Letter to the editor
Misconceptions of art students clarified
May 4, 2007
Paul Winkels' column last week was sorely misinformed, rude and completely offensive. Art is an extremely involved area of study which requires hours upon hours of work each week; we spend twice as much scheduled time in class (for the same amount of credit as other standard classes) and are required to spend hours outside of class pursuing ideas and improving technical skills. Unlike most other major course, art classes are also the most widely sought as "fun" classes by those such as Mr. Winkels, who don't understand what they're getting into. I've known several people who took classes for fun and were later surprised to announce they spent more time in the ceramics studio than they did on their (major) math work, for example, and that was just an intro class. They didn't spend all of their spare time in the studio just because it was fun-which, of course, it is-but also because it takes the practice of both mental and physical skill to create are. Like any discipline, you get out of it what you put into it. To suggest that we, art students, can all "laze [our] way through college" is incorrect since our efforts are visible to everyone in class on working days or critiques. Our professors know when we've been slacking, because what we do is visible. It's much easier to neglect studying for a test than it is to slack on creating a series of well-crafted hot glass, stained glass, photographs, lithographs, woodcuts, etchings, felted material, weavings, surface designs, graphic designs, paintings, pottery or sculpture, jewelry, illustrations, resolved drawings or oh, yeah, also writing papers and studying for the exams in our art history courses. We are held accountable for explaining what we do and expected to be able to articulate our ideas and influences through educated dialogue and proper terminology... not to mention the general coursework we must complete as well. Bachelor of Fine Arts students also must hone abilities in specific media and create our own exhibitions in order to gain some experience to launch us into a world where we may evolve and show our work.
It's ridiculous that someone who considers himself so clever would have the audacity to print such a blatantly untrue pile of excrement that he could rub on his own piece of 8x11 notebook paper and turn in as an excuse for an informed column. It's too bad you're graduating, Mr. Winkels, because my challenge to you would be to take a studio class next semester and try to get an A, or to create any work worth displaying in a respectable gallery.