Welcome to the Gun Show
It started as a simple and wholesome architecture lesson with my 5th grade students.
We were all drawing our buildings and adding in 3 implied textures, when I noticed all kids of strange details in one student’s artwork. So I went in closer to take a peek….
The student added several security guards protecting his house. They were on the rooftops, they were in the in the grass. This was the safest house on the block. The kicker? All the guards had weapons, which sends out the art teacher red flag really fast.
Aren’t these images hilarious and equally frustrating? As an art teacher I am sure you deal with this as often as I do. Boys love to draw them some guns. Love it. I spend so much time combating this issues. I have a policy in the art room. No guns. This might seem harsh, and I always feel bad when a student is legitimately interested in hunting, however, in today’s day and age, I just don’t like taking any risks or having anything come back to me and the art room as promoting violence. Remember that artwork can be served as legal documentation.
Another thing is historical significance. So, if I am doing a lesson on the pioneers and they are drawing a landscape, can they add a rifle in the person’s pocket? Or, for the Royal Portraits that I do, the kings may have a sword handle sicking out. Is this over the line?? Here is where I struggle.
How do we avoid it, though? It’s all over TV, movies, and video games for these kids. Is it unrealistic to think we should just ignore or ban any kind of violent imagery, but in a school setting, I think it’s necessary.
How do you handle violence in artwork?