Sunday, June 6, 2010

Daily Practice 157/365

Title: "End....beginning"
(click to view larger)
I was invited as a former board member to attend the graduation ceremony at a local art school. As I was sitting waiting for things to get under way, I found this simple composition that I felt symbolized the event I was attending. Those who had occupied these chairs were finished their formal education, and were leaving to embark on independent careers.

The keynote speaker was Lynda Gammon, a visual arts professor from the local university, who told the graduates that teaching art was a funny business. It was possible to give students context by showing them work that had been done by other artists, and it was possible to teach them technical skills of drawing, painting etc. But because the question of "what is art" was constantly changing and evolving, it was impossible to teach them that. In fact, she said, those graduating today would be the ones to define what art is in the coming years.

This message resonated with me for several reasons. For one thing, I teach science at the same university and while I can teach my students the fundamentals of the discipline (giving them context) and teach them some general skills in setting research questions and solving them, I cannot predict where science will be in 5 or 10 years. The other reason Lynda's message resonated with me was that it encapsulates the excitement that drive my own art making - I can't predict what art I will be making in the future, so I am on a never-ending adventure. That's exciting!

1 comment:

J. M. Golding said...

Beautifully said! And how wonderfully this image contains a balance of present and future, the chairs both still here and already empty.