Art Class is a contemporary art class. This means it is taught by an expert in the field.
That is, a non-artist.
The class has four objectives:
1. To learn what contemporary art is.
2. To learn how to make contemporary art.
3. To learn how to evaluate the quality of contemporary art.
4. To practice evaluating the quality of contemporary art, so that you can tell the difference between good and bad contemporary art, and can recognize which works are better than others — and why.
This is important not only because it will help you to identify good works by living artists, but also because it gives you critical tools to use when evaluating the work of past artists as well, allowing you to see art historical developments as they happened — instead of as they are portrayed in textbooks and museums.
Class is taught by an expert in the field. This is a misleading statement, since there is no art class, and since the language of expertise is not appropriate to an art class. But it’s also a true statement, because what makes an expert an expert is not that she has superior judgment about art but that she has superior judgment about how to teach art — or how to teach anything else.
Because the language of expertise is inappropriate for most purposes, this creates a lot of confusion. The main problem is that we don’t know how to talk about what we know. Our understanding of the world doesn’t fit the categories we use to describe it, and so our descriptions of it are inaccurate. We can understand something without being able to explain it. We can be experts at something without being able to say what it consists in.
An art expert knows more facts than you do about artists and paintings and critics and dealers, but he also knows more facts than you do about teaching art: which techniques encourage students to think in certain ways; which techniques allow students with different personalities and learning styles to flourish; which techniques best prepare students for careers in art; which techniques promote an atmosphere of respect and tolerance among students; which techniques most effectively convey the sense of wonder that comes
In contemporary art class, students are taught by an expert in the field. Also, students learn to appreciate modern art.
Teacher: “Okay class, today we will be talking about the color blue.”
Students: “Blue is a color?”
Teacher: “Of course! Can anyone tell me what shade of blue we’re looking at?”
Student raises hand: “It’s a lighter shade of green.”
Teacher: “Oh dear, you’re wrong. It’s actually a lighter shade of red.”
Student: “But red is my favorite color!”
Teacher: “So? Aesthetics has nothing to do with personal preference. This is art class.”
Student: “Then why can’t I just draw the way I want? Why do you get to say what’s art and what’s not?”
Teacher: “Because it’s my job!”
The class is taught by an expert in the field. The concept of the expert is highly controversial in Science, however, there are some areas where experts do exist. For example, most doctors and lawyers will agree that there are some people who know more about a specific area than everyone else.
The class is designed to provide students with the necessary skills to survive in the workplace and/or graduate school. The skills that are taught include business etiquette, communication skills, mathematics and writing skills, to name a few. Students will be required to complete homework assignments as well as participate in class discussions and other activities.
Just as in real life, students will need to maintain a certain GPA in order to remain enrolled in this course. If their grades go below this point they will be expelled from the program.
Students will be required to maintain a certain GPA (Grade Point Average) throughout their time at this institution. This GPA is calculated based on their performance on tests and examinations completed during the semester.
Students may earn extra credit by completing certain assignments, or helping others with their assignments.*
I chose to take this class because I desire to be a professional contemporary artist. The professor, Dr. Hush was very professional and the information she gave me was verifiable through the internet. She is a professional who has made art for many years and can teach me everything I need to know about contemporary art.
The first thing we did in class was create our own contemporary art piece. At first it was hard for me to think of what I would make, but then I got inspired and created one of my own. It was titled “A Piece of Candy” and it is an old candy wrapper, painted in dark colors. The candy wrapper was hung on the gallery wall with a rope, as if it were being hung on a wall in an actual gallery. Then at the end of class we had an art show where we could walk around and look at everyone else’s work that they had created that day.
My favorite part of this piece is how creative you have to be when you are making your own contemporary art piece; you need to think outside of the box and come up with something unexpected and new. Contemporaries artists come up with so many different ideas that normal people wouldn’t think of, simply because they are so used to their own style
The contemporary art class typically begins with a lecture by the instructor. The students are then guided, in small groups, through an art installation. The goal is to have each student “discover” aspects of the work that the instructor may not have planned.
The method is the one taught by the famous philosopher Michel Foucault, who argued that to understand something we should not ask what it is but how it functions, how it manifests its meaning. This can be applied to anything, including a piece of art. We don’t need to know what a sculpture of a horse is representing; we just need to know how it relates to other things.
Trouble arises when this approach is taken too far. When every answer leads to more questions and interpretation becomes infinite, criticism becomes pointless. Art becomes everything and anything, which means it becomes nothing.
On the first day of class, the professor showed up and began to speak:
“Today is a freebie. Just an overview.”
The students breathed a sigh of relief. They had been worried that they would be expected to do something right away.
“Art is a means of communication,” the professor said. “But unlike more conventional forms of communication, it is not constrained by the limits of what we can say with words.”
The students nodded wisely. They understood perfectly. The professor didn’t actually expect them to produce anything, but he could tell what they were thinking and appreciate their not having said anything in class.
It was one of those classes where everyone gets along, even though they are all strangers. The students were from all over the world, and spoke many different languages, but no one seemed to notice or care; they all seemed content just to be where they were at that moment in time and space.
An hour later, with nothing actually accomplished on either side, the professor dismissed the class for lunch and left them to their own devices for the rest of the afternoon. The students scattered into small groups and began speaking animatedly in all kinds of different languages about everything except art.