Artwork

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Artwork

Postby jstudevant » Mon Sep 08, 2003 2:48 pm

Assuming that the artwork was not designed to interact with children in a way that would clearly call for crawling around, I feel it is very inconsiderate and indeed vandalism on the part of the parents that allowed their children to crawl on the artwork.

<small>[ 09-08-2003, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: Jack Studevant ]</small>
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Re: Artwork

Postby Nicole Marie » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:08 pm

Hi Jack-

I've been to several CowParades including NYC's. I also had a chace to see the West Hartford Cow's as they were being developed last year in the artists studios. As a vet of the Cow Parade, I have never seen behavior like this at an exhibit. Most parents were respectful of the art and I noticed, were using the Parade as a lesson. Most were teaching their children about the artwork, and how to behave in public. But this one women was letting her children climb on the cows etc. They were leaving footprints and scuff marks all over the artwork. Poor parenting.

Today I have heard from dozens of people who have had similar situations in public places. Children reflect the parents, wonder how these lovely kids will turn out in life, probably just like mom.
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Re: Artwork

Postby Valerie » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:24 pm

we need to get driver's licenses and other licenses that allow us to do things, but any moron can make a baby and be called "parents" - amazing...
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Re: Artwork

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:33 pm

First, I have to say that I have a mental issue combining the words "cow" and "art" in the same thought. It gives me giggles. I grew up too close to a dairy farm to ever believe in artistic cows. I apologize, and I know it's a personal fault, but egad, painted cows?

That said, kids have no business climbing around on somebody else's painted cows and smudging the paint. They should have been ordered off the cows at once and the mom needs a lecture from assorted grandmas who know better. Would the mom let her kids climb around on somebody else's car?

The issue is not whether painted cows constitute art but whether underage people have the right to abuse other people's stuff. And the answer is, of course, NO!

Selma
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Re: Artwork

Postby treebeau » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:58 pm

Originally posted by Selma in San Diego:
First, I have to say that I have a mental issue combining the words "cow" and "art" in the same thought.
Me too...sounds like udder nonsense!

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Re: Artwork

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:00 pm

Tim, that was on par with something Shos would say! (Haven't figured out if that's a compliment or not. :D I'll get back to you. :D )

Maybe they should have the kids crawl around on the "Cow Pie" exhibit.
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Re: Artwork

Postby Angie Parkes » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:14 am

We had the cow thing here in Calgary a few years back and it was a great success, except for the fact that morons vandalized about 25% of the cows, sometimes repeatedly. I'm not talking smudged paint here, but the cows smashed to bits. Whether they were art or not (I think they are legitimate folk art) the craftsmen who adorned them did so with care, talent, and imagination, which should have been respected. (Even if they had agglomerated in a windstorm, they still should have been respected as someone else's property.) Of course, moronic vandals don't respect anything (not even, I suspect, their sorry selves).

I agree that the children should not have been all over the cows -- should not have even been touching them -- and even if the mum didn't care about the cows, I would have expected her to care more about her children's safety.

However, as the mother of two young children, I would ask that people be a little more tolerant of both children and their parents. There has been an undercurrent of contempt and antipathy towards children expressed in some of the emails Nicole Marie was relating that I find quite disturbing. You may not like children in general or mine in particular, but they are a necessary part of society even if all they do is pay for your pension when they are in the workforce and you aren't.

While there is very little excuse for children's more egregious behaviour, kids are living examples of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Most of us try very hard to civilize our whelps and many do so under less than ideal conditions. The next time you see a parent ignoring an out-of-control child, or not handling it terribly well, just before you condemn the parent as a mindless breeder too irresponsible to care for a dust bunny, please pause to think that the parent may be massively sleep deprived, overwhelmed by unending demands from home and work, and clinging to sanity by his/her fingernails.

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Re: Artwork

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:46 am

"Children can neither be created nor destroyed?"

Couldn't help it, sorry. :D
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Re: Artwork

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:51 am

Apologies, Angie. Honest, didn't mean to pick on the sleep-deprived mom.

Your points are all valid, and having been there is the biggest reason for leaving all the lectures to the grandmas. Truly, we beeneredunat and if the mom is just terribly overwhelmed some help from the locals might be just the thing she needs.

I've seen a sign, from time to time, that applies.

"By the time your kids are fit to live with
They go and live with someone else."

There's days when it's true.

But, even allowing for parental exhaustion, somebody needed to order the cow-climbing kids off the cows, immediately, and explain forcefully exactly why cow-climbing is not allowed. To the average kid, a painted cow just looks a lot like playground equipment. If nobody tells 'em, they'll never know.

Don't think we're picking on you, Angie. The parents who don't think there's a problem are the ones that need the lecture.

