Small treatise on art teaching

It’s been born of my own and other students’ experiences, also – from reflection on relevant books – mainly Anton Ehrenzweig’s The Hidden Order of Art (highly recommended – a truly intelligent piece written by a lawyer, psychologist, art lover and art teacher)… So, my tutors (if you are still with me) and all of you dealing with this impossible task of art educators… On behalf of my fellow-students…Please… :

* Do remember that every student deserves to be treated as a potential genius (Ehrenzweig)…

* Never – and I mean never – ask us to “copy” your favourite student’s or/and artist’s approach, never compare and contradict us and our works (at least, not in our presence) – it’s not only hardly didactic, it’s groundless (aren’t we all completely different universes?) and can be crude…

* Do talk to us – as often and thoughtful as possible. Just – leave behind you all that socially imposed, ridiculous corset of “a master – pupil” behavioral correctness – it makes us play silly games, quite alien to a young, intelligent man of 21-st century.

* Do teach us practically, don’t assume we will work out all the technical and conceptual knowledge by trial and errors; some of us will do – some will be left with a great imaginary, spontaneous potential and…without sufficient power to express it…

* Keep on setting impossible tasks, those turning upside down our “safe” beliefs, those not to be solved by a purely intellectual analysis – we tend to play our intimate game within known territory mainly.

* Be genuinely engaged in our work, no matter how poor (or unrelated to your own work) it appears to you – it isn’t a secret that – in a sense – we perform for you too (as you have the privilege to be our first, aware viewers).

* Do share your great experience in a critical evaluation – don’t keep the most interesting discussions about us without us.

* Be generous and clear when marking – to discipline us with low scores is usually counter-productive on a long distance, to motivate us – is unlikely… If there is any serious problem it probably has never been solved this way…


Fellow-students: don’t be so shy with expressing your own concerns and thoughts…You can do this here too (anonymously!)


About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

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