Imitating Artists’ Practices

Current art education pedagogy encourages art teachers to look for metaphorical connections within contemporary artists’ work. Teachers are asked to build curriculum around the ideas behind the artwork and not have students merely imitate the forms of other artists. I agree to a point. But sometimes I find that my students’ thinking can be radically transformed when we directly copy another artist’s practice. I use copying as a means to learn something else, as a step towards deeper understanding. I don’t use is as a final product, but as an exercise to learn something new and as a way to scaffold specific learning towards a project.



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