This is a wonderful statement:
I hope we'll get over making gods out of
artists, and the idea of art teachers doing what they do because they could
not have made it out there.
I could not agree with you more. I work hard to help my students understand
that being an artist is a real career and hard work. That artists are real
people just like them. They might even have one living right next door. I try
to destroy the myth that one cannot make a living in the visual arts field.
They are not in my class to learn "about" something to have as a hobby as a
relaxation from their job doing real work. They are there to learn how to
make good art and they can do what they want to with it. If they want to go
on with art as a career, I will do everything I can to help them determine a
good school for the direction they want to take and to get a scholarship.
We even have similar living situations. I live in Myrtle Beach, SC which even
non-intelligentsia/artist types refer to as the golf ball/seafood
restaurant/neon light capital of the world. There is not a REAL gallery in
the entire 60 mile stretch known as the Grand Strand of which we are the
"crown" jewel. There IS a large and growing group of artists. There is
perhaps a preponderance of beach scenes and floral arrangements and those of
us who practice a more experimental/abstract approach to art are somewhat
suspect. So we have a lot in common, you and I. I too came back to teaching.
But divorce brought me back. I have quit wondering if I could be more
successful, if I did not teach, if I had continued to work as a studio
artist. Now that the business of raising my children alone is over, I spend
more and more time on my work and I include my students as much as I can in
my work with the local guild and an outdoor art show that we sponsor three
times a year. I look forward to retiring in a few years and being able to
spend even more time on my work. And maybe a little more time marketing it.
But I have learned mainly to simply enjoy doing it.
If you are ever inclined to visit this resort area, give me a call. Maybe you
might even want to come down and do Art in the Park sometime. I won't ask you
to paint bring worlves in with some blue hues. Now will I ask you if you
could paint some sea gulls or aligators. :-))