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Reading room 2 Discussion summary

Reading Room discussion summary


More questions than answers it seems, during this discussion.


A lengthy discussion was had in which we deliberated the importance (or not?) of placing children`s art work within an aesthetic criteria framework.


Some points within the discussion were as follows:

- yes, it`s important to place value on the outcome of children`s work. The process is crucial but the outcome is what gives value or meaning to the process.

- what standards do we apply to this?

- In a collaborative participant-led process, the work produced is naturally going to differ from work made by artists themselves, in collaboration (or not) with others.

- Is the child an artist when engaging in art activity? Is everyone an artist, or is it the artist-self that we are developing when engaging in creative activity?

- Everyone is creative, not everyone is an artist.

- Children`s work adheres to the qualities of `authenticity, expression and inventiveness` which have, in the 20th century - as Jo Alice Leeds points out replaced the old ideals of beauty and harmony in art.

- Is children`s art, therefore, perhaps even superior to adult art?

- Is that an ageist statement? Or a reference to the purity and non-judgemental nature of children`s art.

- There is a quality of `spontaneity` in children`s work. We are not teaching them to emulate `art`.

- Is it necessary to frame children`s art within the adult criteria framework? Is it fair?

- Children`s art work can be viewed within it`s own criteria framework, but how do we raise the status of this work and enable it to be viewed positively by others?

- It goes back to authenticity. If children`s work is made through an authentic process, does it matter what it looks like or how it is received?


These are just some of the questions and thoughts that we addressed during our discussion.


It would be good to hear the views of other members.


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