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Lesson Plans

Fw: question (of doing art or teaching art)

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Gretchen Jurek (gretchen)
Tue, 12 Aug 1997 23:01:29 -0700

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> From: Gretchen Jurek <gretchen>
> To: artsednet
> Subject: Re: question (of doing art or teaching art)
> Date: Tuesday, August 12, 1997 10:34 PM
> Dear Ones:
> Many years in retrospect, I now appreciate so much more the
> we had when I went to UCLA (in the 1950s). Our art profs were all
> exhibiting artists, and also virtually all terrific instructors as
> well. I still vilify those who were renowned artists but crummy
> teachers, though; and I will never forget any of them, good or not
> good. At that time, I was absolutely dead serious about pursuing
> field, against the wishes of my parents, boyfriend, etc., etc. I
> persisted, and I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rich life
> be an artist. Yes, I would do it over again!
> In addition to doing illustration and other forms of commercial
> such as various phases of what is now known as "graphic design", I
> am also a printmaker, designer, painter, draw-er; and can do
> sculpture,
> jewelry, fiber art, photography, and other things. I do some
> (for pay), and play and sing some music (for no pay, at least of
> late...)
> I also teach for many age levels, many ability levels. I do it for
> pay and
> also without pay, as a volunteer. Teaching is also enriching and
> interesting, and I put my all into it, whether it is for an
> eight-year old or an eighty-year-old, one student or a roomful.
> professions are, to me, more spiritual than monetary in nature, and
> thus, their rewards are most often neither understood nor desired
> our highly materialistic society. Other countries have an older,
> more enlightened collective insight, IMHO, and I feel attracted to
> their cultures for that depth and understanding. So I left the USA,
> alone, after I got my degree, in 1961, for Italy on a one-way
> on a freighter out of Hoboken. I returned several months later,
> with hepatitis from contaminated seafood, and in search of
> cleanliness and English (our Yankee version) and hamburgers and
> Hershey bars and Coca-Cola... tail between my legs--- and I regret
> none of it. I did lose my romantic
> notions about the all-encompassing goodness of other countries,
> however, especially after I was yelled at in Paris for being what I
> am - an American. Being a trained artist helps one to take a
> different tack, see from another perspective, be able to remove
> oneself in an ongoing attempt to be objective... to see things a
> differently, and to keep observing and trying to understand the
> entire picture ---And, in my case, to be both dismayed and amused
> it
> all. The irony is that art is internal, but demands an external
> viewpoint. I don't seem to be verbalizing this well. I do "see"
> however...
> Again, I thank the Getty for having this forum for us to discuss
> these issues on. How could we ever do it otherwise, now that we
> out of school?
> Cheers.
> Gretchen Jurek
> Auburn, California

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