Art Education means different things to different people.
I believe that art education is an opportunity to nurture children to find truth through imagination, effort, collaboration, and cultural literacy.
Way back when, the field of arts education grabbed me with my passion for making things, and kept me engaged as I learned more about artists, their studios, children’s art, street art, art history, tinkering, creativity, museum education, interactive learning, project-based learning, and supporting the naturally-given creativity in children before it’s taught out of them.
Fresh out of graduate school, I talked about my goal of bringing the arts to youth, one way or another, and this is a goal is still stand by today.Whether I’m training docents as a museum educator, teaching in a classroom, or writing an arts-based blog, I aim to bring the arts to children, one way or another.
So today, I ask you a question that doesn’t have a concrete answer: What does Art Education mean to you? We all have different answers, as you’ll see in the responses that follow.
Before you read them, though, will you do me a favor and write down your own response to this question? Once you’ve done that, read on, and then add your response in the comments.
The other day I put this question out to my Facebook fan page, and the variety of responses is so interesting. I tried to break the responses down into some meaty categories, but of course this is hard to do well. See what you think…
What does Art Education mean to you?
Art Education is a Universal Truth
Art cannot be taught. It is learned. It is discovered. – Gep
I think art education is vital. Art CAN be taught. Furthermore, it should be taught. So much of life requires creativity. Not just as an artist, but as a business person, a scientist, an engineer…creative thinking is crucial! The arts are always the first thing to be cut from schools struggling financially which always breaks my heart. Yes, we can show our kids how to do all sorts of things, but learning about art, artists and techniques is SO important. This education leads to new discoveries about ones self and about the world. – Maria
Just the simple appreciation of the world around us. Everything is art from the way we express our feelings to a loved one to the way we order lines on a page. – Louise
Exploration, exposure, history and appreciation of supplies, techniques and those who have gone before. All people, children and adults, do not get enough exposure in life. – Liberty
Art IS Education – through the arts one develops the skills necessary to suceed in life – communication, problem-solving, decision-making, mathematical reasoning, focus, cross – cultural awareness. . . – Karin
It meant the world to me. Was my strong point that sparked all my other interests. – Lydia
That is just a title, a formality if you will. Art is learned and discovered. I educate through art. – Amanda
Families and art are the base of any society. To enable people to explore the arts, to develop skills needed to express themselves artistically and to ensure they have the resources needed for artistic practice / expression is vital for the health of individuals and society. Art education to me is about supporting individuals to develop artistically for the benefit of themselves and society. Unfortunately however, often I think what is called art education is not that at all or is poorly undertaken & / or resourced. – Fatina
Art Education is a School Value
Teaching about art periods and styles, techniques and masters at a minimum. – Katie
For me it conjures up feelings of being told what I’m supposed to think and feel about art regardless of whether its actually how I think or feel. Chalk it up to one terrible woman in high school, the “art educator”. I much prefer just plain art and the freedoms that come with it. – Meghanne
I wish my sons teacher knew. I’m sending my son to have art sessions with my gorgeous friend (once an art teacher), who has now opened her dream art studio! – Annie
You learn about the greats, while learning techniques and processes in combination with a content; not an end, but a means to and end. Combined art and content. – Breanna
Regular life drawing sessions. – Karen
Something too easily cut from schools – Jamie Lynn
Tools for creativity in every subject — foundation for every aspect of life! – Susan
T to the P: learning to the trust their process. – Leah
Art Education is Beauty
Tasteful things done tastefully. – Karen
Art Education is Imagination
My first thought was balloons filled with paint and darts….its creative and messy and can be anything you imagine just like life – Crystal
Creativity…. – Fely
Art Education is Emotion-driven
Feelings. Looking outside the square. Expressiveness. Getting in touch with your inner soul and outer world. – Elisa
The development and expression of the soul. – Kath
Your turn: Don’t forget to add your definition in a comment below. And if you’re an arts advocate like me, you’ll enjoy more definitions of art education via Performing Arts Convention.
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