Check out the latest work posted on FB, Twitter, Youtube, and Delicious to see what I am doing. I would love to share my learning with you!
For more information about community outreach in the North Atlanta metro area check out the following links.
It seems to me that the younger generation is beating us at our game when it comes to technology. The kids teach me things everyday and yet I am very technology savvy, or I am in my mind at least. They use their phones, cameras, computers, ipods, ipads, and even my smart-board faster and more fluent than I do. The teachers and other adults in my life are often amazed at how fast the little kids catch on to ipads in the classroom or how my four year old teaches me things in my iphone. Totally baffling and intriguing at the same time, this idea of children learning technology this fast is amazing. These technologies are being used for phone calls, music, games, writing, reading books, studying, planning, purchasing, watching, creating, the list goes on. Just about anything you can do with your hands can be done digitally now. Relationships are changing, social skills are redeveloping, thought processes are different, and the way people learn is entirely different than just ten years ago.
The school systems are lagging behind the cultural development of technology in my opinion. There is definitely a gap and it seems to be getting wider and wider. The depth I feel is caused by the “one.” You know that kid. The “one” that has caused problems for the administration by searching for the wrong thing on Google. You know, the kids that sext and the ones that inappropriately use their camera phones. That kid has messed it up for everyone. Even in a county like mine that is top notch on technology, priding ourselves in being the best in the Southeast, we are very far apart from what the kids are actually doing with the technology they own. So afraid of the “one,” educational systems have formed this gap mainly on their own.
I have discovered that art educators offer more than art. There is compassion, transition, love, understanding, academic skills, and so much more in the curriculum and pedagogy of an art teacher. The art educator in the classroom is teaching based off the standards, requirements, or needs of that community, but I am finding that many are doing so much more. With art shows in the coffee shops and gallery showings at bookstores, artwork is becoming more main streamed and student work is exposed more and more. Students learn how to become confident in themselves and build their work ethic with preparation for the show. Art teachers reach the unreachable through art therapy and stress relief. In Atlanta, there is a therapy group for anyone who wants to paint on Saturdays at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The purpose is to prove a peaceful, stress free moment in time for those dealing with cancers or other illnesses. This could mean that art therapy is reaching the sick and the effected families alike. Art educators are in the special needs classrooms teaching kids to read. Art teachers are in the jungles and deserts reaching the souls of some of the poorest people on earth. If for one moment people can express themselves and forget what they deal with, then art has done a huge service to this world.
As for myself, I see myself doing this in mission work one day. Oh, I just said that out loud. Wow. It seems scary and far-reaching, but so much in my heart. I bet that I get to paint with someone in a sad situation or take pictures with people who have never seen through the lens of a camera. What a goal.
The questions that come to mind are probably addressed once one gets into a situation of global art education, such as funding, travel pros and cons, etc. Another question I have is about communication and fulfilling needs…how do you communicate effectively and how do you know it is effective? It seems with art, you would simply communicate by example, but is it that obvious? Another question is how do you leave without feeling so broken hearted not being able to fulfill the needs outside of art? Loaded thought and one unanswerable I am sure, but a thought none-the-less.
Maybe a local goal for me is to reach out to the churches and communities where social needs are less complex. The article I wrote about this week is on a local faith based, drug and alcohol addiction center. That kind of program might need a service such as art to allow for stress relief. Something I might try with them one day.
The first thing that popped into my head when reading these articles about global changes and art was fashion. Abercrombie and Fitch is an example of ever changing style and so called need with today’s American teenager.http://teens.lovetoknow.com/Abercrombie_and_Fitch_History Reading the history behind this company, I discovered that this company was created in NYC many years ago to sell sporting goods. There was a partnership that went bad and thus the story is told. The style of these clothes today is VERY different than what Mr. Abercrombie created back in the early 1900’s. Today’s teen is more sexually charged than ever and desires by consumers are quite risqué. Call me old or old fashioned, but the shirts are tighter and the skirts are shorter each year with developing trends. Abercrombie and Fitch as well as other companies are buying into the consumerism identity in order to develop economic strength by creating the skimpy clothes teenagers all feel they absolutely must have.
