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folder icon   09-12-2005, 10:29 PM
Post #246
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Meh, my touristy pics are supposed to appeal to them...

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folder icon   09-16-2005, 02:00 PM
Post #247
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You should go to themeparks and other such places mostly filled with 'white trash'. I hear that sells well.

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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:01 PM
Post #248
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Ok, time for another tutorial, this time with colored pencils. The image is taken from someone else's drawing off the web, only I changed the car from blue to pink. Iva had me do this as a gift for a nephew who all of a sudden decided he loves pink caddilacs. So anywho, it's a copy, but you can see how I did it - I'll probably use these images for a teaching portfolio someday.

So here's the pencil sketch, H so it won't smear

so and so has attached this image:


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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:03 PM
Post #249
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Next I went for a black, watercolor pencil, and drew in some of the dark areas. This might not be a great idea, considering how easily these things smear, but considering all the tiny dark lines I needed to put in first, I figured if I went for pink, I'd lose all my detail.

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:04 PM
Post #250
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next I went over it with a sable brush, and just a touch of water.

so and so has attached this image:


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"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:08 PM
Post #251
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next I tested some colors for the car.

so and so has attached this image:


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"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:09 PM
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so here's with the light pink - damn blurry photo, I think my flash wasn't set right. Well I guess it still works as a tutorial... maybe not for the portfolio, though...

so and so has attached this image:


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"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:10 PM
Post #253
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here's with a darker pink

so and so has attached this image:


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"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:12 PM
Post #254
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Another out of focus pic... So this one is with some yellow, and a darker red.

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:13 PM
Post #255
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Here I added color for the grill, and cabin, I think.

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-02-2005, 01:13 PM
Post #256
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finally I touched it all up with a brush. I never did a background, I'm still not sure what I'd do for one...

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-04-2005, 10:44 PM
Post #257
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*sigh*

Bump...

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"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
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"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-05-2005, 12:22 PM
Post #258
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Yeah, i havent had a lot of time recently.

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folder icon   10-06-2005, 04:58 PM
Post #259
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Now that's a nice drawing. The most I can do is abstract shapes (which don't look all to bad actually) and penguins. I'm well proud of the penguins.

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folder icon   10-06-2005, 05:59 PM
Post #260
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post your penguins! Also, I think I have a penguin pic somewhere on like page 5 of this thread. It's not my best, kind of flat, but it was from life, and I think I got the color of the water/pool pretty well.

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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
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folder icon   10-08-2005, 01:49 AM
Post #261
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Oooooooh, that's awesome, So and So!

I can't believe you did that with colour pencils, I just can't do anything with them. Whenever I try to get a 'glossy' effect like what you did with the car, it just looks as though the car's been all dented and stuff . Must have taken you ages...I can see you spent a fair amount of time getting the geometry of the car right in that first pic you posted- very impressive .

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folder icon   10-08-2005, 10:25 AM
Post #262
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Iva says it took a few hours. I'm guessing two. You kinda zone out when you're drawing, as I'm sure you know.

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"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-08-2005, 10:48 AM
Post #263
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TWO? You need to be nerfed! Doing that would easily consume my entire afternoon!

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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:24 PM
Post #264
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And everyone was Kung Fu Fighting!!!!!!!
Yeah so these are gestural drawings. not meant to be pretty, but I think they're still pretty good.

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:30 PM
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and some more...

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:31 PM
Post #266
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and another

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:32 PM
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unt some more...
these are all just conceptual thingies for my graphic novel...

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:45 PM
Post #268
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and some more

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:45 PM
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yet another ...............

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:47 PM
Post #270
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and another

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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:49 PM
Post #271
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some more
I did alot so I'd have many pics to work from.

so and so has attached this image:


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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:50 PM
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some more

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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:53 PM
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and another

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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:54 PM
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a couple more...

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"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-13-2005, 10:56 PM
Post #275
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last one

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"Do you masturbate to your own rhetoric?" - Kegel
"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
"Any country that owes their existence to the french doesn't deserve to be a country." - Love
"i only eat yogurt with a minimum ph of 4.5." - PålädÌÑ
"I had my utensils removed last summer." - Kjell Thusaud
"Fuck reality, I prefer vodka." - Sammy
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folder icon   10-14-2005, 02:10 AM
Post #276
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Dont know how to comment much except that the stances are neat and the anatomy is great. The way you're scanning them has the paper too dark, its hard to see what you drew.

Course my brain is a bit melted... got midterms and not studying properly for them

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Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
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folder icon   11-30-2005, 10:53 PM
Post #277
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Hey, sportsfans! Sorry to disappoint you with no new pics, but I thought I'd share with you my thesis in progress! tell me what you think!

