Monday, April 14, 2008

Lynette Jennings, in her presentation at CODA suggested that art has drifted out to left field where it is incomprehensible and irrelevant to the vast majority of folks. If I am to accept what she says as true, and perhaps it is, how can art be brought back and made both relevant and comprehensible? I suggest that it may require a restoration of craftsmanship as integral to the creation of work. When craftsmanship is present, you become witness to the truth of the artist's concern and dedication to the subject. Where craftsmanship is absent, when work is executed without care or concern, how can an artist expect viewers other than those privy to the inside joke to regard it as worthy of his or her attention?

The other part is this: most Americans no longer know enough about art or craftsmanship from experiential education to relate to it regardless of its relevance or quality. If we are to be a nation of arts, we must also be a nation of skilled artisans. And that is why the hands must be returned to creative engagement in American classrooms.

Al Mayberry sent photos of his kids at work in his Marin Primary and Middle School classroom, Larkspur, CA as shown above. Al's students make a variety of projects from Dulcimers to RC cars and machines. And you can see they have fun, too.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful picture of children creating with their saws. I've been struggling with my own art, questioning its relevance or comprehension and wondering if it is contributing or just taking up space.