The third paragraph is long, and I don't know how to best break it up. Any and all crits appreciated:
Throughout my life, art has always been my calling. I feel most productive and content when I am making art, and teaching art to others. I love all kinds of art, from detailed drawings to historical painting, abstract painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, film, music, writing, cartoons & comics, jewelry & fashion design, architecture & engineering, etc., and I create new work every day. When not making art, I focus on how best to teach it in classes I have designed myself, based on Massachusetts frameworks, and taught to all age levels for years in local art centers. I love art because, to me, it is a collection of wisdom. Art encompasses and catalogues all the insights, realizations, theories, and study of the greatest minds throughout history, crossing all barriers of language and time, to teach us today. Art is more than merely a record of human history – it also compels us to care about our history.
For example, many people know about the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2. By and large it is considered a mistake and unfortunate for the thousands of people who suffered. But it is not a topic that gets much attention. As an art teacher’s assistant through Cambridge School Volunteers, I brought a documentary film to class, Days of Waiting, detailing the life of Estelle Ishigo, a white American who chose to endure these camps rather than divorce her Japanese husband. The students who watched this film were captivated by it, and also by the power that art can have. It was Estelle’s paintings, I emphasized to the students, that compelled other detainees to search for her, to learn her story and make the movie. Through this documentary, my students learned not only about the injustices and suffering that Japanese Americans endured. They also learned that it is one thing to hear about an event, it is quite another to see it.
As an art educator my goal is to prepare all my students for college and future careers in art, through rigorous study of drawing, painting, sculpture, and anatomy, all based on observation. Art is not just one skill, but many related skills that build off each other, and these four disciplines form an educational core that will teach students precision in their work, principles of design, and will assist them in learning any new kind of art, whether it be a new sculpting material or a new computer program. To become artists, students must work non-stop, honing their craft. They must learn to talk and write about art. They must understand the difference between art they make for others, and art exercises they make for themselves in order to learn. I have written many such exercises, some learned from the many wonderful professors I have met through the course of my education, that teach manageable steps in each of the four disciplines mentioned above. Students must have the freedom to envision and create their own work. They must also have a clear and organized teacher who explains what is expected of them in each assignment, how work will be graded, and who knows them all as individuals, with unique interests, strengths, and weaknesses. While some students may choose to pursue other subjects and careers, it is crucial to me that they understand how to make art, why art matters in the world, and that they develop a passion for art that will brighten and enrich their lives.