As of Monday, I have completed a coursera.org class! I’ll be honest, I’ve signed up for quite a few that I’ve taken some of the information from, paid attention to what I cared about, and pretty much ignored the activities and community assignments. I decided to give this one a bit more attention and now have a shiny “Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction”. Yeee, I guess. The disclaimer at the bottom that pretty much says this means nothing, we can’t even identify the student rubs away a little of the shine.
Anyway, here she is:
As always, I have an opinion to share with you. This course is clearly labeled Introduction, so I didn’t expect any difficult subject matter or advanced art techniques. I will tell you, I was a bit disappointed in the studio instruction compared to the supply list. I suppose I had set up unfair expectations in my own mind. When I saw the supply list, I thought for sure there would be 20 – 30 minutes a week of studio instruction and there’s barely 30 minutes for the whole seven week class outside of set up week. The bulk of the video instruction was about individual artists and how they influenced a particular movement. Quite frankly, they were boring. The voices seemed purposefully dry and lifeless and were dubbed over slide shows that were not rich in content, sometimes only showing three or four slides. Often, the same concept or idea would be repeated multiple times within a 7 minute spiel. I pressed on though, finding some of the pieces interesting enough to outweigh the presentation. I enjoyed the reading selections far more than the videos. The content wasn’t better or worse, but the presentation was much better.
To earn the ‘distinction’ flag, I had to complete two of the five art projects assigned. I took this on as a meta project of sorts. I was curious how the presentation of two very similar projects would be received. For my first piece, I made a quilted scene and included a melodramatic (but true) story with lots of $10 words and implied symbolism. My peers gave me a perfect score and were full of supportive $10 words right back.
For my second piece, I did the 30 day plastic flamingo art installation that I showed you all a few weeks ago. You can see from the artist statement that I was frank about the cheekiness, but serious about the humanization. It was a big project that took a lot of days and far more effort and thought than the quilted bunnies. My peers graded me below average with no comments in support or fear.
As is always the case with internet classes, you get out exactly what you put into it. In this class, I was looking for some art history type of education, an exploration into new mediums, and a bit of self reflection. I did get a little bit of the first two, but I think a lot of third. A fine artist I am not. I’m a creator, crafter, decorator, inspirator (heh, made up words), teacher, coach, supporter, and writer. I’m serious about what I do though what I do may not always be serious. I appreciate and enjoy all levels of creativity in others, the ones like me just as much as the stuffy ones.
All in all, I would give this class a meh. When I consider the price, $0, I give it a meh+. If you think about taking it, just set your expectations right. The upside, if you don’t like it, you can just walk away!