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Re:[teacherartexchange] teachers as artists


From: Jerry Vilenski (jvilenski_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jul 14 2006 - 06:03:05 PDT

Well, once again, someone has touched a nerve among
some of us regarding the artist/teacher debate. I
have been a professional art educator for over 33
years now, and during that time, have maintained a
parallel career as a professional level artist. I
have actively sold my work in galleries, had several
one-person shows, and have made a fair amount of money
from my work over the years. I have recently opened a
commercial website to sell my work. I have found that
being a fine artist is an essential part of my work as
an educator. It keeps me in touch with the creative
process, models the value of a practical application
of art skills, and increases my stature among
peers,students and the community. I have worked with
many other art teachers who haven't practiced their
original disciplines since they graduated from
college, and, in my opinion, it has diminished their
effectiveness as teachers. Why? Because they seem to
have lost empathy and sympathy for the trails and
tribulations of creating art, and the considerable
practice and discipline involved in the creative
process. Having an in-depth understanding of both the
process and the product of visual art should be a
major part of every art educator. I am an good art
teacher because I am an artist,not in spite of it.

Vigilance, Jerry

Check out my website:

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