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Lesson Plans

Re: art by people we don't like

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 10:14:19 -0500

It is very hard to see the person as an artist when the artist as a person
is a problem for us. It takes conscious effort. But people are rarely all
good or all bad. The effort we put into finding value in the art of people
we despise informs how we interact with people we dislike in our own lives
who also have value (as all people do). When I was able finally able to read
with pleasure the poetry of an art school professor who had academically
abused me and many other students over the years (one of whom committed
suicide), I felt great relief that I had reached a point where I was able
to recognize and admit a kernel of goodness and value in this otherwise
detestable human being. I took it as an indication of a level of emotional
maturity I didn't know I had. John Wesley wrote "I believe in the truth,
whether spoken by saint or by heretic", and I try to remember that. It's
still hard.