Thomas Arthur Smith
Teacher Inquiry
Fall 2005
Thesis: Public Art

Artwork, such as murals and sculptures can and have played a special role in our society to raise awareness and discussion of many social issues. Although not all public art takes on this role, those that do, such as the Great Wall of Los Angeles by Judy Baca (SPARC, 2005), have had a profound impact on our world. This kind of art making revolves around topics that community members, who might not otherwise have a public voice, want addressed, and issues that artists themselves want to put in the public eye. It is artwork as a means of public education and community service. It is also a kind of artwork that should have a place in our nations’ schools.

Public art benefits students in a school setting, focusing on how to involve them in a mural project, teaching the benefits and importance of public art while developing artistic skills. Jameel Parker, an art teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, creates murals in class with his students and has found that their enthusiasm and motivation triple on his projects. The second students realize their work will be permanently displayed for all to see, it immediately connects that this is worthwhile. The effort they put into their drawing, painting, and composition doubles, as does their skill level. What’s more each student walks away with the knowledge that meaningful, powerful art is within their grasp and not as unattainable as it appears in our society.

Public art, such as murals, memorials, some outdoor sculpture, and some public performances can be a way to produce artwork and show it to a wide audience while circumnavigating the usual art institutions. These institutions, such as museums, galleries, art magazines, and many art history texts have created a somewhat artificial viewpoint of art. They create the distinction of high art and low art. European drawing, painting, and sculpture is considered high art, while tribal crafts, ceramics, cartoons, comics, animations, and most films are considered low art, regardless of the power they can have over people, the intellectual concepts they often address, or the skill and craftsmanship that go into them. Very few people seem to want to do away with these distinctions, even though film in the 20th century has totally taken over the role that painting once had, and television has largely taken over the role that novels once had.

These institutions also advocate the idea of a progression of high art from a long series of art movements, concentrating on the works of a select few artists, and ignoring all others. If you were to browse through the most well-known and respected surveys of art history, such as The Story of Art (Gombrich, 1995), History of Art: The Western Tradition (Janson & Janson, 2003), and Gardner’s Art Through The Ages (Gardner & Mamiya, 2004), they all follow this path. This “artistic evolution” is defined through the formal and technical innovations of these masters, ignoring most other aspects. For example, Picasso is deemed a master primarily for breaking up pictorial space in the pursuit of expression, and not for painting works like Guernica that criticize modern warfare.

The story of art that these institutions create is rich, compelling, somewhat based on logic, and full of many beautiful examples. But, it does a disservice to the public because it is so limited. It excludes many artists and their work. It ignores the fact that, rather than there being a simple progression of art movements, our world has contemporary examples of artists still working in every style imaginable. It excludes so much of this history and circumstances surrounding art, such as how sexism, racism, and religion have effected all movements of art, and the portrayal of various minorities.

For centuries white, male, American painters have portrayed blacks as lazy, goofy, and untrustworthy (McElroy, 1990), while native Americans have been portrayed as the “noble savage” whose time has come (Schimmel, 1991). For centuries, European masters have painted countless nude women, some being raped (Carroll, 1989), based primarily on stories from the Bible and Greek mythology. It hasn’t been until the 20th century that many women and minority groups were even allowed to attend art classes and universities (Efland, 1990).
Furthermore, as the leading arbiters of art to the general public, these institutions inadvertently prevent many alternative viewpoints from reaching a large audience. At the same time, they limit their audience by only staying within certain spheres of society. People with no interest, time, or money to go to museums and galleries are thought to not be interested in art – they may even feel this way themselves, even as they go to the cinema or a rock concert. In a recent interview (Deblonde, 2003), two young, British artists, Jake and Dinos Chapman, went so far as to say that art isn’t for everyone, as a way of defending their work from critics. “If we wanted, we could go to a football game, learn how it works, learn to keep score, and learn what to look for. But, we wouldn’t enjoy it, so why bother? It’s the same with art. Some people enjoy it and some don’t.”

Public art as I see it seeks different channels, such as town governments, art councils, and interested citizens, to present art to a more general audience, at its best focusing its themes and visual cues to best carry it’s message to this greater audience. It creates an interest in art for people who might not have had it before. It can serve as a billboard to a community to illustrate inequities among people there, immediate problems that some people face, advocating for needy causes and charities, and also to simply address the existence and nature of people’s lives on a level that seems absent in most institutionalized art.
Two of the most exciting recent works that illustrate what I find important are by Judy Baca, and Richard Kamler. Both of these artists have devoted to their lives to the production of public art works that address important social issues. Baca’s work focuses on retelling history from minority perspectives, to keep the truth from being hidden. Richard Kamler’s work focuses on advocating for the imprisoned in America, who are often times not given a fair trial or treatment by our justice system. Both have the same intent – to use their artwork as a means of education to the public, as a plea for compassion and understanding from a naïve and often thoughtless, dominant majority. Both artists chose their work from a common need, to tell the story of an oppressed group of people – to create a record of what happened, in the hope that it won’t happen much longer.

