SchoolArts Magazine

September 2016

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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Page 26 of 58

22 SEPTEMBER 2016 SchoolArts E L E M E N T A R Y The Elements of Rama Hughes I don't like abstract art very much; I'm embar- rassed to admit that. As an art teacher, I con- sider myself an ambassador to the art world. I feel obligated to appreciate the merits of even the most conceptual works of art. Maybe you've found yourself in my shoes? Half-heartedly explaining minimalism to a parent? Don't get me wrong—Diebenkorn is one of my favorite painters. The Rothko Chapel was a magical experience for me. In school, though, my students often associate abstraction with carelessness. It has become a recurring joke to me that when students are neck-deep in a chal- lenging observational assignment, one of them will inevitably ask: "Are we ever going to do splatter paint or something?" As one student explained, "Abstract art is, like, when you don't Abstract Art

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