Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer Madness Ends and Kool and the Gang is not well known today!

We are now feeling cooler breezes in the mornings here in the low country, as summer comes to an end.
Charleston and Georgetown counties allow continual access to the awesome waterways of the Atlantic Ocean via Myrtle, Litchfield, Pawleys & Sullivan's Island, Isle of Palms, and Folly Beaches.  We are also naturally blessed with the five rivers in Georgetown - the Waccamaw, Black, Sampit, North and South Santee Rivers, and in Charleston with the Stono, Ashley and Cooper Rivers.  We have no choice, but to honor Yemaja and Oshun, here in our ancestral land.

I am honored to have the privilege of teaching and learning from young people residing in Charleston, Georgetown, and Horry counties.  As a teaching artist, I am in constant awe and a perpetual life long learning process.  The youth of today approach us baby boomers with such an incredible wealth of everything.  They are wiser, on many levels, yet as the often quoted text says, weaker on many levels.

Parents, educators, and such often discuss what has happened to the joy of reading, writing, and conversation.  We observe our youth having preference to text messages, rather than speaking directly to others.  Will electronic e books spill over to the young techie buffs, who have become addicted to the electronic media screen?

I have noticed that as children approach the fourth grade, they tend to take less creative risks, and are much more concerned with what others think of their art works.  My first and second graders, on the other hand, are awesomely unique in their creative approaches to the projects which we explore.  I have worked in three schools over the last few years and made this observation.  This is particular interesting, as one observes the degree of conformity which is encouraged during the early childhood years of pre school / child development and kindergarten grades.  The next time that you visit the early childhood hall, please notice how every child is given a cookie cutter, look alike piece, and encouraged to make it look like every other child's.

As adults, we can encourage our children to make their art in whatever way they like, and do not try to follow someone else's response to the art assignment.  We can also ask ourselves how we form our own definitions and opinions of what art is, and its value in our lives?  How many of us have discouraged our children to explore art as a career because we believe that it is a starving field? These internal dialogs will directly impact on what messages we portray to our children about art.

We must encourage our children to create and show them the relationship between creativity and the enhancement of problem solving ability.   True art is made by risk takers which speaks to our emotional sides by making us feel and drawing guttural response.

We welcome your responses, as well as your visit to our website.