Judy Baca designed and painted the Great Wall of Los Angeles, a mural that tells the history of LA in its entirety, from a socialist, Chicano perspective. She chose the project as a way of giving voice to the oppressed Chicano minority present in LA, of which she was a part, and as a way to change the community in a positive direction. The work describes the first arrival of the Spanish, oppressing the local, indigenous population. It describes the independence of Mexico from Spain, and the subsequent seizure of California by America in the Mexican War of 1846-7. It talks of the oppression of Chinese, Japanese, and Chicano Americans, the deportation of Chicanos, the prison camps of Japanese, and the red scare of McCarthyism.

During her work, she engaged various local gangs to help work on her project, gaining a sense of positive self-identity and purpose, counter to the negative influences prevalent around them. So, in her work not only did she create a monumental artwork, questioning the superiority of the conservative elite who oppress her people, an artwork that will last indefinitely and become one of the many famous landmarks that defines America. She has also helped shape the lives of those she cares about, to help guide them to a more positive way of life. This is where I see the power of her work. She told an important and enduring message to a national audience, using art as a voice for her community, and positively influenced the lives of all who participate in its production. I would be lucky and honored to get to participate in such an endeavor.

The other artist that I am very enthusiastic about is Richard Kamler, head of the art department of the University of San Francisco. He’s worked as an art teacher for decades in various prisons and “correctional institutions”. During this time he has been an advocate for inmates against the death penalty, losing civil rights, and in favor of more educational opportunities. He has also made numerous public artworks against the death penalty, for prisoner advocacy, and for anti-war movements, including a gigantic inflatable “bread loaf” with the words Bread Not Bombs painted across it.

What impresses me about him is that he has dedicated himself to an issue that not many people could stomach, that most people would shy away from. Many people don’t want to associate themselves with criminals. Many people don’t feel comfortable thinking of criminals as people, or to contemplate exactly how many “law-abiding citizens” are simply criminals who haven’t been caught yet. Richard Kamler forces viewers of his work to see prisoners first and foremost as people, in some ways victims of our society, and deserving as human beings of some way out of the hellish system we’ve created for them into something that would allow for them to live a more positive and benevolent existence.

Just the idea of choosing to make this kind of artwork on this subject shows a compassion that is surprising and compelling, even if one has a hard time agreeing with it. And the fact that, not only has he made artworks on the subject, but he’s also gone into these prisons and spent time teaching these inmates shows a level of dedication and perseverance through obvious strain and stresses that is awe inspiring.

His latest large, public artwork was an installation of billboards next to the San Francisco County Jail in San Bruno. At one point, wild buffalo, which had contracted tuberculosis, were sent to the field outside this prison and penned in, as they waited to die so as not to infect other animals. Prof. Kamler saw the analogy between the buffalo and the inmates, both assigned a similar fate through similar circumstances. So he made large billboards of painted buffalo, placed them along the grounds of the prison (all with the town’s approval), and played audio tapes of buffalo roaming, mixed with ambient sounds of the prison – people walking, clanging of iron doors, and a harmonica playing, “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam.” There was a separate audio cassette one could purchase in the prison, recording conversations and interviews with various inmates, staff, and the warden.

What was amazing to me was that the prison and local police were enthusiastic about the project, wanting just as much as Prof. Kamler to get public attention to the problem of incarceration, both as a tax burden, and as an emotionally crippling scar for the inmates, destroying their chances to ever better themselves or their lives. Even if this piece is no longer on display, the audio tapes that you can still purchase allow for a rare glimpse into the grim reality of an aspect of our society that needs changing and yet is seldom addressed. The fact that today’s prisons are designed upon a 19th century ideology and that our legal systems judges defendants more on the amount of money they can spend defending themselves rather than the facts of their cases, is one of the most embarrassing and shameful aspects of our society. I am very impressed that Prof. Kamler has been able to address this issue in a large artwork, and one that has gained the empathy and support of all those around him.

For another piece, when one man was sentenced to die, he and other artists got into boats and went out to the harbor in front of this other prison, for the night of execution. As the warden commanded there be a moment of silence to somehow show respect for the man they were murdering, Richard Kamler and his friends blasted an audio tape of lions roaring to demonstrate their anger at the injustice being done in the name of law and order.

