Talking about artwork and giving and receiving feedback is part of an artist’s process. What separates artmaking from passive entertainment activities is the opportunity for the participant to grow as an artist — this must include the opportunity to think deeply about their own work and process, and hear others’ responses. In creative aging classes, the creative process is supported by providing feedback opportunities in a safe environment where the artist feels supported in their efforts and growth.
Studio classes in all artistic mediums often include critical feedback during the learning process that may be harsh and negative. Contrary to this approach, feedback in older adult learning environments is supportive and aids in the development of the older adult artist and their work. This does not mean the work is not discussed seriously – it should be. However, it is up to the teaching artist to make sure there are protocols in place to protect the artist and that feedback is provided in a safe, positive, and respectful manner.
This resource provides teaching artists with techniques to create their own protocols for student feedback and conversation.