Thursday, 14 May 2015

#Strengthie Campaign

Do you stand #withstronggirls?  Support @onecampaign's #strengthie campaign to show your support.  Every girl deserves a secondary education.

#NipRockArt-ists:  I challenge you to show your support, even if it's in a very small way.  Sometimes we take our education for granted:  find out what it's like for girls in other countries & you may grow to appreciate your opportunities a bit more.  Maybe you'll want to do something to help others.
A photo posted by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on

A photo posted by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on
A photo posted by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on

A photo posted by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on

Monday, 23 February 2015

Mainstream Street Art?

Is Street Art caught between two worlds?  Since when did street art become the next best thing, showcased on primetime TV?  How do we showcase art that is viewed as subversive by many, illegal to some?  Does this appreciation somehow strip away some of its appeal?

Watching a show like this reminds me of my taste in music when I was a kid.  I remember hearing a song and thinking it was great, until someone else said that they liked it or I heard it play on the radio... several times.  It didn't feel like my song any more because everyone else liked it just as much.  I'm guessing that, somewhere, some serious street artists are cringing when they see clips from Street Art Throwdown.  

But maybe the artists are thrilled to have a new venue to share their work?  What if I'm mistaken, and my perceived cool factor for street artists is somehow mistaken because I lack the familiarity that so many other people have.  My knowledge of street artists and their work may never lend itself to understanding their goals and expressions.  I have never lived in an urban centre, and my Northern lifestyle may have stunted my ability to connect with some really talented artists.  

The thing is, I have students who study art.  I'm writing this for them, because I want them to see how someone can approach unfamiliar art forms and begin to shape an opinion, supported by prior knowledge.  I also want to assure them that it's ok to consider contrary opinions without losing any substance to your own argument.  In fact, providing several perspectives adds significantly more strength to one's ideas.

Captivating work, found on a train in Thunder Bay.  Fall 2014.

Is there a way to appreciate the culture of street art if you are unfamiliar with the people who created it?  ...and the places it is made?  What about train graffiti, which is made to travel?  Does impermanence help us value graffiti?  

So many questions, so few answers.  Hopefully we will begin to make connections with artists whose experience can enlighten us.  

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Art Criticism

What is art criticism?  Why do we need to know how to criticize art?  Isn't criticism a negative word? Is it important to be able to criticize our own art?  

In the video shown above, Gabriel Orozco provides a "Mirror Crit" for his students (and for us).  With little-to-no previous information about the artwork, he presents and discusses the work of his students as if each piece were his own.  

Questions for students: 
  1. What does this tell us about the importance of context?
  2. How would you feel if Gabriel discussed one of your artworks using the Mirror Crit?
  3. Do you understand your own work well enough to have it criticized?  
  4. What would you learn by having your work criticized?

#NipRockArt students will be using critical analysis to view and understand artworks throughout the remainder of the semester. 

Image provided by Ontario's Ministry of Education ~ Visual Arts Curriculum

Start looking at art with new eyes.  What do you see?  Do you appreciate the artwork, or is there something missing?  How can art analysis help you understand and value art in a new way?


Resource:  Google Art Project