The themes that these murals and installations focus on are often more understandable and engaging to non-artists, who may not have an interest in traditional art history per-say, but who do care about their town, country, world, and fellow citizens. This is the kind of work that I feel our world needs more of, and this is also the type of work that our usual institutions neglect. In the contemporary art world, too much emphasis is placed on innovation, which artists use to define themselves. Instead of gaining a reputation for addressing social and political issues of our times, most artist celebrities come up with gimmicks like Jeff Koons’ giant floral dogs.

This kind of work tackles real social issues in a way that’s dramatic, immediate, and emotional. Instead of the usual discussions that traditional institutions create when discussing fine art, such as craftsmanship, design, and formalistic principles, these public works form a discussion separated from the work that incorporates history, politics, current events, and the voices and opinions of all who see it, giving a new level of power to the work. People who see this kind of work will feel compelled to act out to it. It’s not enough to sit back and enjoy it. You have to respond.

This is the kind of work that I find extremely meaningful, not that other forms of work can’t be meaningful as well. This work isn’t simply exploratory or question raising, but really serves as a kind of call-to-arms over social issues. This is art that gets people’s attention, and makes them question their beliefs and assumptions, like that wars are justified or inevitable, blaming the poor for being poor, sitting back while the rest of the world dies of hunger and disease, not giving disaster relief when it’s needed, etc. This is the kind of work that often gets students’ attention and excitement, and can motivate them to make great work.

Psychologists have observed that, starting in high school, many students lose interest in being creative (Lockwood, 2003). While they may enjoy art, literature, and music, the drive to create art is inhibited, as these students begin to form a new identity. In my own experience, I have found that a major contributor to a lack of creative motivation lies in the fact that most of their work won’t be seen by anyone. After finishing an assignment, they will either take them home to their closet, or leave it to be thrown out. With this sort of outcome, it’s hard to convince a student to put a little more effort into their art, and make it a little nicer before eventually trashing it. Compare this sort of experience to working with friends on a mural that would be on permanent display in the school. The level of care that these same students put into their work is astonishing.

So, imagine taking a large mural project where students will be excited to participate, and asking them to research a topic such as the Gulf War of 1990. You’d start by telling students about the topic, where the mural would go, the size they’re working with, the process. You would discuss some of the history of mural making in the United States and elsewhere, with examples such as Diego Rivera and Judy Baca.

Then, students would begin researching by interviewing their parents and families as to where they were at the time, what they thought at the time, what they think now looking back, and whether or not they served or died in the conflict. Then they would look up articles from different news sources to see what was discussed, what wasn’t discussed, how people were labeled, etc. They would search for images of the conflict, the burning oil derricks, the wounded in hospitals, expatriates demanding action, protestors in Washington D.C., and/or whatever they felt important or moving.

They would discuss in class the many different groups that were effected by this war, and their perspectives. Students would present the articles and photos along with their impressions and questions that arose. The students would then decide what sort of theme or message they would like their mural to convey, considering these groups, what might be upsetting, what might serve as a lesson, and what kind of imagery might best memorialize those who died.
Once students have agreed on their theme and imagery, they would be asked how to put these together in a cohesive composition. Each student would be asked to draw thumbnail sketches to put these ideas together, adding their own as they see fit. You, the teacher, would then discuss some artistic devices such as scale, light, contrast, balance vs. unbalance, foreshortening and depth, leading the eye, and color theory, reviewing how they can influence a viewer’s reaction to the piece. Students would consciously choose which artistic devices to use and how to use them to heighten their message.

Through this project these students would not only learn the technical skills required. They would discover valid reasons for making art. They would discover the power that art can have on themselves and those who view their work. They would discover the capacity for art to teach others, and as a form of activism. They would discover that meaningful work of this level is within their reach, and that it can have an impact on their community. This project could not only motivate them temporarily, but throughout their life, building their confidence, believing in themselves, and through this confidence believing in the importance of caring about our world. After all, the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

__________________
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"The irony of this topic makes me want to fist myself with a pinecone." - Dark Jester
"No ones life is that interesting unless it involves war, porn, or zombies." - Urin Bloodface
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folder icon   12-03-2005, 10:35 AM
Post #278
-G R U N T-

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Quote:
Originally Posted by so and so
Hey, sportsfans! Sorry to disappoint you with no new pics, but I thought I'd share with you my thesis in progress! tell me what you think!

Thomas Arthur Smith
Teacher Inquiry
Fall 2005
Thesis: Public Art

Artwork, such as murals and sculptures can and have played a special role in our society to raise awareness and discussion of many social issues. Although not all public art takes on this role, those that do, such as the Great Wall of Los Angeles by Judy Baca (SPARC, 2005), have had a profound impact on our world. This kind of art making revolves around topics that community members, who might not otherwise have a public voice, want addressed, and issues that artists themselves want to put in the public eye. It is artwork as a means of public education and community service. It is also a kind of artwork that should have a place in our nations’ schools.