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Re: Artwork

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:52 am

Originally posted by operatenor:
"Children can neither be created nor destroyed?"
So wrong, on both counts.
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Re: Artwork

Postby Angie Parkes » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:58 am

Only according to Jonathan Swift (and tenors). :D

Anyway, that's the 1st law of thermodynamics about the conservation of energy. Since energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it only makes sense that children get their energy by sucking it from their parents. To determine what happens to the energy then, see the 2nd law. :roll:
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Re: Artwork

Postby Angie Parkes » Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:12 am

No offense taken, Selma. Since my children are perfect angels :) ) of some of the emails to Nicole Marie which had a decidedly nasty undertone to them.
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Re: Artwork

Postby Valerie » Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:10 pm

in DC, we had the party animals - donkeys and elephants everywhere throughout the city! they were great!

but because of the stupid world bank protesters, and other wackos (i make no apologies for these statements) they came and took them all away - they moved them all to the campus of american university

amazingly enough, nobody really seemed to damage them - which is nice

i really miss them :(
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Re: Artwork

Postby jmfryar » Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:00 pm

There were a number of "cow hospitals" throughout New York (and all parades, although the number varies depending on the amount of damage) that are dedicated to repairing and maintaining the cows throughout their appearance. It's amazing the wear and tear they go through.

I was actually disappointed in the cows in West Hartford. I've managed to view almost all and, well...was there a theme? Am I spoiled? fully half of them were merely painted with flowers...

I was hoping for a lot more sculpture (super cow/diamond cow/Lego carosel cow) but there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of "paint the cow" stuff. Don't get me wrong, the artwork was excellent, but I just picture the selection committee being made up of dowdy old women who were passing on stuff that was "too wild" and selecting pieces with "pretty flowers"

With regard to children - I find that those with the most negative opinions of children don't have children. And they shouldn't. Raising a child takes an amazing amount of positive energy, discipline, patience, kindness and understanding. To expect a child to act like a little adult is to expect an aardvark to fly.

Matter of fact, I worry about kind well behaved children. They will grow to be kind, well behaved adults. Also known as sheep. Give me a wild, out of control, independant child any day. They're a lot more fun and entertaining.

And if you think one is too much, imagine having 25 of the little rug rats (said with affection) for 7 hours AND getting them to WANT to do math. Welcome to the world of teaching.

They climbed on the sculpture and (HORRORS) scuffed it. It's in public, without rails or other protective devices. Guess what? IT'S MEANT TO BE TOUCHED. I touched it - all over. So was every adult standing around.

I put my daughter on the cadillac one and took her picture. I let her touch each of the blinking lights on the CTNow Cow. I let her climb around on the carousel. That's what they're there for. If that wasn't the purpose, they wouldn't put them out in public, but would put them indoors out of the elements, and behind glass so as not to allow anyone to touch them.

I wouldn't let her place hands on a painting in a museum, but I would let her touch sculpture - it's kinesthetic learning at its finest, and there is no problem with it. I wouldn't let her run her fingers along the paint job of someone's car in a parking lot, but I would in a new car lot. What the heck, they're only gonna wash it before they deliver it anyway?

There is a time and place for all, and this is one of those where touching the art is appropriate behavior since it was intended.

Now...as to the adults who are actively attempting to destroy them, that's an entirely different story...

But then, it shouldn't suprise me - the most vociferous opinions are usually stated by those with the least experience in the subject...which is why they are so easy to ignore...

I think I'll have my daughter walk along the back of one of the cows this weekend...

<small>[ 09-10-2003, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: jmfryar ]</small>
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Re: Artwork

Postby barfle » Wed Sep 10, 2003 2:28 pm

As one who is voluntarily childless (because I'm one of those whose opinion of children is quite low), I will pipe in my 2¢. I missed the HRH's original comments, and only caught smatterings after that, so it's entirely possible that I'm not even discussing the right topic.

So, after all those disclaimers (it comes from working around too many lawyers - please try to understand), I'm going to agree with jmfryar about publicly displayed art, particularly that which is displayed outdoors, like the painted sculptures that were all over DC about a year ago. It appears to be intended as fun, and fun for a child isn't "look but don't touch." A cow (or elephant, or donkey, or fire hydrant) that's painted up in some fancy fashion begs to be explored with more than simply eyes. Of course, parents should do what they can to make sure the kids don't get hurt falling off, but if I were to put a painted cow in a public park or on a sidewalk, I don't really feel I'd have much to gripe about if I noticed signs of wear and use on it after a while. If I didn't want people to experience my art that way, I wouldn't display it that way.

So my questions are, if there were signs, ropes, fences, or anything else indicating that the cows should be treated in a particular way, what were the parents doing letting their children abuse them? If there were no signs, ropes, fences or anything else indicating that the cows should be treated in a particuar way, what's the problem?

Back in the Bicentennial days, the city of Anaheim, California let all the people paint the fire hydrants as revolutionary figures. It was very cute, and somewhere in my boxes of who-knows-what, I have a fairly large photographic record of just what interesting ideas people came up with. But everybody involved knew that these were FIRE HYDRANTS, and everybody involved also knew what dogs do when they get near one.
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Re: Artwork

Postby jmfryar » Wed Sep 10, 2003 2:44 pm

heh heh heh
maybe the point was what the dogs would do...

and no, they're not roped off or designated in any way to be untouchable - as a matter of fact, touch is encouraged by many of the artists, both in discussion and in design.

