The newly released book “The Artistic Edge” by Lisa Phillips, was recently brought to my attention, and I had one of those moments where I quickly ordered my copy as fast as I could! I am usually not so quick to pull the trigger on something, but the message spoke to me. Day in, and day out, art educators are trying to justify what we do. Connect art to core subjects, administer standardized tests in order to have “data” to validate our program, the list goes on. But what if validation of our art program, and all the arts for that matter, lie within something deeper: Success in Life. This is something parents, administration and the community can understand. They can latch onto it. This is called “The Artistic Edge.” Phillips’ book and website of the same name, reaches out to help teachers bring out and promote this artistic edge in their students to help them succeed in life.
I just started reading my copy of the book, and am excited to dig in further. Perhaps this is becuase the message has such connection for me personally. Performing solos in the school musical gave me the confidence to get up and speak to hundreds of art teachers at a conference last weekend. Putting together an art exhibit in college gave me the confidence to know how to edit, curate and know when something is “done” or when I should keep working. I use these skills every single day, and those are just a few examples off the top of my head.
I am sure you all have a story that is similar- and know students who aren’t necessarily the most talented artist, but need the confidence that exhibiting a piece of art in the school art show can bring, or the discipline and accountability that finishing an intricate printmaking project can demonstrate. It’s all connected, my friends, and Phillips does a wonderful job bringing this message to everyone who needs to hear it.
For more great articles regarding this topic, you might also like to check out Phillips’ website, The Artistic Edge, linked above.
Please share- What “Artistic Edge” can you thank the arts for giving you?
How can we spread this message to parents and the community at large?