Art school/ College-level Art Class Etiquette
• Art class is a class. You may be taking it for fun, but for others, it is not for fun, it is for their degree program and important. So obey normal classroom rules.
• Models are part of some art classes. If you can’t deal with nudity in a mature way, you don’t belong in art class. Do not make comments about the model’s body in a disrespectful way or hit on them. Just because they pose nude does not mean they want to play scrabble with you.
• Many substances in art class are poisonous or dangerous. Listen to instructions and use them in the right way.
• Spray fixative outside. Work with noxious fumes outside. Yes, it may be hot or cold. But I still do not want to smell the fumes.
• Obey project guidelines. If the guidelines are to create a cardboard sculpture that is at least 18 inches x 18 inches x 18 inches in an abstract style, do not turn in a plaster sculpture of your hand that is 5 inches high. It is impossible to critique something that is that far off the project guidelines.
• During critiques, please, please offer constructive criticism- you may hate the piece, but you should not say that, but offer ways you would like to see the piece improved. If you can’t do that, be quiet.
• On the other hand, if you love a piece, please say what you like about. While it is nice to hear that people like your work, it is even nicer to know WHY so you can re-create that sense in the next piece.
• Don’t touch a piece without permission. Paint may be wet, charcoal may not be fixed or a metal sculpture could still be hot. Ask first.
• If you have a rabid dislike of a certain style of art, curtail your comments about said type of art. Tastes differ. You can offer a reasonable critique, such as “I find Abstract Expressionism disjointed and ill-suited to it stated purpose,” but saying “Abstract Expressionists sucked!” is not appropriate.
For Art Teachers:
• Have clear criteria for projects.
• Tell us what you are going to be grading on- technique, innovation, final product? Be specific
• Teach the safety rules and monitor students when they are just learning.
• Be aware that your style is not everyone’s style and do not give people that work in a different style than you a C, just because you don’t like their style.
• Be encouraging, but offer suggestions for how to improve as well.
• Manage critiques to avoid hurt feelings. Make the critique guidelines clear. Keep the critiques moving along.