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Re: American Vision
[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]Numo Jaeger and Michael Miller
Sun, 08 Jun 1997 23:21:27 -0400
Our generation did have a dark vision for the future and indeed it
was probably a factor in our passionate protest against the war in the 60's.
I have been an artist and around art my whole life. My family a
collection of excentric folks...artists, writers, musicians, educators... I
came to teaching after being disillusioned by making products for consumer
After having taught for 15 plus years I have come to realize that
the art of teaching and the teaching of art combines all that which is
important to me. It is medicine. It is law. It is learning and knowledge. It
is delight in the possiblities. It is introspection. It is the maker. It a
positive method for social change. It is working with consciousness and
For people who were born in this country during the 50's the
standard of living does not compare to that of their parents. Many of our
parents could expect to work in the same job their own work life. Not so
today. The standard of living seems to be decreasing. Health care, welfare,
lack of funding in education, lack of equal opportunity, racism on the rise.
Did we worry about the water? Did we worry about going outside to
be in the sun? This next generation has a whole new set of problems which
are compounded by the mistakes of former generations.
Growing up I did not see homeless people everywhere. Now it is
common place. I did not witness drive by shootings or threats to my health
or safety by opposing gangs. I did not need to go out and help support the
family to pay the bills before the age of 16. I did not live in a tiny
apartment with several generations in the same space.
The children I worked with last year lived in an economically more
stable environment and for the most part they did not have a dark vision for
the future. There certainly was a "me out of necessity" quality to them
though. Those children still needed to take care of themselves at an earlier
age. Mom and Dad are both working. They become self survivors, more
independent. Innocence is taken away from them earlier.
I like to think of that time as the "magic" years. The time when
dreams are fashioned. The precious empty time where imagination has a place
to take hold and grow.
Now we fill every moment and are bombarded with information. The
hurried child. The child as miniature adult with incredibly high
expectations placed on them. What happened to play?
Many of the children I work with this year have a very different
reality. Some see horrors. Some live nightmares. They get to high school and
already have been through a war. A war right in their own community. A
different kind of cold war. A war which destroys self esteem, self worth.
Many of them seem to have "given up" already. Not everyone...ofcourse. Just
These children need a peaceful place. A spacious place. A place
where it is ok to be themselves. A safe house. A place to make art. All
kinds of art. Drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, music,
dance. They need to choose life. What better way to do that then through THE
ARTS. Where is is ok to be yourself.
Just my opinion at this time. I continue to learn, grow and change
Reply: carla harwitt: "Re: American Vision"