I’ve been attending ACAD’s summer institute. I think I am beginning to understand something about the ways I learn and the ways that I want to learn. I am beginning to learn about what drives my curiosity to learn.
My art mentor, Alison, retired this past June. Alison is a phenomenal woman, artist and educator. I met Alison my first year teaching. I had asked to sit on our division’s Arts Council, which Alison then chaired.
During the next few years Alison and I (and others) collaborated on a multitude of projects; Alison became as much of a resource, connection, and support for me as the projects and high school arts community seemed to offer for the students in our division.
This early June this year Alison called. She shared that she had heard of ACAD’s summer institute and that she felt I would delight in being part of the learning community. I had felt a similar support from Alison when she nominated me to chair the Arts Council this past year.
I sent my registration forms to ACAD that day. The choice of what sessions I would attend was left to my students. The what didn’t really matter.
Alison understood. She wanted me to attend because she wanted me to continue to be curious.
And I was.
My fellow ACAD institute artists/educators and I have been in the studio everyday.
We are perhaps learning or perhaps relearning or perhaps re-fine-tuning skills.
I enjoy these hours and I enjoy the feedback. However, I often feel missing Alison’s reason to attend; scaffolding of skill never feels quite as beautiful as the ‘something more.’
At our noon break Canadian artists/educators share their reflections, wonderments, and art all linked by collaborative themes.
At noon my heart sings. I set aside my box lunch, leave my sketch book untouched, and lean in. Tuesday, I cried. Wayne Baerwaldt, the director & curator at ACAD shared for an hour. He spoke of work that focused on bringing community together to become intimate with art and artist, and to give voice to space and the experience of the artists.
As he shared I thought: our kids can do this!
In June, before Alison had called, I had approached several administrators, had found a location and started steps in forming a division wide high school arts collective.
I know, the potential of this space is the joyful stuff that makes me want to stroll through the city streets in the rain.
I am curious about ideas. I am curious about relearning, remaking, and rethinking. And I delight in reflection.
There is comfort in curiosity.