|My gallery talk at the Zarrow Center, students from JBU|
Yesterday I drove to Tulsa to give my gallery talk at the Zarrow Art Center. It would have been poorly attended but for a group of students from John Brown University who were in the neighborhood at the time and walked in off the street. The students were taking a class called "the arts for non-artists."
It is interesting to me that the arts are considered by most to be something separate from their own lives. In schools the arts are considered separate from academic disciplines... as though the arts are in some way disconnected from math, science, psychology, sociology, and all else. What utter nonsense that is. All students should be deeply engaged in the arts.
It was said that in Bali they have no arts, they do everything as well as they can. Here we have arts, because there is a tendency to do things to the point of sufficiency, rather than to a point of excellence. I find examples of this everywhere I look. In the AEP/SWEPCO Environmental Impact Statement, they tried to offer the minimal amount of information to get by and squeeze their proposal through the regulatory process. In the judge's order she asked whether the EIS was "sufficient to meet the requirements of Arkansas State Law." And if you read the Arkansas State Law, you'll find as I did that it's sufficient only enough to provide lawyers an opportunity to argue both sides in court.
Testing and standardized testing in schools creates an environment in which getting by is OK. The arts and craftsmanship engage students in pursuits in which there are no limits to possible growth. Without the arts, we dwell in persistent mediocrity.
An art teacher friend of mine had noted that his time with his kids was but a pinpoint in time. What could he possibly accomplish in that pinpoint in time? But a child's engagement in craftsmanship and participation in the arts can inspire work and shape attitudes and relationships for a lifetime.
|Pass the saw between and edges will be cut to fit tight.|
Make, fix and create....