SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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A lthough you may be reading this in October, it's June as I write. I've been thinking about Georgia O'Keeffe and her vision, both artistic and physical, since she is one focus of our SchoolArts/CRIZ- MAC Desert Divas seminar in Santa Fe in July. It was a sad irony that her vision declined from macular degeneration in the last years of her life. When you tour O'Keeffe's Abiquiu home, you get to see her studio with its huge picture win- dows, and you begin to sense how she envisioned her artworks in this environment. Envisioning is the ability to imagine and to generate mental images. It is also one of the eight Studio Habits of Mind explored in Studio Thinking 2: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education (Teach- er's College Press, 2013). Studio Thinking 2 proposes that students can learn to better envision by thinking in images and generating images of possibilities in studio classes. We can encourage our students to envi- sion by pushing them to work from imagina- tion, go beyond a first idea, develop and work out ideas over time, practice skills, and work as many artists work. Practical approaches in Studio Thinking 2 include asking students to generate an artwork solely from imagination, to imagine how a work would look if specific changes were made, and to use sketchbooks, thumbnails, and storyboards. These prompts all "push the student to generate and manipulate a mental image, to put off the final decision, and to imagine greater possibili- ties in the work." Envisioning can also be applied to teaching. How do you envision yourself as an art teacher? Are you willing to accept and embrace uncer- tainty and ambiguity with your students? Can you foster an artroom culture of respect and become comfortable with humor? Take a look at our Snapshots page this month (page 47) for a look at some teachers who don't take themselves too seriously. Maybe you'll envision a new role for yourself! Visit SchoolArtsRoom.com Follow me on Editor's Letter "I like an empty wall because I can imagine what I like on it." —Georgia O'Keeffe Cassie Stephens is certainly an art teacher who doesn't take herself too seriously! Here she is with Nancy at the 2014 NAEA convention in San Diego.

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