2-D Design at Ohio Wesleyan University is, for many students, the first contact with the world of art and art making. For many it’s a strange new world, not at all like some of the other disciplines in the liberal arts where there is a definite right and wrong. This can be unsettling for those experiencing the act of creating art for the first time. Art is a realm in which the highest value is placed on qualitative experience as opposed to quantitative, where judgments are subjective, not objective, and where there are no hard and fast rules, except those generated by the work at hand. In fact, the artist, as an archetype, is one who breaks the rules, or plays by rules only he or she can feel, thus teaching the world new ways of seeing, thinking and experiencing.
Leading off this new blog for my 2-D Design classes at Ohio Wesleyan is Stanford Professor, Elliot Eisner’s lecture “What Can Education Learn From the Arts About the Practice of Education.” I post the lecture for students who are new to the arts, as a brilliant introduction to how the artistic mind differs from the more familiar quantitative reasoning we use in daily life. It is also for those students already experienced in art to some degree, who may be majoring, or leaning toward majoring in art, or aspiring to teach someday, who may need ammunition in explaining to parents, or school boards, why art is as crucial to society as the “3 R’s.” (Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic.) It is also for those students in between, experienced but not majoring in art, who want a more rounded understanding of their own intelligence and capabilities as human beings.