For the last few months, I’ve been writing on the side for Prodigal Magazine. We launched it with a few ideas in mind, and it worked very much like a collective blog. The last few months have been something of a beta test.
Now, the whole site is getting a major overhaul. It’s been reworked and looks super good, and has a ton of content. And my role is now as a columnist.
Here at this blog, we talk about culture and spirituality. But there’s a whole other part of my life that has gone untapped until now, that being my job as an art teacher. Far from being mere child’s play, the art room is rife with opportunities for adult conversations. My new column is being called “Art Room Parables.” No, it’s not just for artsy or creative people. In fact, it’s just as much for people who are creeped out by artsy-fartsy people.
A couple of times a month, starting today, I’ll be directing you to this new column. I’m really excited about the fresh territory it offers for me to dive into.
Here’s a little preview of the first edition, the “pilot” episode of Art Room Parables. I hope you’ll read the rest at Prodigal Magazine.
The Fine Art of Life
At the end of my work days, my hands and fingernails are stained with paint, chalk, charcoal and pencil grease. The apron I wear at work is smudged and splattered.
I’m an art teacher. My job description says that I teach art to children, ages five to twelve. Then, they finish sixth grade, and most of them will never return to an art class again. And then they grow up, and become adults like you, with jobs, responsibilities and worries, high hopes, some regrets, and nagging ambitions. No more time for frivolous activities like making pictures to hang on the fridge.
What has surprised me the most about teaching art are all the things I teach…and have learned…that are not about drawing and painting. In a science class, students learn about laws and theories. In math class, students learn about equations. But in art class, we learn about the fine art of life.
Life is made of complex choices, hard work, relationships, emotions, love, loss, faith, morals, and our endless search for meaning and purpose. Life is not an abstract equation, or a scientific theory. It’s an art. It’s open ended. There are infinite possibilities.
Continue reading at Prodigal Magazine.