Thoughts from the book

“While students in art classes learn technique specific to art, such as how to draw, how to mix paint, or how to center a pot, they’re also taught a remarkable array of mental habits not emphasized elsewhere in school. Such skills include visual-spatial abilities, reflection, self-criticism, and the willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes. All are important to numerous careers, but are widely ignored by today’s standardized tests.”

“The distinctive feature of those who express themselves in their ability to inform matter in ways that reveal the qualities they have seen, felt, or conceptualized. The material that they employ properly functions as a medium, a vehicle, for carrying the ideas, images, or feelings only after the artist has exercised intelligent control over the material.”

“Express is commonly associated with arts classes. Often people equate expression with free and undisciplined venting of emotion. But expression is really about meaning of all sorts-feelings, concepts, and ideas.” pg. 66

“People sometimes distinguish between making and thinking. This is how art classes come to be seen as “non-intellectual” or “non-academic.” But art-making requires serious thinking…” “…One form of thinking called for in art classes is metacognition about one’s working processes…” pg. 84

“You start and you don’t know how to do anything. You make a huge mess. You’re out of control. You have no technique. It’s so obvious [laughing], ’cause it’s so messy. And then like any craft, you have to build and build and practice and practice. And the minute you create something with control and with technique-it’s just a totally beautiful moment because you know you couldn’t do it before.” – Beth Balliro pg. 41

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