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Re: Art Teachers/Artists

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From: Michelle H. Harrell (michelle_h_harrell_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 17:08:18 PST


Like many of you, I'm also proud to say I'm an artist/teacher but ashamed of
how much art I actually do and exhibit. I can't imagine going too long
without creating something of my own. I had a wonderful professor in
college (Dr. Laing from ECU) who told me that he worried about me giving my
creative style away to my students so I wouldn't have any left of my own. I
confess to doing this constantly even though I know they will become more
independent thinkers if I don't and I could possibly have the energy and
ideas for my own work. I'm a teacher first though and prioritize my life so
that unfortunately artwork gets done when I'm caught up on everything else.
I do make time for artwork occasionally but not as I should. If I had a
million dollars, I'd probably just make art but the extravert in me who gets
her energy from others would have to teach a little afternoon class or
private lessons to be satisfied.

On the other hand, I've known artists who teach just to make enough money so
they can keep making art and support themselves- especially college
professors (who in my personal opinion) suck as teachers even though they
may be wonderful artists. This is the other extreme. I think that really
good art teachers are doomed (or should I say blessed) to juggle the
artist/teacher role.

To actually answer your question, I planned to be an art therapist but when
I found out there was no school in NC who offered a degree, I decided to get
my undergrad in art ed. Then, I fell in love with teaching even though I
never ever pictured myself as a teacher. I always knew I wanted to do
something art related but never really expected or wanted to do it full time
as in a studio setting. Mich

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