Saturday, March 03, 2007

Library Project - 3 March

At last! I finally got around to taking photos of the showcase. This is the first selection of articles I intend to display in the library. I intend to change the display two or three times over the course of the project and, if possible, to fill a larger wall-mounted display case with participant works, if participants are willing to play along.

I think the biggest surprise I've experienced recently is the reminder that so many people feel intimidated by art. I've been talking to a lot of people about art recently, and when I do, I start out by describing the kind of art we do as "art with a small 'a'", to differentiate between it and, say, Turner landscapes. I do that not to make less of our art, but in the hope of making it seem more accessible. It is, after all, the kind of art that almost anyone can do once they have had a little help and instruction to get them on the road. What I've found, though, is that people are awestruck and feel they would never be able to achieve the kind of outcome they see on display... but my point is that they can achieve exactly that type of outcome if they come along to (free!) classes. Sigh...

Does anyone have ideas or experience about encouraging adults "off the street" to develop a "perhaps I can..." view of our style(s) of art? I don't really want to have to do a LOT of persuasion work, but if there are do-able tips and tricks I can employ without investing a lot of time and effort, I'm open to them, especially if you've tried them and they've worked for you.

(The teachers among us have probably all learned the lesson that the more we have to persuade and cajole people to participate, the less likely they are to stay the course, and they rarely develop motivation just because they are placed in a situation.)

It's not in the least that I can't imagine how others might feel, I guess the "problem" is simply that my inner world has always been a little different, as in looking for ways to develop new skills and rise to new personal challenges. Heavens, I'd be bored to bits otherwise! Maybe it's also a cultural thing... (?)

Ok. I'm off to take some budding writers on a walk.

3 comments:

shawa_strong_wind said...

A straightforward "Just try it, you´ll see!" might do the trick. It is also my experience that adults often have bad memories of art classes ("I can´t", left over from earlier days). Getting them to sit down and do something on a trial basis might just flash them in the right places! People ARE amazing that way!...

Gena said...

Hmmm, I wonder, would keeping a sketch book help? We had to do this for art class- repetition drills things in. Could you ask them to devote 20 minutes a day (same time every day if possible) to honoring a feeling or a sense and put this in the sketch book? or give weekly assignements? Have them make "icky" art (that way they know there is no "miskate"
I like puzzles like this - basically you could have them dancing or laughing a spell in class first - that will free up the critic - then quickly have them do something and work with it. Make it in to play...

artexplorer said...

Wow! I thought that I recognised something in the picture.... I am honoured to see the spread I did in your book in the library display! Hope that the class went fine!
groetjes,
Jacqueline