After all, how do you design a carousel out of legos and not expect it to be touched???

Now, the idiots that run around with a hammer...that's a different story...
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Re: Artwork

Postby packysama » Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:06 pm

Regarding the "cow exhibit" in Hartford. I don't see a major problem with Nicole's observations nor do I see why anyone with kids should take offense.

Obviously, there is a "my kids don't stink" undercurrent that is running strong here, at least on an individual basis. I don't know if the cows are meant to be touched or not but it's doubtful that the exhibit was meant to be a petting zoo. From the sound of it (kids climbing on them) it sounds more like it was treated as a rodeo by some families.

To "shirk off" someone's opinion because it is from an inexperienced person is like "shirking off" your responsibility as a parent. Yes, parenting requires energy, discipline, patience, kindness and understanding but there is also a responsibility to teach those characteristics to your children.

I also think it's wonderful that in some part of the country there are only 25 kids to a room. In our local district it's 34 and when you have up to half the class consisting of kids with attention deficit and other learning disabilities, it gets tougher yet (oops, that would be a different subject).

You want to let your kids handle art, buy it, take it home and have your way with it. or better yet, buy some materials and create something with your kids for an even better learning experience.

As for preferring wild, out of control children, I'll match my kids and others like them to the out of control kids at a later date as soon as the wild ones get out of prison. The well mannered are probably just as happy as the ones that are defacing "art" too.

I find it preferrable to listen to those that are looking at things from "outside the box" than the folks who see no value in producing quality kids.
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Re: Artwork

Postby jmfryar » Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:29 pm

Fortunately when I taught the state mandate was that no more than 30 kids to a room - but you get over 20 and you might as well have 70 - the teaching techniques are the same at that point.

And, yes, medications are an interesting subject. At one point over half my home room was going down at different points to get their meds - it was an interesting continuous parade throughout the day...

The point is that the art is meant to be handled and touched. I do it, every adult does it, how do you tell a child standing there that they're not allowed? It's a cow - of course they're going to want to climb aboard - parents are putting their kids up on them all day long - and the smudges wipe off, so no harm no foul.

I'm at an utter loss for the connection as to "shirking" off an opinion made from pure theory and "shirking" a responsibility that one has chosen to take on (Yes, even accidental pregnancies are a choice - you play, you pay - don't want kids, don't have sex). That's beyond apples and oranges. It's like comparing fruit and sharks.

Xeno said it best - theory has no place in reality (I'm paraphrasing a bit).

Having been a teacher, I used to get nothing but frustrated at every "back seat" driver who would lecture me on how to make the education system better. Without having spent a day in a school since they were a student.

As a soup kitchen and Big Brother volunteer I get aggrivated at the people who comment on the ills of society without lifting a finger to help.

As a law student/clerk I get annoyed when I get cornered and lectured as to every percieved failing in the legal system by people who have done no more than read "sensationalized" news stories.

If anyone who complained had actually READ the McDonalds coffee case, they'd know it was a legitimate suit with a perfectly acceptable outcome.

And as a parent, I get more than a little annoyed at people who have never had children complaining about them and their behavior. It's about these times that I can sympathize with smokers - someone is complaining so vehemently about something that brings you so much enjoyment.

I still applaud kidking them the hell out of restaraunts - at least there you can keep your kids in one section.
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Re: Artwork

Postby piqaboo » Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:41 pm

I think its reasonable to have opinions about kids. We have to live around and with them, whether ours or someone elses. Plus, they grow up. Those children will be dispensing my arthritis medicine in a few years, staffing the police force in my town, and doing the stand up comedy in the clubs near my home. Some of them will be keeping those cops busy. Independence is one thing, rudeness is another. Its not clear from the posts I've read that we have a mutual understanding of how each is distinct.

I dont own a dog either, but I resent dogs that jump up, etc. There is suitable public behavior for adults, dogs, and for children.
Specifically what that behavior is re the cows..... tough to call, not having seen them. We had an exhibit of painted bus benches near here recently. Pretty clearly, they were intended to be used in all the ways public benches are. Which leads to the next Q: is it ok to stand (put your dirty soles where people will put their clean clothed tushies) on ANY public bench, whether "art" or not? And if adults are rude and do so, does that automatically make it ok for children to do so?

I'm a bit cowed by the fierceness of this debate, but found the wildness to come off the bench and join in.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Artwork

Postby packysama » Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:17 pm

Apples and oranges? Fruit and sharks? I don't think so but you'll make an excellent lawyer and will confuse the jury as well as any of them. I don't mean that in an entirely negative way because if the result is just then the system worked.

As for your points about the state of education? Amen! I figure if you were a skilled teacher, jmfryar, it's too bad you left. Too many are doing it and I'm not surprised. Teachers are overworked and under appreciated.

Go ahead and let the kids run amok and I'll continue to keep mine in tow and we'll agree to disagree.

By the way...coffe is supposed to be hot.
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