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Lesson Plans

Artist/Arts Educator

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Tue, 3 Aug 1999 08:55:21 -0700

I'm intrigued by the thread about balancing the roles of artist and
educator in one's life. This has lately become a topic of heated
conversation in several arts organizations of which I am a member.
So, here's my take on this.

I have been an exhibiting visual artist for 33 years. I started at age
14 and have come through the decades doing crafts, fiber,
wearable art, jewelry, sculpture, metal sculpture, mixed media
sculpture, fine art, performance art and installation art.

At the same time, I have been an arts educator for 24 years, going
to college, graduate school, marrying, rebuilding a farmhouse,
divorcing, re-establishing my life, and changing into an academic
subject area to avoid being laid-off so often. In the last five years, I
have also become a totally engrossed techno-nerd.

Being an artist, for me, is a WAY OF LIFE. It is a process and
aesthetic by which to live my life. There have been periods of time
where I did no exhibitable art; yet did personal art that salved my
soul. Cooking, gardening, decorating, relating to students,
significant others and pets are all forms of art!

I take the long view of art as the process of life. There will be a life-
time in which to create a body of art; some of it will be art with a
small 'a' and some of it will be art with a capital "A." There will be
other focuses along the way and other distractions and joys (kids,
divorce, parental illnesses, etc.).

I don't do my art to sell; luckily I have a day job (teaching career)
which I love. I am truly annoyed by the people who suggest that if
one doesn't sell their work, then they are suspect as an artist. If
that argument was true, then the creator of every velvet Elvis
painting that sold, would be considered an artist!!!

While it would be nice to have others really like my artwork, I do
my art for myself. I am not willing to make art which matches the
drapes and fills that spot over someone's sofa.

Just my 2 cents worth!
-Alix Peshette

"Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching"