Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Digesting the end of the travel year...

Another year of traveling is under my belt. Sitting in my work area (aka couch), sipping on some great caffeine and looking out at the Bridgers at honest to god spring weather has me breathing in the start of a new season! I have been many places this year, interacted with many amazing people and had the honor of touring around an inspiring gallery of artwork. Now I'm going to attempt to digest where I've been, what I've seen, learned, how I've grown, and what I believe, my hopes and the things that I am dedicated to working towards. That sounds like a lot, and it definitely is. That's part of the reason my mind feels like an overflowing bowl of popcorn...

Around 12,000 people participated in the Art Mobile this school year, I'm told that is a new record for the program! That many people in around 75 days out on the road. I truly have an amazing job to be given the ability to interact with so many unbelievable individuals. In an age where art has somehow lost it's intrinsic importance- where schools are making cuts left and right, when we as a culture have somehow forgotten about the importance of knowing ourselves, our history, our beautiful diversity, accepting one another, appreciating our environment, creatively solving problems, allowing children to discover their love for the process of learning and ENJOYING life. I'm not sure where the root of the problem is. Did it spring out of a desire to make sure the "brightest" were used in positions that somehow give us, as a country, more perceived power? How many songs or stories have parents dreaming of their children being "doctors and lawyers and such?" When did parents decide to mold their children into potential Olympians and not allow them to find themselves? If we allow one another the power, ability, and circumstances to find our true passion, spirit, and person I believe truly that we will all be happier and more progressed for it. How many of us have tried, somewhat desperately, to fit into a box that was not us? I know plenty of intelligent people who went onto higher education because they had the ability. Somehow in the mix however, they lost track of what truly makes them feel alive and happy. Each of us owes it to ourselves and to one another to take the difficult journey toward finding out what really makes us feel alive. And we're not doing this for ourselves and we are definitely not doing this on a large scale for younger generations in our schools. It actually makes me feel ill to see so many people working for the weekend. So many people stuck and accepting that where they are is their life. It's not easy, it's not a clear road and it does take time and perseverance as well as finding ways through seemingly closed doors in order to find who you are and what you love. I am still on the road trying to find where my passion lies (with a few off road experiences mixed in). But I do have something I can lose track of a full day doing. I have something that is mine and for that I am truly blessed. I don't paint for anyone but myself and I will paint until the day I die. I love sharing who I am, but my energy to paint is more intrinsic rather than dependent on the outside worlds acceptance. I truly have something that is mine and it feels empowering. I want to help others to feel this way. Maybe that's why I teach?

I have been all over the great state of MT. Montana is rich with truth, honesty, and hard work. The people here are genuine and wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are more connected to the environment and their history (even if it's a more limited family history). It's inspiring to say the least. There are students who are confused by art. There are adults that feel the same way. Yet, there are also students who through art, finally find their way of expressing themselves, understanding their world and feeling alive. I believe that the Art Mobile is important for each of these types of people. It is an important learning and growing experience to come across things that are difficult for us to understand. Without these new ideas and ways of thinking, we wouldn't grow. It is equally important to show what is possible and available to those who haven't found something in school or life that they feel jazzed up about.

All of us listen to music. It makes each of us feel alive. Yet, the demand for music and all of the arts comes after it is created. We aren't supporting the individual and nurturing them to grow into their own person. It's sad. But it is truly amazing to see when people, even in our current state of education, find their passion and push it to the limit so that they are in fact making a living doing what they love to do.

This blog post has turned into another ramble...but time on the road, good books, amazing music, great people and the process of digesting a full school year will do that to me...

Something that came my way that is worth it to take a look at, I promise it's worth your time..

For now- a happy summer to all! I'll be sure to add more tidbits from the road in the near future!

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