and glued it over the images. I then used acrylic paint to make it look like the barn was on fire. I call it "Take Me To Church"."- Matt, Art 2
"In the unit "Artists Steal" I learned a lot about how creating original art may not always mean thinking of a completely original idea. Before this unit I thought that making original art was about thinking of a completely new idea that nobody has heard about. I though original art work should be used to inspire not be copied from. But, in the unit I learned that making original artwork doesn't mean creating a creative piece of your own. It can also mean taking previously used ideas and making a completely new idea by recombining old ones. You aren't "stealing" the idea when using parts of it and changing others. Instead you are creating brand new original art work.
In this piece of art work I combined two Disney characters to make a completely original piece of art. Using the head of Disney Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, I changed her natural goody-two shoes image by putting Maleficent's (Aurora's Arch-Nemesis) clothes and horns of her body. This changed both Maleficent and Auroras' image and created a new original art piece that I created. I used water color to make the background pop, while coloring in Aurora/Maleficent with colored pencils." - Neethu, Art 1
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.