Art and manners too

There's something marvelously refreshing about original pieces of art in and around schools. But too few schools have enough; many, unfortunately, have none at all.

I don't mean the murals is done by children, or crayon drawings by primary pupils, or Halloween masks by pupils in upper elementary grades. I mean art by professional artists -- sculptors, etchers, water colorists, oil painters, charcoal sketchers, and so forth.

It's too late in the school year for most schools to add the acquisition of original works of art in the budget for 1981-1982.

But perhaps parent groups would be willing to help finance an art purchase for this year and make plans for the purchase of at least one work of art for the next school year.

I suppose there are a few school environments where original works would not be safe from either vandals or thieves, and purchases in such environments may have to be for reproductions, or restricted to original art work done by older students.

But a great many schools should be able to display -- proudly -- original works by professional artists purchased or commissioned by the students themselves.

And I'm sure that bare walls of hall might be grand display spots for work by older students in the school district as well as for work done by students in local postsecondary institutions.

Our youngsters need to live with good art as they live with good music, good architecture, and good manners.

The more beautiful and ordered is their institutional world, the more beautiful and ordered they will want to be in their personal lives.

Next week: Independent study

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