Author: Joanna Neas
Location: Easton, MA
Assignments do not equal art...
In the George Szekely article I read for my art education class entitled "Teaching Students to Become Independent Artists: A Film Script1", Szekely says, "I learned from him [his teacher] that an art assingment and a student's ideas are separate things, not to be confused. Art is not an exercise, or a response to something someone else envisioned and has no meaning to the artist. An art class cannot be run by assignments alone if the artists in children are to be preserved. Art cannot result from students constantly being told what to do, representing art as something already known and invented."
Clearly, Szekely's teacher was a very wise man. Maybe an art class will start out with an instruction, but specific assignments do not allow children to grow and develop their own artistic style. All throughout my school years, I was given an assignment to complete for art homework, and while there would be slight variations in what the class would produce, nothing strayed too far off topic because all the students knew what the teacher was looking for so they could receive a good grade. This style of teaching has definitely limited my artistic development to this date. I am going to be graduating next month with a bachelor of fine arts degree and it is not until this semester, in my advanced studio class, that I have really been challenged to come up with my own projects and to keep working on them and developing them to be exhibited at the end of the semester. I think if choice was offered to more students throughout their schooling, there would be many more children and adults who would enjoy art for what it is instead of for a grade they will receive in school.