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Art from art.

Art From Art

"Looks like a sculpture by Van Gogh ... but I thought that Van Gogh never did sculpture?" This could be a comment by anyone viewing the sculptured sunflowers in the adjacent illustration. But, while there is a suggestion of Van Gogh's expressive response to natural form, these sunflowers were created by elementary age children whose investigation of the content and form of Vincent Van Gogh's imagery (see Clip Card from Allen Caucutt) served as a point of departure for their individual skills and immagination.

Artists and students have looked to the art of other artists for themes and modes of expression for many centuries. Some of the finest art hanging in prestigious museums and private collections has roots in the ideas and images of others, from Cezanne and Picasso to Sherrie Levine. I wouldn't doubt that some cave painter in Lascaux might have crawled deeper into the cave to note the renderings of respected ancestors.

All this is not to suggest that children should be encouraged to slavishly copy the techniques of other artists or the styles of other eras. The theme of this issue, Art from Art, features articles by art teachers who have effectively employed this instructional strategy as a means to enable children to better understand the artwork of others, while developing their own perceptions, insights and visual statements. These teachers have made effective use of available resources that include museum and gallery visits, as well as the many slides, filmstrips, videotapes and reproductions that provide in-depth information about art and artists.

The Art from Art theme also provides and opportunity to reflect on the sources of art imagery. As teachers, we attempt to expand our students' arsenal of ideas. We talk of inner feelings and outer objects and contexts, of still lifes, landscapes, portraits and other catalysts that provide us with opportunities to draw lines, brush paint and form clay. Looking to the art of others - a visual conversation if you will - not only extends our experiences and knowledge of possible techniques, it also reminds us of the many forms of art that await our investigation and use.

This month's Looking/Learning feature on the distinguished American artist, Romare Bearden, reminds us that the art form of collage, introduced as a fine art in 1912 by Picasso, continued to be a viable means for expression of ideas. We are also reminded that the Art from Art theme has a monthly reprise in Looking/Learning's inclusion of several challenging art activities developed for use at the elementary and secondary level. These activities are always based on the artist and/or art form featured.

Etcetera

The January issue of School Arts starts out the '90s by providing our readers with a unique opportunity to share their approaches to the teaching of art with colleagues nationwide. Just over a decade ago, Dr. Laura Chapman, one of America's highly regarded art educators, asked our subscribers to indicate how they felt about teaching art, what they actually taught and the problems they faced. Over 700 of our readers responded to her request, and the first Teacher Viewpoint Survey proved invaluable in assessing the status of American art education at the end of the 1970s.

Now, as we enter the last decade of this century, the survey, with some modification relating to the issues of the '90s is being repeated. I encourage your thoughtful response to the survey so that we all will have a better idea of the depth and breadth of our professional field.

The publisher, editors and staff of School Arts wish you a happy and productive new year...and new decade.

PHOTO : Three-dimensional sunflowers capture the spirit of Van Gogh.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Davis Publications, Inc.
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Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Anderson, Kent
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:editorial
Date:Jan 1, 1990
Words:614
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