IV. Teaching and Voice

DSC00033At the 2014 ArtSource Institute, participants considered the following questions about teaching and voice:

  • Are students passionate about the art work they create?
  • Does the art work students create have personal meaning?
  • Do students understand how their art work is pertinent and has a place in this world?

Recognizing the constituents in the story of making art, teachers should consider the essential conditions necessary for making art when planning art experiences:DSC00098

  • Students need to be originators of their art; to have the opportunity to demonstrate their passion for ideas, materials and processes;
  • Students need to make decisions about concepts and materials when making art;  information and techniques are embedded in this exploration to allow for personal connections;
  • Students given opportunities to use the properties of medium for personal relevance will create work that is pertinent to them and the viewer.

Authentic learning (and art making and teaching) takes time. Layers of experience, knowledge, and understanding need to be examined and explored.The “3 P’s” (Passion, Personal, Pertinent) are event in this description of voice and art. Participants at ArtSource considered how their own art making can inform and remind them of how to acknowledge their students’ concerns and practice when making art.


When you create art experiences for your students…do you consider their voice? 

  • DSC00035Did the idea originate with the student or with the teacher?
  • If the source was the student, did the idea evolve from his/her life experiences or previous artwork?
  • Who made most of the decisions about the work? The person making the choices is the person learning.
  • Did the process supply most of the form or did the student?
  • Was the uniqueness of each student’s art expression encouraged?
  • Has novelty of materials become a defense from meaningful expression?
Over the course of the Institute, participants reacted to presentations and discussions. Reflection took the form of both insights and questions:

“Consider the teacher as conceptual artist…”

“Give students more time…”

“Have we equipped our students with the ambiguity that life offers?”DSC00060

“Challenge students to take risks and make mistakes…”

“Get students hooked on what they want to do and they will then want to know the rules on how to do it…”

“Repetition is really sticking with something long enough to really understand what it can do; it provides confidence…”

“NOTICE…and give credit for failure. Did the student find a solution? Did the student’s ideas change because of failure? What comes next?”

“We are ESSENTIALS not specials…spread the word…”


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