Creating a corpse to work as a corps. Doing arts-based professional development in lots of different places has presented one consistent, universal challenge: How can we explore complex, pedagogical ideas when our art-making materials must be simple enough to pass through airport security? While this is not a deeply critical concern, it does mean that […]
White-board crammed with (numbing) educational responsibilities. Arts education philosopher and social activist, Maxine Greene often says, “the opposite of aesthetic is anesthetic” as a way to remind us that art is often misunderstood as something purely decorative in our lives. In my years as a teaching artist, and as someone who trains teachers and teaching […]
A few days ago I visited the Whitney Museum in New York City with an artist friend to view Edward Hopper’s drawings. We walked through the quiet rooms filled with onlookers who penetrated their gaze into the images with intent silence and scrutiny. My friend Marty and I had museum voice conversations about every drawing. […]
In the 1940s photographer Helen Levitt went to Spanish Harlem to document children’s street drawings made of chalk on asphalt, concrete, and stone. In his essay “Children as Visionaries,” Robert Coles described the children as feeling “impelled to make their various marks” on a world “whose children still had some visual independence” . I thought […]
It is the last day of the the three-week summer arts residency for high school students, where I spent most of my energy and passion this summer. We are wrapping up the last class in a now-spotless studio, a space that had been covered floor-to-high-as-could-be-reached with student drawings just 24 hours ago. My students are […]
As a visual arts educator I often find myself looking for new ways to present art to my students. There are the very obvious ways of presentation — you look at an image, a painting, a print, or a sculpture, you discuss that art work, and then you make something.
Currently I’m teaching at Woods Memorial Library, situated in the Amphi neighborhood in midtown Tucson. The after school program for middle and high school youth was requested by the local neighborhood association as a way to build capacity, reduce crime and hopefully foster new leadership. Amphi is one of the highest crime areas of our […]
Over the past several months my Teaching Artist experiences have been almost completely outside the classroom. I have been working with a group of fifteen youth ages 14 – 22 on a series of place-based projects such as murals, days of Arts Service, community dialogue sessions and performances. Often we are joined by parents, neighbors, […]