Monday, June 30, 2008

The Language of Art

I am continuing in an Eisnerian angle. Monique and I have been talking about the idea of using the language of the artistic process in Arts LINC. Right now we aren't emphasizing this element. Should we? Te students we're working with may be too young to understand how artistic language can be used beyond the art lesson. I think we are afraid of mechanical application without a depth of understanding.
At the same time I have gone back to something we did in the past, have students discuss colors with precision. In Project RAISE we had such emphasis that led to writing about color for example "the tortilla brown smoke". Most color metaphors used by students, however, were not based on actual observation and were used indiscriminately. I think though that this can be a great opportunity to discuss metaphoric language with a concrete referent.
The progression starts with reading and speaking about colors, the art work focusing on observing the color of the object you are painting. In oral rehearsal students describe the work in terms of colors (not exclusively). The teacher models and help students come up with color metaphors that are highly descriptive of the art. In following sessions the focus shifts from description of the art to using the metaphor to create an emotion and disposition in the written pieces. Finally the discussion can turn into observing the use of color in the work of artists and the use of figurative language in text and how both are very intentionally and consistently used to create a cohesive piece.
We must be ready, though, to adjust this process to developmental level. We also must be OK with students applying these concepts at varying degrees of accuracy and proficiency- students must be allowed to be playful here before they become proficient.
Joy in language and art y'all.
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