I have a history of advocating locally specific art content as very important to the construction of art curricula. This position arises from my readings in the area of socially contextual aesthetics. By art content I mean not only thematic content but also formal qualities, media, and technical execution all of which contribute to an artwork's style. By locally specific art content I mean the style of the work as it arises from a specific place at a specific time, and which in some way reflects the collective consciousness of the culture or subculture of the work's genesis. If one believes with Dewey that aesthetic expressions arises in the context of interaction with the environment, and with Langer that the subconscious/unconscious style of an age is given form by the artist through transformation of this subliminal feeling into concrete form, and if one further believes that the transformation of subjective experience into concrete aesthetic form is an ultimate value of making art, then it follows that artists ( and student artists) must be allowed to express how it feels to be who they are, and what it is like to live their lives. This mandates locally specific art content. If artists are allowed to focus on locally specific content, art becomes the reflection, manifestation, clarification, transformation and continuation of culture. If content comes from the outside, it has not vital connection to an individual's life processes and becomes mere decoration. As an advocate of this position I was naturally pleased when asked to contribute to a Caucus panel discussion, in Miami, on the subject of how the content of my art curriculum has changed as I have changed geophysical and cultural environment in my teaching career. The initial guiding assumption, then, is that with each change in the geophysical, social, and cultural context comes a corresponding change in my curricular content.
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