9 March 2022 Member Newsletter (254)

Making sense of the world though art, craft and design education

Yesterday, International Women’s Day, was celebrated with social media posts showing people crossing their arms to strike an 'X' pose in solidarity with women across the world. As the horrors of the conflict in Ukraine unfold, the direct power of visual communication and the use of symbols is mirrored on the vests of athletes and daubed on tanks – 'Z' providing a dark counterpoint to the optimism and humanity of 'X'.

As adults, and art educators, we can feel helpless – many of you are asking, how can we support our students in making sense of the senseless? How do we show our solidarity for the victims of conflict? These are sensitive areas, and the responsibility can feel overwhelming.

NSEAD patron Bob and Roberta Smith is making paintings to prompt donations to the Ukraine Humanitarian appeal: dec.org.uk.

Artists have always used their voice to speak out and challenge injustice, and art has always been a way to process our experience when words fail us. Whatever your approach, you can be sure, as an art educator, you are equipping your learners to question, to process and to understand the world around them. To quote Elliot Eisner, 'small differences can have large effects'.

Keep making a difference, the world needs you.

Michele Gregson

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