Public art benefits students in a school setting, focusing on how to involve them in a mural project, teaching the benefits and importance of public art while developing artistic skills. Jameel Parker, an art teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, creates murals in class with his students and has found that their enthusiasm and motivation triple on his projects. The second students realize their work will be permanently displayed for all to see, it immediately connects that this is worthwhile (this sentence sounds a bit awkward. Maybe: '...all to see, they immediately realize that their efforts are worthwhile' or something like that The effort they put into their drawing, painting, and composition doubles, as does their skill level. What’s more - each student walks away with the knowledge that meaningful, powerful art is within their grasp and not as unattainable as it appears in our society. This last sentence of the paragraph is totally awesome, and very true . I wish that more people thought like this.

Public art, such as murals, memorials, some outdoor sculpture, and some public performances can be a way to produce artwork and show it to a wide audience while circumnavigating the usual art institutions. These institutions, such as museums, galleries, art magazines, and many art history texts have created a somewhat artificial viewpoint of art. They create the distinction of high art and low art. European drawing, painting, and sculpture is considered high art, while tribal crafts, ceramics, cartoons, comics, animations, and most films are considered low art, regardless of the power they can have over people, the intellectual concepts they often address, or the skill and craftsmanship that go into them. Very few people seem to want to do away with these distinctions, even though film in the 20th century has totally taken over the role that painting once had, and television has largely taken over the role that novels once had. Hear hear! You should read Calvin and Hobbes, if you don't already . Calvin talks about something similar (=.

These institutions also advocate the idea of a progression of high art from a long series of art movements, concentrating on the works of a select few artists, and ignoring all others. If you were to browse through the most well-known and respected surveys of art history, such as The Story of Art (Gombrich, 1995), History of Art: The Western Tradition (Janson & Janson, 2003), and Gardner’s Art Through The Ages (Gardner & Mamiya, 2004), they all follow this path. This “artistic evolution” is defined through the formal and technical innovations of these masters, ignoring most other aspects. For example, Picasso is deemed a master primarily for breaking up pictorial space in the pursuit of expression, and not for painting works like Guernica that criticize modern warfare. That's true, I guess. You mean to say that Picasso is more famous for his technique as opposed to the statement he was making with his artwork, right? In my school, we need to back up all our artwork with 'meaning' and stuff, which really bugged me because while I do have motives behind certain artworks of mine, those are usually very personal...usually involving girls . Most of the time, my thinking is along the lines of: "wow, it'd be cool to draw an orc with a really big axe!" :p

The story of art that these institutions create is rich, compelling, somewhat based on logic, and full of many beautiful examples. However (yeah, you originally had 'but' in here. I know it works when you use 'but' at the start of a sentence like this, but for some reason, it just came off to me as sounding a bit off ), it does a disservice to the public because it is so limited. It excludes many artists and their work. It ignores the fact that, rather than there being a simple progression of art movements, our world has contemporary examples of artists still working in every style imaginable. It excludes so much of this history and circumstances surrounding art, such as how sexism, racism, and religion have effected (affected) all movements of art, and the portrayal of various minorities.

For centuries; (at least, I think this is the right thing to use ...I dunno, it needs SOMETHING there) white, male, American painters have portrayed blacks as lazy, goofy, and untrustworthy (McElroy, 1990), while native Americans have been portrayed as the “noble savage” whose time has come (Schimmel, 1991). For centuries, European masters have painted countless nude women, some being raped (Carroll, 1989), based primarily on stories from the Bible and Greek mythology. It hasn’t been until the 20th century that many women and minority groups were even allowed to attend art classes and universities (Efland, 1990). (This comes off as a little awkward-sounding to me. I don't think you make the link (is there one?) between women attending art classes and guys painting naked women being raped ). I think what you're saying is people painted naked ladies because the art community was a lot more sexist back then? Even though a lot of us still like painting naked ladies...
Furthermore, as the leading arbiters of art to the general public, these institutions inadvertently prevent many alternative viewpoints from reaching a large audience. At the same time, they limit their audience by only staying within certain spheres of society. People with no interest, time, or money to go to museums and galleries are thought to not be interested in art – they may even feel this way themselves, even as they go to the cinema or a rock concert. In a recent interview (Deblonde, 2003), two young, British artists, Jake and Dinos Chapman, went so far as to say that art isn’t for everyone, as a way of defending their work from critics. “If we wanted, we could go to a football game, learn how it works, learn to keep score, and learn what to look for. But, we wouldn’t enjoy it, so why bother? It’s the same with art. Some people enjoy it and some don’t.”

