May 24, 2005
Art - a better way to learn?
How should art be taught? Ellen Lupton (educator, designer and curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum) makes some shocking proposals in her AIGA article, The Re-Skilling of the American Art Student. Her recommendation is that students be taught a set of skills:
"The idea of skill has come to seem woefully outdated in an art world that emphasizes conceptual innovation, and making the right statement at the right time, with the right media. Gone are the days when life drawing was the backbone of any artists’ skill set. The term “skill” carries not only an academic connotation, but a working-class one. The skilled worker is one who knows something about a particular process (which puts him or her a step above the unskilled worker), but is not part of the professional class. Plumbers, auto mechanics and short-order cooks are skilled workers.
I’m arguing for the re-skilling of the American art student across the disciplines of fine and applied art...."
The skills list:
- Conceptual skills: how to get ideas
- Technical skills: how to realize ideas
- Critical skills: how to build the discourse
- Social skills: how to work with people and make things happen
- Professional skills: how to make a living
Interestingly, Critical skill focuses on an understanding of history and style:
"We help students place their work in a historical and social context. Why do the fields of art and design function the way they do? What issues are artists and designers currently confronting in their work, and what’s the tradition against which contemporary practice takes place? This critical understanding helps students engage the world in a relevant way. The highest level of success for a designer or artist is, in my view, to create work that influences others in the field (or better yet, people in other fields). Such work contributes to the discourse. "Posted by sfenton at May 24, 2005 08:22 AM