Tag Archives: long beach

Sadly, this is the end.

Recently, I’ve been taking stock. Refocusing my lens. Since the move to the library I’ve asked myself why I am doing this. If it still meets my criteria. I’ve discovered that it no longer does. It really has no chance of meeting it, so it has to end-at least for me. Penny may continue on-she hasn’t decided. She is going through the docent training at the LB Museum and will make an excellent docent there.

I hate admitting failure (of sorts) but then again I can’t change the world or save it for that matter. If kids are going to get an arts education it really needs to happen in the public schools-IMHO. For lots of reasons aforementioned in this blog -which I won’t bore you with the details now.

It’s not going to happen in Long Beach. Not for a very long time if ever again in my lifetime anyway. That’s OK. I accept it. I move on.

I recently was invited to and attended a meeting of a focus group called Create Long Beach!. We were asked “What do you think is the most pressing issue for arts and culture in Long Beach? What are our assets?”. My thoughts went as follows:

You want to talk about assets? How about the kids in LB? ALL the kids.

The bottom line for me is that kids are going to need creative skills to get by in the future and they are simply not getting it. And by kids I don’t mean just the kids whose parents find it important or can afford to buy them access. ALL kids. That’s why it has to be done in the public schools.
I don’t think any of us will be served by living in a world where people have lost their ability to create solutions because from what I can see, we’re gonna need LOTS of solutions in our future!

I’m not interested in teaching art for the accolades, or to babysit someone’s kids on a Saturday morning. I am interested in building skills over time- teaching problem solving through art. Because that’s what art is (at least to me) – a method of creating by solving problems step by step.

How can we engage the average person on the street and connect them to the “arts community” when they have no experience of it in the first place-nothing on which to base an understanding of it?

It needs to start there. On the streets and in the schools.

Enough of flashy websites, granted artists, neato slogans and taglines. Teach problem solving through the arts and connect it to everyday life. Teach artists how to make a living. Let artists teach art.

Art in Long Beach=
p2213197

So in closing, I will leave you with what the City of Long Beach so generously installed up in my neck of the city-

a $104,000 Orange Twist

I don’t fault the artist herself. The city just had it’s priorities screwed up in my opinion. Just because you slam a sculpture into a median strip doesn’t mean you care about art. Just what IS the message here?

I will focus on my own work. Honing my skills and connecting with others who are like-minded. Keeping sane…more or less. Thanks to all of you who have so kindly posted here, made donations, and inspired us over the past several years. We thank you.

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Filed under art education, artists teaching art, elementary art education, LBUSD, Long Beach art, shibori girl, teaching kids art

changes in the making for elementary art

I have been busy in the studio and at shows recently and just letting myself settle with the idea of not being in a classroom this year.

Still wanting to bring art to elementary age kids,but how?

Still wanting to be true to my beliefs about why I like to do it in a public school classroom.

I like the public school setting in that it allows for a more equitable distribution of the subject matter (as opposed to kids who get art classes outside of school for a price). Not everyone can afford to attend those kind of classes. I also like to see art offered alongside the core classes of math, reading, and social studies as opposed to seeing it always offered as an “extra”. It means something different.

But alas, one cannot always have what one wants. So rather than force the issue, I decided to let it rest and see what came to me.

Here’s what has been offered- regular workshop space at the local library’s community room on Saturday mornings at the Dana Branch Library, Long Beach. We provide the lessons, gather materials, & donate our time. The library provides the space, a teeny weeny budget (for filling their display cases with art), and hopefully some storage space for materials.

So now Penny & I have spent some time thinking about how to structure it. We are not interested in a babysitting/drop off/drop in situation. We want there to be a complete lesson offered each time followed by hands on working/studio time. We want to limit the minimum age to 9 years old. Here’s what we are thinking:

-two Saturday morning workshops a month (starting this December and probably only one this first month) Each month we will explore one theme or genre.
-the class starts at 10 AM sharp. no late comers. 30 minute oral/visual presentation followed by an hour of hands on art making.
-at 11:30 (until 12:30) we will open the doors to drop ins who can take advantage of the set-up and materials to explore the topic on hand.
-any students who were there for the formal class will be invited to continue working and teach/ share
alongside the newcomers thereby further enhancing their experience and that of the drop ins.
-this will be free but donations for materials will be greatly appreciated.
-we will plan the year in advance as we did for the classroom and due to my travel/teaching/show schedule we may invite some other working guest artists to come and visit/teach with us.

Well, that’s the idea so far. Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome. We are filling out the paperwork required by the city and will hand it over to the librarian this week. She will approve it for co-sponsorship so as to bypass any fees etc.. Hope to get started after the Thanksgiving break.

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Filed under art education, artists teaching art, elementary art education, Long Beach art, not LBUSD, shibori girl, teaching kids art, Uncategorized

apologies for copyright violation

To read the whole sad affair, you have to visit my other blog.

We will resume irregularly scheduled art in the 4th grade classroom soon. Promise.

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Filed under artists teaching art, elementary art education, Long Beach art, teaching kids art