Public art as I see it seeks different channels, such as town governments, art councils, and interested citizens, to present art to a more general audience, at its best focusing its themes and visual cues to best carry it’s message to this greater audience. (I think that last sentence needs to be broken into two...it's a bit difficult to read) It creates an interest in art for people who might not have had it before. It can serve as a billboard to a community to illustrate inequities among people there, immediate problems that some people face, advocating for needy causes and charities, and also to simply address the existence and nature of people’s lives on a level that seems absent in most institutionalized art.
Two of the most exciting recent works that illustrate what I find important are by Judy Baca, and Richard Kamler. Both of these artists have devoted to their lives to the production of public art works that address important social issues. Baca’s work focuses on retelling history from minority perspectives, to keep the truth from being hidden. Richard Kamler’s work focuses on advocating for the imprisoned in America, who are often times not given a fair trial or treatment by our justice system. Both have the same intent – to use their artwork as a means of education to the public, as a plea for compassion and understanding from a naïve and often thoughtless, dominant majority. Both artists chose their work from a common need, to tell the story of an oppressed group of people – to create a record of what happened, in the hope that it won’t happen much longer.

Judy Baca designed and painted the Great Wall of Los Angeles, a mural that tells the history of LA in its entirety, from a socialist, Chicano perspective. She chose the project as a way of giving voice to the oppressed Chicano minority present in LA, of which she was a part, and as a way to change the community in a positive direction. The work describes the first arrival of the Spanish, oppressing the local, indigenous population. It describes the independence of Mexico from Spain, and the subsequent seizure of California by America in the Mexican War of 1846-7. It talks of the oppression of Chinese, Japanese, and Chicano Americans, the deportation of Chicanos, the prison camps of Japanese, and the red scare of McCarthyism.

During her work, she engaged various local gangs to help work on her project, gaining a sense of positive self-identity and purpose, counter to the negative influences prevalent around them. Not only did she create a monumental artwork, questioning the superiority of the conservative elite who oppress her people, an artwork that will last indefinitely and become one of the many famous landmarks that defines America. (that last sentence was a bit sloppy, I think . Oh, and I removed the bit before that because it sounded weird...you can just start the sentence with 'not only'. Anyway, you started off with 'Not only' did she do blah blah blah, but you don't explain 'she has also helped...' until the NEXT sentence, which sounds wrong. I think that you could trim down this section a bit) She has also helped shape the lives of those she cares about, to help guide them to a more positive way of life. This is where I see the power of her work. She told an important and enduring message to a national audience, using art as a voice for her community, and positively influenced the lives of all who participate in its production. I would be lucky and honored to get to participate in such an endeavor.

The other artist that I am very enthusiastic about is Richard Kamler, head of the art department of the University of San Francisco. He’s worked as an art teacher for decades in various prisons and “correctional institutions”. During this time, he has been an advocate for inmates against the death penalty, losing civil rights, and in favor of more educational opportunities (since all your commas are listing stuff he's advocating, writing 'and in favor of more educational opportunities' sounds a bit awkward). He has also made numerous public artworks against the death penalty, for prisoner advocacy, and for anti-war movements, including a gigantic inflatable “bread loaf” with the words Bread Not Bombs painted across it.

What impresses me about him is that he has dedicated himself to an issue that not many people could stomach- that most people would shy away from (that dash just seems to make more sense to me ). Many people don’t want to associate themselves with criminals. Many people don’t feel comfortable thinking of criminals as people, or to contemplate exactly how many “law-abiding citizens” are simply criminals who haven’t been caught yet. Richard Kamler forces viewers of his work to see prisoners first and foremost as people, in some ways victims of our society, and deserving as human beings of some way out of the hellish system we’ve created for them into something that would allow for them to live a more positive and benevolent existence.

Just the idea of choosing to make this kind of artwork on this subject shows a compassion that is surprising and compelling, even if one has a hard time agreeing with it. Not only has he made artworks on the subject, but the fact that he’s also gone into these prisons and spent time teaching these inmates, shows a level of dedication and perseverance through obvious strain and stresses that is awe inspiring. (just thought I'd make that sentence make more sense )

His latest large, public artwork was an installation of billboards next to the San Francisco County Jail in San Bruno. At one point, wild buffalo, which had contracted tuberculosis, were sent to the field outside this prison and penned in, as they waited to die so as not to infect other animals. Prof. Kamler saw the analogy between the buffalo and the inmates, both assigned a similar fate through similar circumstances. So he made large billboards of painted buffalo, placed them along the grounds of the prison (all with the town’s approval), and played audio tapes of buffalo roaming, mixed with ambient sounds of the prison – people walking, clanging of iron doors, and a harmonica playing, “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam.” There was a separate audio cassette one could purchase in the prison, recording conversations and interviews with various inmates, staff, and the warden. Wow, that's quite impressive! And very powerful.

