School of Doodle: Where John Baldessari Teaches Teen Girls Art

by Whitney Kimball and Andrew Wagner on July 29, 2014 · 0 comments Blurb

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 1.12.21 PMHave you ever wished that John Baldessari could be your art teacher? Well, now that he’s retired from both CalArts and UCLA, that’s not going to happen. But if you’re a teenage girl, the new organization School of Doodle might be able to help out.

According to a wildly popular new Kickstarter, “School of Doodle” is an online “learning lab” to get teen girls thinking creatively, through video lessons and and an online community. In only 36 hours, the project has raised 50% of its $75,000 goal, and some of the project’s video “teachers” include Julie Mehretu, Taryn Simon, and, yes, John Baldessari. He is: “not” an “expert snoozefest.”

Here’s a diagram:

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While online education is on the rise, few of these websites target creativity. Even fewer target teenage girls. The project hopes to address the confidence gap between boys and girls and the dearth of funding for arts education.

School of Doodle doesn’t want to replace those programs; it describes itself as “purely extracurricular”, more like “entertainment reform” than “education reform.” And if this introduces girls to Riot Grrrl and conceptual artmaking, then that’s a net plus.

Having said that, details about School of Doodle remain fuzzy. For one thing, we still don’t totally understand the mechanics behind the school’s “doodle dollars”, which students receive in place of grades and can trade in for “products” and “field trips”. The site simply describes DD’s as “a currency powered by imagination.” But seriously, who is funding the field trips? Who will be leading them? John Baldessari? We hope so.

Check out a preview lesson, below:

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