Another global fashion example is through reality television. With teens and young adults watching the latest shows displaying lifestyles of the overly rich and insecure, the cultural view is moving in this direction. Not all teens and young adults watch these shows, but the idea here is that many “not middle class average” people are making a mark on what we know as reality. Their lives are skewing the sense kids have on what life should be and what their life is supposed to attain. Again, a generalization and opinion. Luis Gispert creates artwork to reflect a similar view. http://oh-wow.com/community/luis-gispert/His older works from the early 2000 are where I first became humored by his take on the societal façade created today. As for my work, I see changes on global ideas through the dressmaking. These clothes I have created are ideal images of what women should wear from the perspective of my elders. While I do not encourage risqué, the idea that women wear simplistic clothing or even dresses on a daily routine is not realistic. The comment “you can’t wear jeans to church” said by grandmother haunts me every Sunday when I look for something to wear. I think that my next artwork is going to be about dresses and how these images have developed over the years. I think that sometimes the idea of “pretty” has also changed. Pretty has many meanings and really is up to the individual. Society has changed that word’s definition as well.
The latest work in my area that I notice is the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The show that most sticks out to me is the Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts starting February 5th. This exhibit is also shown with the MOMA Series: Picasso to Warhol, but I just did not see it reflecting as much “heart” as the Bill Traylor show. Folk art, or self-taught, is very inspiring to me because of the history and story behind the artist. I love to hear how hard they worked and what accomplishments were achieved because of this work ethic. It seems as though people do not know the value of hard work like was known in the early 1900’s. I cannot even fully understand the lifestyle, but appreciate all of the rich information I learn from the stories. Looking more into Mr. Traylor I discovered that he was a slave in Benton, Alabama during the early 1900’s. Later in life he moved to Montgomery where a local white man, Mr. Charles Shannon took notice of his art. He then took Mr. Traylor under his wing financially and later unsuccessfully exhibited his work. During the 1970’s, Mr. Shannon was eventually successful in entering the artwork in the New York art circles. Thus beginning the story of a poor folk artist from Alabama. Today Mr. Traylor is touted as being one of the most influential folk artist in the world. The work Mr. Shannon has done to display Mr. Traylor’s work is quite heroic in my opinion, though the Montgomery Museum of Art and the High Museum of art are to be thanked for their cooperation as well. http://www.high.org/Art/Exhibitions/Bill-Traylor-Exhibition.aspxhttp://www.petulloartcollection.org/the_collection/about_the_artists/artist.cfm?a_id=56
Wow. That is what I feel about being online with social networks. It takes over my life. I eat sleep and breath this stuff once I get really connected. I have a love-hate relationship with social networking. I have to limit myself, truly. It has become a problem even. My husband sometimes wishes my phone would fly out the window and into the ocean never to be seen again. I am totally connected. It is wrong and I know it. I should probably seek some kind of group therapy, but it has become a way of life. I fell right into the Apple trap of “needing” an iPhone and “needing” the apps to go with it. So just before this class started, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone, changed my internet links, and unhooked myself from the online version of many sites.
All that ended when Dr. Delacruz came back into my life.
My need seems to be back. It never actually left really. I just found a better path for what I am using. Oh, and I have decided my opinion on each of the sites. Facebook is dangerous, but useful. Flickr is fun and a huge waste of time. Delicious is my new educational Pinterest, like crack. Addictive. Art Education 2.0 is overwhelming. Twitter, completely useless. I wish I had many more hours in a day. I feel like I am wasting time too. I feel like a kid who has been given candy and told to eat it…by a dentist. I am going to be swallowed up into a series of issues one day. I keep waiting. These sites are very useful to bridge the gap for this generation as well as educate me on new ideas, but such a conflict. It seems like I am creating my new “local” (discussed in the other write-up).
Being globally connected is viable, important and useless all at the same time. My community is more than enough to live a fulfilling, artistic, educational life. I live near the University of Georgia, I work close by, there are museums within driving distance, the mountains are close, I could go on and on with options here in my area. As you can see, there is clearly no need for me having a digital connection. Though I do. Once I login to the Internet I widen the doorway for personal and professional development. I seem to reach far beyond my local experiences. I see into worlds unknown to me, changing stereotypes and developing new experiences. My options are endless when I begin social networking. Appropriately using these sites, I can find anything I want at my fingertips. That is overwhelming and sometimes a challenge, but I am glad to have that option. My students will be able to see into the world of those who lead a different world than they do. My students will be able to experience things our generation did not have to deal with, good and bad.
Some examples of what I am seeing are a different state of mind or liberal thinking by the masses such as in Twitter. There are several spam followers that I have had to block due to the porn sites attempting to follow me. The legitimate links people add there are useful though. I wish that some of these social sites were more combined, as Facebook and Twitter are best combined in my opinion. Delicious is great! I have found many altered book sites that my AP art student can use for her project this coming week. I am also going to teach from these links in another class down the road. There are photography sites others have linked that my photo classes are going to get extensive use out of with ideas abounding. My stacks reflect some of these links. Flickr is great for its mindless viewing of images. I just wonder when am I going to find time to take more pictures to add to that site. This is the tug and pull of being in school, teaching, and having a family. I wonder if Pinterest is a useful site in this capacity? I seem to use the site for all kinds of ideas from the classroom to personal. I do not even have an account and am using it constantly. The jury is still out on where I stand with social networking.
