Post about "Arts Education"

Enhancing the Study of Visual Arts Using Less Energy – Soaking and Cost-Effective Practical Lessons

The study of Visual Arts is a very worthwhile endeavor due to its practical lessons that help in accruing practical knowledge in the creation of artistic products. However, some teachers of the subject have made the undertaking of the practical lessons a headache for both parents and students. They do this by asking students to purchase modern, refined and expensive tools and materials for practical demonstration and exercises. This imposes huge financial burden on low income generating parents as well as students who fend for themselves through petty trading.There is therefore the need to sensitize visual art teachers on the essence of recommending and using less expensive but viable tools and materials for artistic productions. There are numerous found materials in the environments which when well utilized, can produce breath-taking, awe-inspiring works of art. These include shell, seeds of some fruits, stones, earth pigments, shrubs of some trees as well as their leaves, bones of animals, and other media readily found in the environment. These materials are given by nature and thus do not attract any monetary value and as such can be used by students who are pressed economically. Indirectly, improvising and using these materials for artistic creation would develop and heighten the creative abilities of these students.For instance, Graphic designer tutors teaching how to write beautiful penmanship in the form of calligraphy for inscriptions on supports like paper and pieces of clothes to be used as wall hangings and the like can ask their students to fashion their calligraphy pens from bamboo sticks, raffia palm or canes instead of buying the already made metallic nib calligraphy pens at exorbitant prices. Expensive vehicles or inks such as Pelikan inks, Indian inks and Rotring Inks that demand huge sums can be substituted with less expensive equally viable inks like the injection violet known in the local parlance in Ghana as ‘JV’ paint.Also, textile teachers teaching learners how to engage in printmaking can use cheap, readily available materials for the development of screens or image carriers for carrying out the print. For example, instead on stubbornly insisting that learners produce photographic screen which is expensive, s/he can recommend the use of lacquered screen, candle-wax screen or paper stencil screens that are less expensive and demand less energy in undertaking such lessons.Moreover, foodstuffs like yams, cassava as well as Styrofoam and other kinds of foam that are less expensive and can be obtained from the environment can be used for producing relief blocks for block printing instead of Lino, carved wood and the like that are expensive.In addition, teachers of visual art should also reduce the numbers of products students are to produce for one practical topic instead of needlessly demanding the production of a large number of products in one practical topic. The exposure and participation in the practical lesson is what should be of paramount importance to art teachers.These pragmatic measures and suggestions when implemented by art teachers will help in arresting the challenge of high purchases of media for artistic production by learners. It will also prevent the wrong labeling of the visual art programme by some as a very financially soaking course of study barring poor income generating parents to enroll their wards. It will aid in raising the image of visual art education to a higher pedestal, training thousands of minds with practical knowledge for societal development and upliftment.