Before diving in and presenting you with a project by and conversation with the visionary artist and musician Sally Taylor, it’s important to be precise and set the tone about the current nature of art whether in schools or our culture. Basically, let’s widen our idea of art. The Western world currently associates art with status, high culture, beauty and consumption. I continually call out this notion of art on this blog, and in my work and beg to differ as art can be a verb, a space, a gesture, a sign, or a dance. Art is something we do naturally every day.
Between the spaces of teaching and learning about Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Chopin, frottage, scat singing, chypre and pointillism, we sometimes get dizzy with the historical and canonical ideas of art, and forget the bare necessity that is art. Art, in all its forms, is what makes us specifically human. We really need it. Art is creative expression, it’s what we use for communicating, recognizing patterns, and translating the world around us. When the world is particularly unruly, we have an even stronger desire to resolve things with patterns, make sense of things, and try to connect. At it’s core art exists because it satisfies and enables our instinct to engage with other people.
Over the years I have researched curriculums and education tools that address the exploration of our differences, ones that show that while we all see the same daisy at the table, we all see it completely differently no matter our race, gender or age. How do we celebrate our differences and make space for all of these opinions in a nonjudgmental forum? Howard Gardner for years sustains the multiple intelligence theory with Project Zero – the key notion being that we all relate differently based on our inherent strengths. Visual Thinking Strategies is a method used to facilitate diverse conversations and ideas using art work as the spring board for dialogue and critical thinking. While these are both fantastic methods and ideologies meant for teachers to facilitate the best learning possible for children with unique learning styles, they are not using art making specifically to illustrate our differences, and how we connect with each other regardless of these variances.
What if there was a curriculum that required making art, where each individual’s contribution gave power to the voice of the whole? What if a playful game of art could teach listening, critical thinking and interpretation and tolerance? What if as adults we participated in the game and reoriented ourselves with what “art” means? How do we stay curious in learning? Consenses is a game, but a serious game that has terrific consequences.
Read more: https://mindmarrow.com/2017/09/repository-208-an-art-game-inspired-by-tolerance-and-the-five-senses-interview-with-sally-taylor/