Who I am is shaped by the day-to-day routine of my life, the choices I have made as an adult, the family I grew up with (and without), the religion I was exposed to as a child (and continue with as an adult), and the people in my community of life. I would not take my child to church if I had not been exposed to that resource. I might not teach school if my husband had not pushed me into this world. I might have less heartache if my family had made better choices with their lives many years ago. There are numerous factors that make me who I am today as well as what I do with my every breath. Minimal regrets, these are simply factors that make me.
My local culture and its differences are shown as an example between my husband and I. The age between us is different, the neighborhood is a bit separate, and our parents are from different backgrounds. The similarities should be the same, as both of our grandmothers happen to be from the same small town, South Georgia community. Both of our mothers traveled with their mothers from Atlanta as children to Vienna each summer to spend their time on their family farms. He and I even went to the same high school, but seven years apart. We grew up in the same zip code, just two miles away. We were exposed to the same religious affiliation. Both of our maternal families cook chicken ‘n dumplins the exact same way (though we can tell the difference of who cooked them). The verbalization of these things is where similarities cease. On paper, our “local” appears the same just as most people all over the world, but the reality is different. We have different histories, different experiences and different views. Local seems personal in my view.
As for the artistic influences, my grandmother began her creative nature as a child in Vienna while sewing dresses for herself and her sisters. This love for fashion grew through the years into dressmaking, doll making and related crafts. Spending time with my grandmother and mother, I picked up this trade of sewing, patterns, crafting, and other artistic appreciation. While I do not make my own clothes, I love the memories of when my family did these things together. Their influence is strong. The use of cloth, patterns, collage, recipes, memories, and religion are repeated concepts in my own art. I never really put these things in a list before, but the mental review reflects these ideas in almost all of my work. Sounds like the subconscious hard at work. Once again, “local” seems so very personal.
Response from Sakai group discussion UFL Master course:
Pivotal points within the reading are defining and clarifying, as well as descriptive examples of the term globalization. There is such a broad definition that, while in my opinion this writing is wordy, it still gave all facets of what the term looks like. Trends, technological advances, east versus west, and he versus she are not simple definitions of globalization, though they are small portions of what makes up the characteristics of this concept. The change in society paired with and overlapping consumerism are other informative ideas discussed within the first reading.
Giving clear details and showing examples are very helpful, but the descriptive accounts of technological trends from the second reading are also a strong component to my understanding and personal development. Having one describe and give steps or stages of how a media works shows educators that these sites and software are true possibilities within the classroom both professionally and personally. The paper itself is a form of globalization at work. Educators and other members of society are detailing their experiences as well as encouraging the use of these resources in order to bring our society together in a variety of ways. These connections are described as being meaningful and necessary to all professionals. While this is true, my opinion begins to blur as to what social networking is needed, what is expected, and how it is used.
Limits to what social networking adults need in their professional life should be black and white. As a strong proponent for technology, I find it hard to go against all that I have known and learned over the past twenty years, but that is where I am today. The shift in global paradigms has taken away this countries freedom and no longer do we have the right to free speech or free way of life. Economics has impacted our outlook, parents have redeveloped the term “family,” and government is more controlling than ever. From a professional standpoint, these shifts in America are not in the favor of an educator. No longer are we able to be ourselves or defend ourselves.
That, my friends is a tangent for a whole other day…but it is unresolved for me as I see both sides of the coin.
When it comes to globalization, there are much broader issues with the economy, race relations, and gender equality than “at home” problems with educators. On the brighter side these global problems do open doors. The connections with people simply due to the Internet alone are astounding. My goal is to be able to critique with another classroom in the country of Georgia. Work in progress and a very tiny aspect of globalization, but it is all due to a coworker who went on a mission trip and setup their classroom with current technology. Imagine what the kids in both classrooms will learn. This is globalization at its best.
Delacruz, E. M. (2011). Mapping the Terrain: Globalization, art, and education. In E. M. Delacruz, A.
Arnold, M. Parsons, and A. Kuo, (Eds.), Globalization, art, and education (pp. x-xviii).Reston, VA: National Art Education Association. Delacruz, E. M., Carlos, J., Danker, S., Flugelstad, T., Roland, C., & Stokrocki, M. (2011). Do-it-Yourself
professional development through online personal learning networks as a 21st century form of self-initiated,
non-hierarchical participation in communities of practice”. Canadian Art Journal,9(2), 38-53.
Let the blogging begin!