Welcome to the Springfield Township High School Art Blog. The purpose of this forum is to inspire discourse surrounding your artistic experiences while building writing skills, exercising your art vocabulary, and refining descriptive language relating to art. In your writing, you may choose to discuss museum and gallery exhibitions, publications, articles, professional works, student works, or responses to each other’s ideas and investigations. Additionally, participants may want to pose questions or react to artistic predicaments, sharing the trials, frustrations, solutions, or the general excitement we feel when we make or look at art.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ways of Seeing

Education is a funny thing.  As teachers, we deliver a lot of facts and information which we think are important for you to know relative to the subject matter.  At the same time, educators are trying to get students to think on higher levels, beyond simple drills and memorization.  The goal is to empower students to organize, analyze, assimilate, and synthesize information so it may be applied to situations outside the immediate circumstance.  In other words, teachers are trying to teach students how to think and apply information. This is one reason why U.S. educators are upset about the current emphasis on standardized testing [we'll leave that point alone for now].  Beyond thinking skills, if teachers have done their jobs well, we have turned our students into self-educators.  That was always my line at graduation, "If I've done my job right, you won't need me any more."  So now, to broaden your thinking about art, I've selected something from the past that, I hope, will help you see or understand art differently.  Sometimes different is good.  Go ahead, educate yourselves.

 "Alright Sherman, set the Way-Back-Machine to 1972."  "Yes, Mr. Peabody."  "Today, Sherman, we're going to see how John Berger demonstrated visual media's influence on the way we look at art, well before personal computers or the internet!"

In his book and video series, Ways of Seeing,  Berger investigates the way we look at and perceive a work of art.  If you read the PDF (see link below) or if you Youtube the BBC video, you will begin to understand art in a broader context than merely liking an image because it "looks cool."  You will understand it in  relationship to your visual world and much, much more.  Recommended understanding for all artists. Follow the link...


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