What was amazing to me was that the prison and local police were enthusiastic about the project, wanting just as much as Prof. Kamler to get public attention to the problem of incarceration, both as a tax burden, and as an emotionally crippling scar for the inmates, destroying their chances to ever better themselves or their lives. Even if this piece is no longer on display, the audio tapes that you can still purchase allow for a rare glimpse into the grim reality of an aspect of our society that needs changing and yet is seldom addressed. The fact that today’s prisons are designed upon a 19th century ideology and that our legal systems judges defendants more on the amount of money they can spend defending themselves rather than the facts of their cases (I cant make heads or tails of that last bit , is one of the most embarrassing and shameful aspects of our society. I am very impressed that Prof. Kamler has been able to address this issue in a large artwork, and one that has gained the empathy and support of all those around him.

For another piece, when one man was sentenced to die, he and other artists got into boats and went out to the harbor in front of this other prison, for the night of execution I think 'on the night of the execution' sounds more appropriate. As the warden commanded there be a moment of silence to somehow show respect for the man they were murdering, Richard Kamler and his friends blasted an audio tape of lions roaring to demonstrate their anger at the injustice being done in the name of law and order.

The themes that these murals and installations focus on are often more understandable and engaging to non-artists, who may not have an interest in traditional art history per-say, but who do care about their town, country, world, and fellow citizens. This is the kind of work that I feel our world needs more of, and this is also the type of work that our usual institutions neglect. In the contemporary art world, too much emphasis is placed on innovation, which artists use to define themselves. Instead of gaining a reputation for addressing social and political issues of our times, most artist celebrities come up with gimmicks like Jeff Koons’ giant floral dogs. Awesome paragraph

This kind of work tackles real social issues in a way that’s dramatic, immediate, and emotional. Instead of the usual discussions that traditional institutions create when discussing fine art, such as craftsmanship, design, and formalistic principles, these public works form a discussion separated from the work that incorporates history, politics, current events, and the voices and opinions of all who see it, giving a new level of power to the work. People who see this kind of work will feel compelled to act out to it. It’s not enough to sit back and enjoy it. You have to respond. Personally, I've haven't come across artwork that actually made me feel that way, but then, I'm in Singapore . We don't get much art like that here.....I think..

This is the kind of work that I find extremely meaningful, not that other forms of work can’t be meaningful as well. This work isn’t simply exploratory or question raising, but really serves as a kind of call-to-arms over social issues. This is art that gets people’s attention, and makes them question their beliefs and assumptions, like that wars are justified or inevitable, blaming the poor for being poor, sitting back while the rest of the world dies of hunger and disease, not giving disaster relief when it’s needed, etc. This is the kind of work that often gets students’ attention and excitement, and can motivate them to make great work. Very powerful statement here (=

Psychologists have observed that, starting in high school, many students lose interest in being creative (I blame it on my school system (GRUNT, 2005)) (Lockwood, 2003). While they may enjoy art, literature, and music, the drive to create art is inhibited, as these students begin to form a new identity. In my own experience, I have found that a major contributor to a lack of creative motivation lies in the fact that most of their work won’t be seen by anyone. After finishing an assignment, they will either take them home to their closet, or leave it to be thrown out. With this sort of outcome, it’s hard to convince a student to put a little more effort into their art, and make it a little nicer before eventually trashing it. Compare this sort of experience to working with friends on a mural that would be on permanent display in the school. The level of care that these same students put into their work is astonishing. You know, that's very true! I really do think that people would put a lot more effort into their artwork if they knew they had the power to make a statement with it, and that it won't (as you say), end up in their closet or something. I noticed that the girl I love had all her paintings from school hanging in her house......(sad because I miss her >_<)

So, imagine taking a large mural project where students will be excited to participate, and asking them to research a topic such as the Gulf War of 1990. You’d start by telling students about the topic, where the mural would go, the size they’re working with, the process. You would discuss some of the history of mural making in the United States and elsewhere, with examples such as Diego Rivera and Judy Baca. That's utterly awesome! I wish my school had done stuff like that!

Then, students would begin researching by interviewing their parents and families as to where they were at the time, what they thought at the time, what they think now looking back, and whether or not they served or died in the conflict. Then they would look up articles from different news sources to see what was discussed, what wasn’t discussed, how people were labeled, etc. They would search for images of the conflict, the burning oil derricks, the wounded in hospitals, expatriates demanding action, protestors in Washington D.C., and/or whatever they felt important or moving. I do a lot of that in History class, actually . It'd be a really awesome way to fuse the two subjects together. We did that once, in a weird way, when our history class went to an art gallery to look at Chinese wood printings from the time of the Cultural Revolution.

