Influence, Play, Curriculum
This lesson was based off an assignment that asked us to find a piece of work located in a local exhibit and create a lesson that reflected the work and discussed an issue relating to one of three articles that we were to read in preparation.
Casting Slip, Decals, and Shapes, Oh my!
Gallery: 840 (DAAP)
Artist: Julie Drout
Julie Drout is not only one of mine (our) classmates, but a phenomenal artist. Drout has three separate pieces in the show, all utilizing her casting and surface skills that she has mastered in the past four years at DAAP. Drout’s work revolves a lot around natural objects and ideas with interruptions of geometric shapes. In her piece, Bud to Bloom, she casts these pieces and then manipulates them into other forms in order to represent these very geometric shapes as the process that a seed would undergo before becoming a flower. As for her triptych of plates, titled Groovy Graeae, Drout states “I was channeling a Charlie's Angels-esque "confidence" in the characters and really playing with a faux-symmetry that makes the women seem royal. Given their "out of this world" nature, I decided to name them after women from Greek Mythology. Graeae are archaic goddesses, a group of three sisters that share one tooth to speak and one eye to see. They are seen throughout myth at "shit stirrers", but I thought I would bring them to a new light - sometimes the one who stirs the pot can have the most power…even if that power comes back to bite.”
[UN]LIMITED was a collaborative show put together by four ceramic-based students (including Drout) in the Fine Arts department. Their goal was to quit thinking about context, technique, thesis, etc. and simply just make work. Experiment. Play. Push not only their limits but the limits of their medium. All of the work in the show had actually been completed in the past two weeks. The students decided to just do this, set up a show, be in a show, and actually feel like artists instead of simply just students.
Gude + Play + [UN]LIMITED:
In Olivia Gude’s article, New School Art Styles: The Project of Art Education, she discusses the idea of “school art” and curriculum in an art education classroom (7). I decided to focus mainly on the aspect that art education curriculum has mostly been passed down for generations, as well as the statement that the only art students are making while in school is “game like” and irrelevant (6). At some point in time in our college careers, we have all been told that all the work we’re making now is bad, irrelevant, and essentially doesn’t matter. The work that Drout and the other three artists in the show [UN]LIMITED really broke out of the ideas that have been put into all of our heads and created a very successful, cohesive show. All four artists mentioned that this show was based off a release from current projects and pressures from art school. They wanted to ignore these pressures and simply play. “Play is an elementary phenomenon that pervades the whole of the animal world and, as is obvious, it determines man as a natural being as well”.
Activity in 3, 2, 1… (Instructions & Description):
I want to deconstruct the idea of curriculum being passed down for generation, the influence of art teachers on students, “school art”. In order to do so, I am planning on briefly talking about Drout’s work and the show [UN]LIMITED in general, giving all the students a brief context on what is going on. Breaking them into small groups (in order to save time), I want my classmates to collectively come up with one or two projects they can all remember doing as a kid (preK- high school) and write them on a yellow card. I will then ask them to hang them onto the string that will be strung across the windowsill. After having each group state their projects with a (super) short description we will line them up in a timeline type of matter. We then will do the same activity only as thinking of a college project/ instructional lesson they all strongly remember or have in common (these will be written on a blue card). After having both the yellow and blue cards hung onto the string, we will have a discussion how we feel like all of these projects influence us as not only individuals but also as artists.
I want to conclude with a discussion on how we, as fine art students can branch out like those exhibited in [UN]LIMITED. Since curriculum is being passed through generations, I figured what better way to represent this than through an ever-lasting technique to hang out thoughts and see a progression/ relation than a “curriculum line”.
Let’s Get Technical:
1. To be able to understand the technical ideas (definitions) behind the concepts of play and “school art”.
2. As educators we often reflect and respond to our own education without even realizing it, this activity it to
bring us to that realization and possibly change the outcomes of our future classrooms.
3. How to apply what we already know into what we are learning and what we will be teaching in the future.
4. How to redefine an already defined term to fit our ideas and intentions in a specific curriculum.
KEY Concepts/ Terms:
1. Curriculum: The aggregate of courses of study given in a school, college, university, etc. The regular or a
particular course of study in a school, college, etc. (dictionary.com).
2. Play: Exercise or activity for amusement or recreation. Fun or jest, as opposed to seriousness (dictionary.com).
3. “School Art”: “A form of art that is produced in the school by children under the guidance and influence of a
1. Why are we simply following the rules and guidelines for projects that our professors are giving us? Is it easy to
break away from these limitations, such as Julie Drout and the other artists in [UN]LIMITED has done?
2. As future educators how can we stray away from these “passed down curriculums” that we have heard about
and experienced in our own classrooms?
3. Do you think our professors and instructors are allowing us to practice play? Is this an important characteristic
to have in our work as artists?
4. Is the work that we see here in this show a representation of “School Art”? Do you think we are/ can break
away from this stereotype? Are there any other ways to get away from it rather than what was done here in
 Gude, Olivia. New School Art Styles: The Project of Art Education. Art Education, 2013. Print.
 Gadamer, Hans-Georg. The Play of Art, 75. Boston, Massachusetts: McGraw Hill. Print.
I've always thought that class times for art were too short and students don't have enough time to work in class. When I actually had to come up with a lesson plan that included an activity for only 30 minutes, I was at a loss. It was really hard to cram all of the content I wanted to address and discuss into such a short amount of time. When I was explaining what the activity was while getting everyone started, I felt really rushed. It started to make me really nervous and anxious for the discussion that was to follow. My nerves settled once everyone got rolling, and we were able to discuss why we felt we had reoccuring projects and assignments all throughout our high school and college careers. Everything lead to a great conversation about "School Art" and whether or not we feel as if the professors and assignments are limiting to the work we are making or the artists that we are becoming. I was really intrigued by what my peers had to say about this topic. It was interesting to hear their logic behind "School Art", reproduced curriculum, and limitation in an art class room setting. Unfortunatley, the conversation ended abruptly because we had ran out of time. The only thing I wish I would have redone is the time scheduling for everything I had planned. I would also find another way to hang up the post cards that would have made them easily mobile but were a lot less "crafty". The way discussion was brought about and what we had discussed, went extremely well and I don't think I would have changed my content or the ideas that I would have discussed. I also would not have changed having the exhibition that I referred to as a student ran exhibit, because that really helped portray my idea. All in all, I think that my presentation and the discussion that we had went extremely well.