"Anyone here who would rather be taking a different class?"A few hands go up again.
"Who thinks the class could be cool, but are not sure if you'll be any good at it?" Almost all the hands go up."
"Now that's encouraging." I smile.
Because Max Hayes is an industrial trades school, many of the students I teach come into my class with no desire to become artists, and even less desire to make art. You see, all students must have 1 fine arts credit to graduate in the state of Ohio, and I am the only arts teacher in the building - no music, dance, or drama here. In order to make art relevant to the kids studying auto tech, construction, or machining, I've learned to take a very different approach to the arts curriculum. I focus on art as concept, and the artist as communicator and visual problem solver.
"Statement" , is a long reflection on the idea of art as concept.
"I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other
than sit on its ass in a museum.
I am for an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all, an art given the chance of having a starting point of zero.
I am for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap and still comes out on top.
I am or an art that imitates the human, that is comic, if necessary, or violent, or
whatever is necessary.
I am for an art that takes its form from the lines of life itself, that twists and extends and accumulates and spits and drips, and is heavy and coarse and blunt and sweet and stupid as life itself.
I am for an artist who vanishes, turning up in a white cap painting signs or hallways.
I am for an art that comes out of a chimney like black hair and scatters in the sky..."
Hm-mm...I'm thinking, they "get it".
"I am for art that fools a mosquito into the light, but is betrayed and hits the earth like a comet."
"I am for art that makes a fat lady seem small when she smiles."
"I am for art that has no thought nor expression, free of emotion, yet little discretion."
"I am for artists who sit in the dark and paint."
"I am for the art of monsters in my closet and secrets hidden under the bed."
"I am for art that grinds through life on a skate board, and I ain't talkin' lupe fiasco."
"I am for art that tickles my skin."
"I am for art that claims my life story through powerful words of my poetry."
"I am for the art of love between 2 teens whose love is doubted by parents."
"I am for art that is 'hood."
"I am for art that helps old ladies cross the street."
"I am for art that doesn't exist."
"I am for art that makes you think"