Sunday, October 5, 2014

Teaching Artists/Artists Who Teach

"Trust the Process"

Recently attended a four-part series of workshops to certify potential artist-in-residencies with the Fairbanks North Star Borough school district.

In one of the sessions we were asked to fill out three Post-Its with what we thought were examples of what it meant to be: 1) an artist  - the creative,  2) an educator - the educational, and 3) an entrepreneur - the business. I got a laugh when I purposefully stuck my notes up in the "wrong" areas of the board, deliberately putting them in different topics, as the point being all the attributes - in theory - should be interchangeable. Well, could be. We were also tasked at one point with making and illustrating a little book by utilizing some provided materials to create imagery that echoed these three overlapping arenas. I "failed" in not finishing in time - somethings never change - but here are a couple pages from my efforts.

The hardest thing was the simple logistics of being in training that whole week from 8-5am for the "day job,", and then heading off to another training session after that. In other words, no different than the scenario that confronts any working artist who has to summon the time + energy after meeting all the responsibilities of a regular, normal life. Along those lines, one point I would make is in how, above and beyond artists, art teachers still never fail to inspire me, as a person, an artist and an educator, and how this respect and admiration has grown alongside each and every behind-the-scenes experience. And I don't mean just as folks who work - and work hard - in both the classroom and their own personal studios, and not just as people who change lives, instill passion and vision, plus teach requisite artistic skills. What I'm talking about here specifically is seeing an art teacher long after hours when they are completely fried, it being well past the "magic mental pumpkin hour" (say somewhere around the 16-18 hour mark) yet they still somehow manage to put in an appearance in a supportive role at these sorts of functions.

"It's all about sharing"

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