Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I remember writing my first sentence IAMTERESA I remember bringing it to the teacher’s desk, how she said the letters needed more space, how I found each of them their own page and how they stood, these big tall buildings claming their place. I remember the pride, the confusion at being told I was wrong and I didn’t believe her. Yes, I would do it another way b/c I had to. I wanted to succeed but I knew what was beautiful—I have always known what is beautiful.

I started teaching a new art class for advance students, ages 6 to 12; most of my students paint like they are in high school or early college. I am a big believer in letting children do “adult” art, use “adult” materials. One of my students is from Sudan; he has spent most of his life in war. He told me Friday that ”art is god.” Yes I said, yes.

Another parent dropped his son off and claimed, I wanted a football player and they gave me an artist. His dad dropped him off like he was some foreign object given to him without instruction. Here is my room, this is where you breathe this is where you paint.


Blair said...

How nice though, that the father recognized his child was an artist and allowed him to take a class... so many don't... and I am sure, since he could do this, allowing his child to explore art, that he will get over his desire for a football player.

Emily Lloyd said...

Teresa, the story of your first sentence reminds me of Audre Lorde in kindergarten: "Audrey" was on her birth certificate, but the first time she wrote her name, she wrote AUDRE LORDE--and yes, knew it was beautiful just as she had written it. She was marked wrong but held on to that spelling of her name, to that primal sense that it was right as she wrote it, for the rest of her life.