August 6, 2012

I spent several days in Hong Kong last week before arriving in Beijing on August 3rd.  The reason I was required to go there first was so that I could listen to other Artists-in-Residence tell their stories, visions, and experiences about this unique position.  It was well worth it!  When I first signed my contract in February, I knew that this was a “vocation” that aligns well with me.  I say “vocation” because this feels more like a calling, rather than a job for me.  The idea of having a working, professional artist in a school setting is brilliant.  As I start this position, I am starting to get a vision of my role in the school, and at this point I’m just scratching the surface.

As an Art Teacher for the last 5 years, it was my privilege to show students, parents, and staff that visual art is a vital part of education.  Art class is not just a time to make crafts that can be taken home at the end of the day.  Art is a discipline as much as Mathematics, Science, Language, etc.  To be visually “literate” is important in the 21st century, as we are surrounded by many visuals every day.  Art is a way of communicating and expressing ideas and emotions.  It’s about coming up with many solutions, being original, and creative.  Every employer wants a creative person.  Art education is important.  Therefore it means more than art production; it’s aesthetics, art history, and art criticism.

As an Artist-in-Residence for the next 2 years, I will strive to make these concepts relevant to students, as I show them what my life looks like as a working artist.  I may have students work with me on developing an art project from start to finish, from communicating with a client to sketches to final piece.  We may talk about techniques and media that are not covered in art class.  We could take what they’re learning in History class and think of ways to display it in visual form.  I see my role as helping students put knowledge of art into practice.  How exciting!

And it doesn’t hurt that my job required me to go to an amazing city like Hong Kong!  Busy, vibrant, multicultural, a mix of nature and concrete, old architecture vs. new architecture, interesting smells and sounds…

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2 Responses to “Vision”

  1. sue b said

    beautiful! inspiring ! a flower starting to bloom. mams

  2. Marianne Curtis said

    Hi Sara, I’m very excited to see that you are blogging about your experiences. My Chinese I classes are going to follow your blog, and we may leave some questions for you about life in China! I hope you are having a great time! Marianne

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