UIC PROGRAM REINVENTS ART EDUCATION IN CHICAGO AREA
Art instruction must be reinvented to be more relevant to students' lives and more inclusive of the themes of contemporary art, many educators now think. The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Architecture and the Arts has developed the Contemporary Community Curriculum (CCC), a training model designed to introduce innovative art education curricula to Chicago-area middle school and high school teachers.
"The project explores ways in which teachers can make significant connections between their own experiences as learners and art makers and their students' parallel experiences of learning and art making," said Olivia Gude, CCC program director and UIC assistant professor of art and design. "The program integrates art education with the life experiences of students in schools and communities."
To showcase the teacher/student artwork, CCC will host an opening reception at UIC Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria St., Fri., June 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will focus on the relationship of art and social action in a community setting. In addition, the exhibit will highlight the connection between teachers as artists and teachers as curriculum innovators.
"CCC teachers help their students ask hard questions about themselves, their communities and social environment," said Gude. "From those question we are privileged to bear witness to hundreds of art pieces from city and suburban students, reflecting their social reality."
On hand for the opening reception will be CCC artists-in-residence Bernard Williams, well known muralist with the Chicago Public Art Group; Mary Patten, professor of video at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Heather McAdams, best known for her autobiographical comics in the Reader newspaper.
"The artists-in-residence were instrumental in establishing the training goals and objectives of CCC," said Gude. "CCC teachers will model how art education can become a vital component of community culture by redefining best practice in the field of art education to include vital cultural and social themes dealt with in many contemporary art pieces."
The CCC initiative and exhibition have been made possible through generous support from the Chicago Community Trust, the Great Cities Institute at UIC, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
The exhibit runs from June 16 to July 15. The gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.
With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.
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