New York City Teacher Abandons the Avant Garde

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New York City Teacher Abandons the Avant Garde

From Anonymous

Published before 2005


I am an artist and an Art educator in a New York City high school. After years of "expressing myself" I suddenly realized that I couldn't really paint. In the past year I have begun to teach myself to paint using more traditional methods; drawing, underpainting, glazing. In my quest to educate myself I came across this site which I believe provides a great service to artists who are finding that they really aren't getting much for their money in "paint what you feel" universities.

My school has a specialized art program for art majors and this year I decided to run my two painting classes like an atelier (without of course making them draw from plaster casts for two years). I have them painting from life using a wooden mannequin and a single piece of fruit. Although they are using acrylic paint(due to lack of ventilation), they are using the classical technicques of building up their paint surfaces with glazes over an Imprimatura. I wasn't sure how my students would react to this kind of training but they have really taken to it and the results have been encouraging.I believe that High School is the perfect age to start serious training for the Artists of tomorrow.

Most of the Artists in residence and museum partnerships that are offered by the city tend to focus on programs with an Avante-garde agenda. It would be nice to show my students that there are Artists out there working in traditional technicques who have just as much enthusiasm for what they do as the haircutting, chocolate covering psuedo revolutionaries.If there are any artists that would like to give a presentation of their work at my school, it would be wonderfully appreciated. We are an inner city school with students from mostly poor backgrounds so I'm not sure we could afford to pay anyone but I'm sure a guest speaker could find remuneration through some kind of tax write off. Anyway, keep up the good work and I hope that one day my work will be good enought to stand among your "Living Masters".