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[teacherartexchange] Need Help With Difficult Parent


From: Rebecca Burch (mamallama_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 14 2007 - 09:57:33 PST

I have an amazing student ... I'll call him Max. Max is only in his
first year of art classes at this school, but has drawing his entire
life and has taken some art classes outside of school "for fun." He
recently won best of show at a local juried exhibit for a
self-portrait that still knocks my socks off everytime I look at it.

Max has decided that he wants to go into art as a career. So, now in
his senior year of high school, he is investigating the possibility of
going to Columbus College of Art and Design. He really, really wants
to go there, and I don't doubt that he would be accepted into the

The thing is, his Dad is very upset at this last-minute decision and
wants his son to stick with the original plan of going into
engineering (a career path that Max swears will bore him to death.)
Dad is filling Max's head with all kinds of borscht about how he'll
never be able to get a job as an artist and how there's no market for
paintings because it's all mass produced in China, now, and blah,
blah, blah.

The parents are coming in for a meeting with Max, the college
counselor, and me later this week. The counselor and I agree that Max
really ought to go after his art school dream because it's what he
really wants. What I want to do is wow his Dad with a lot of facts
and figures about the art world -- available jobs, new career fields
opening up, how creatives are going to hold a lot of power in our
post-industrial economy, etc...

Where do I look? I can give him a million thoughts off the top of my
head, but the guy's a lawyer. He's going to want concrete stuff...

Any advice?

Charleston WV

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