They would discuss in class, the many different groups that were affected by this war, and their perspectives. Students would present the articles and photos along with their impressions and questions that arose. The students would then decide what sort of theme or message they would like their mural to convey, considering these groups, what might be upsetting, what might serve as a lesson, and what kind of imagery might best memorialize those who died.
Once students have agreed on their theme and imagery, they would be asked how to put these together in a cohesive composition. Each student would be asked to draw thumbnail sketches to put these ideas together, adding their own as they see fit. You, the teacher, would then discuss some artistic devices such as scale, light, contrast, balance vs. unbalance, foreshortening and depth, leading the eye, and color theory, reviewing how they can influence a viewer’s reaction to the piece. Students would consciously choose which artistic devices to use and how to use them to heighten their message.

Through this project these students would not only learn the technical skills required. They would discover valid reasons for making art. They would discover the power that art can have on themselves and those who view their work. They would discover the capacity for art to teach others, and as a form of activism. They would discover that meaningful work of this level is within their reach, and that it can have an impact on their community. (Yes! YOu take one of the best one-liners in this thesis and SMACK it at whoever reads it again in the conclusion! Ownage! ) This project could not only motivate them temporarily, but throughout their life, building their confidence, making them believe in themselves, and through this confidence- believing in the importance of caring about our world. After all, the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.


This was a really great read! Sorry for the few nitpicks...they don't really bother me, but I thought maybe I'd try and help if you're going to submit this .

The pace and the writing is all top-notch! You're never pedantic, and you get your point across clearly, and concisely!

I just found it kinda weird though- how you spent a good deal talking about how you'd get students to create a mural artwork. It's just that you went into a lot of detail, it's like you're planning some new course or something. I'm not sure if that's part of the requirements for this thesis, because if it isn't, I think it should be shortened a bit. I mean, it's not that it's bad, you should definitely keep it in, but you don't need to spend so much time talking about it. Then it sounds like you've got this grand vision and you've got to share it with whoever reads this.

Of course, if you're SUPPOSED to come up with a plan to use public art to improve the artistic education of today's youth (I'm pretty sure that that's the idea, based on what you said), then this thesis is pure ownage.

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folder icon   12-04-2005, 05:45 PM
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Thank you for the detailed crit, and the praise. I wish my professor felt that way. He hates it pretty much, and he's given me nothing but static from the start - with threats to flunk me along the way. It's my old advisor giving the course...

He thinks it's written too much like a journal, and not enough like an academic paper - which sucks because he said from the start that he didn't want it to sound academic. He wanted to hear our voices in it. So I just finished taking out all the "I think" and "I feel" 's out of it.

He also thinks it's just description of everything without saying why it matters, and what the artists' intents are. He wants pages and pages of intent...

Also on the mural project idea, that's part of the pedagogy segment - we all have to talk about why our art topic would be good for a school setting, and how it would be best incorporated. I think I've taken all my professor's ideas and inserted them - if not he'll be pissed. This is really more for him to be appeased than for me to voice my views...

This thing's supposed to be a part of my resume and portfolio, but I don't know if I'll ever really include it. I guess it's impressive, and my voice is in there somewhere. I just hate this class so much. I must've writtne 20 pages so far, but he's made me cut out so much of it...

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folder icon   12-05-2005, 07:49 AM
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Aw damn, that sucks . I still think it's really good, though! The fact that even someone who's not educated in art history and culture (like me) can still enjoy it surely says something about the appeal of your thesis!

I also thought you talked about intent a lot! Why is it that you always seem to end up with really shitty people grading your work ?

Your personal opinions should be encouraged! What kind of f***ed up institution do you go to where that's not? Your personal opinions lend weight and meaning to your writing, so long as you don't over-do it and turn it into a gigantic rant . I'm suprised to hear that your professor found the draft I just read to be too personal!

Hell, if I read a bunch of shitty academic portfolios, I'd be hard pressed to pick one, until I read some guy's whose enthusiasm and passion for art really shows through in his writing. THen I'll be like: "I'm picking him!" I've got a friend who got a very bad grade for her art, but she still got into a good school because of her portfolio work, and her enthusiasm.

Did you tell him that he said he didn't want it to be too acedemic? Or did you tell him, but he just said something lame to brush it aside?

EDIT: As a side note, I also had trouble ommiting 'I think' and 'I feel' from essays that I write in school . BUt those were history essays, so that's different . I was encouraged to write 'I think' and 'I feel' when talking about art .

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