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Re: What to Expect from Art



Amy and all,

I also read and considered Amy's comments on the Letpress list. I responded
directly to her addressing her frustrations with the system.

I now find it necessary to address the issue here more or less to point out
that her comments and questions involve the SYSTEM not the people.

John and Audrey have done exactly what she is questioning. DEFEND THE
SYSTEM! Amy is not talking about individual Artists or people. There is a
system in place which defends and protects mediocrity. That is fact. The
sooner people recognize it the sooner it can be dealt with. I do not know
either John or Audrey and my comments here are not to be taken personally
but in the context of their comments. They defend a system, I am pointing
out the problems of the system they so vehemently defend.

There is a system - round up all the potential students possible and herd
them through the program, collect their money and get a new herd - in place
which rewards the wrong accomplishments. The government pays the school to
get bodies through the program, not to teach them.

The reference in Audrey's response to vocational training is very typical of
the problem. In historical times, all trades were recognized for their
skill. To suggest that someone who aspires to fix a computer is on a
different plane than the person who dreams of becoming an ARTIST, is totally
off base. Skill is skill in any trade or craft. The mechanics of putting
ones vision on paper is a very important part of learning to be an artist.
If the only reason to go to school is to learn how to dream, perhaps there
is less wrong with the system than it appears. We just need to recognize the
obvious. Go work with an artist if you want to learn, go to school if you
want to dream.

John's point about the inbreeding and dictatorial nature of some schools
reminds me of one an observation I made several years ago. I spent several
years studying with various artists. I saw some teachers "help" a student by
a hands on approach. I mean they would take the brush and work on the
students work. Other teachers would use various tactics to guide and suggest
a solution to the problem the student was having but never actually touch
the students work. It should be obvious which approach I prefer. It is the
Teacher who chooses how to TEACH. Either create clones or excite imagination
and freedom.

I am all for schools and programs to generate enthusiasm in young students,
but let us be free to criticize a system which defends and supports
mediocrity.


prints by AJ
Austin Jones
Point Pleasant, WV  USA

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