Arts in Learning

Hope Wallace

Recently, I read a list of 10 things the arts teach children (as well as the kid in all of us). This list by Elliot Eisner, professor emeritus of Art and Education at the Stanford University School of Education, reminded me to again stress how important the arts are in everyday life. Below is my interpretation of that list.

     1. Let’s face it, life isn’t as black and white as we might like it to be. Art teaches children good qualitative judgments. Unlike the majority of curriculum, where only one correct answer and rules prevail, judgment is more important in art.

     2. Problems often have more than one solution. Questions can have more than one answer.

     3. Art teaches multiple perspectives, there are many ways to interpret, tolerate and see the world.

     4. Art teaches that problems can change and answers might have to change with them.

     5. The arts show how problem solving is often complex and the procedures and are rarely a set or fixed and they can change in different circumstances. One can learn to accept to accept unanticipated possibilities of work that is unfolding is crucial.

     6. Art teaches students that words sometimes cannot fully communicate a concept.

     7. Small differences can have major effects. Subtleties can speak volumes.

     8. Art and design force students to accept, master and push to the limits the material they are working with.

     9. Art expands vocabulary and the ability to put into words by explaining why something appeals to them.

     10. Art can help us experience things we can’t receive from other sources. This experience helps us discover ranges and variety of feeling that we are truly capable of.

     I like to think of art as a safety net for those who naturally see the world from a different perspective and shades of gray. It becomes a natural tool, which can become a path on which to travel and find a vocation that suits.

     The 35th Annual Photography countdown is here. There are only a few more days to complete printing and framing your photographs as check-in days are Saturday and Sunday, September 8-9 from 1-5 p.m. here at the Art Center. Wassenberg Camera Club members will be on hand to help you with your photographs, guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

     Also this weekend the Hot Air Festival Plein Air Paint Out will be held Friday and Saturday September 7-8. Plein Air translates roughly to “open air” and there are painters who specialize in this technique. Attracted to the way light interprets our world, plein air painters often work quickly to capture what we see outside.

     An evening balloon glow at the Hot Air Festival just might make the perfect subject! Starting on Friday, the competition, judged by William Mancuso, Assistant Professor of Art & Design at Ohio Northern University culminates on Saturday at 12:15. Cash awards will be presented to the top 3 paintings.

“Taxis on a city street”, plein air painting by Michelle Walker, Wapakoneta, Ohio.

     A wet paint sale will follow judging and is a smart way to invest in the wonderful memories the Hot Air Festival will surely create. The Paint-out is open to anyone over 18 who likes to paint (bring your own canvas) and registration information can be found on our website and Facebook page. Thank you to Dr. and Mrs. Kevin Laing for making this event possible. Applications are also available here at the art center.

     The Wassenberg Art Center’s hours during exhibits are: Tuesday through Sunday 1–5 p.m. and you may contact the art center at 419.238.6837, by email: or via our website at: The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 South Washington Street in Van Wert.

By Hope Wallace, Director, Wassenberg Art Center

Published by on September 2012. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Back Porch Section, Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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