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Bryan Bennett and Constance P. Hall.

Scarborough (ON), Prentice-Hall, c1984.
96pp, paper, $13.00.
ISBN 0-13-215310-6.

Grades 7-9
Reviewed by Maurice G. Black.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September

Art teachers perusing Discovering Canadian Art will quickly realize how valuable this book would be for teaching art concepts and cultural awareness. The authors have broken with the tradition of using the standard selection of prints, drawings, and paintings of Canadian artists. Instead they have provided an enticing visual offering of one hundred illustrations (sixty-eight in full colour) comprising both professional and student work. Reproductions are of excellent quality, and accompanying text is pertinent and brief.

Bennett and Hall persuade the viewer, teacher or student, to learn the language of art through a simplified and direct approach. New art terms are italicized and further explained in a useful two-page glossary. One by one the elements and principles of design are introduced. Re-enforcement of learning is achieved by means of directed questions in a "look again" section that accompanies each brief chapter. Students are directed to pursue further this visual search for meaning in art both in their imaginations and beyond the classroom environment.

Photography, architecture, and crafts receive their focus of attention along with the traditional fine art forms. As stated in the text, "No book or art teacher can teach you what art to like." The authors emphasize approaching all art with an open mind in an effort to determine the purpose for its creation. Unfortunately, the uninformed with their lack of understanding are the harshest critics. The final two sections entitled "You and Your Search for Meaning in Art" and "You and Your Response to Art" provide both stimulating visual examples and points to ponder.

Maurice G. Black, Sir Winston Churchill C. V. I., Thunder Bay, ON.
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