Published by the Stony Plain Reporter
April 10, 2009
I had a great and unexpected time at the Opening Reception for the Instructors Show at the Allied Arts Council on April 4th. There was low public attendance but many woman that instruct and contributed to the show were there. We pulled up some of the comfy chairs together and had coffee over a fantastic afternoon full of discussion. When you are an instructor it is hard to find opportunities to meet other instructors, unless you attend their classes. We seem a rare breed that fleetingly come and go without ever meeting but at the same time we know of each other and see each others names in either shows or in class/workshop brochures. I constantly found myself thinking, who is this instructor, I wonder what they are like in person? There is this air of mystery about us. Sometimes being an art instructor is a lonely job, there are not many co-workers to meet in the coffee room and discuss those problems or achievements that occur. You come and go hearing from a student about how so-and-so taught this. Or seeing the great attendance numbers of this or that instructor. Yet, never meeting. We fit that old description - ships passing in the night. Well, we ships got together and I think that everyone was a little nervous to meet, well I know I was. I build up these instructors like characters in my head. I hear all these little tid bits about them, what kind of work they do, what they teach, and students impressions. So, I make them out to be larger than life. Then we meet. We talked about how the show was going, about the work that we contributed to it. Technical methods. I was interviewed for the article above. We chatted about the local press. That lead into me ranting on about blogging. We started to talk about teaching, mostly about the funny shocking things that happen. The unexpected comments we get from students. We talked about the things that we thought only happened to us. It was comforting to hear I was not the only one who had people drop out of classes unexpectedly without a word (note: to prospective students, this usually happens due to students personal life. Normally my classes run at full capacity). It was great to hear from instructors that are new to instructing and others that have been instructing for a long time. I could have chatted with them all day.
I got some decent press from the show as well. There was an article published in the local Stony Plain Reporter/ Spruce Grove Examiner that was very flattering in length. It was packed full of quotes from my interview. I do have to mention one big error and that is it states that I am a member 3times in the article. For the record I am NOT a member of the Allied Arts Council. It was not a 'members only' show. Finally you do not have to be a member to instruct at the Allied Arts Council. That aside, I received many positive comments on it. My favorite comments are the ones that said that my words were inspiring and made people want to go out and create, which is really my goal in teaching.