|The one seed that never stops being watered. Growth doesn't end with age. I will breathe and live in art forever. That's my happily ever after.|
Thus, a trip to Belmont High School this afternoon soothed like a healing balm, an elixir caressing inner wounds. Inside my former high school art teacher's classroom, Mrs. Carol Rogers that is, was once second home, a refuge (when she taught at Colonel White High School for the Performing Arts). Sounds of laughter and Damian Marley play loud. Happiness soon impregnated doubt, especially conversations about former students turning to arts colleges, refusing not to let their talents diminish. In other words, they were not statistics.
Today I watched diverse teenagers, this up and coming generation of all sorts of different backgrounds and minorities. They chatted together whilst printmaking, drawing still life, or painting banners. I wasn't thinking about world news or social media or what happened in that classroom last Monday.
As I observed and learned:
I didn't see monsters or demons.
I didn't see "things" or "its" to fear.
I didn't see "black eyes filled with hatred."
I didn't see 3/5 of a human.
I didn't see threats.
I saw truth and promise.
I saw light, laughter and goodness.
I saw so much hope for dreams fulfilled.
I saw future artists, inventors, teachers, geniuses, and whatever they choose.
Most of all, I saw flesh and blood peoples deserving a chance just to be.
|Bison mural unveiled last year also led by Pate. Three panels combined of individual student portraits form traditional Belmont mascot. Charcoal and chalk with red and blue (school colors) acrylic paint mixed with Mod Podge create a captivating composition that hangs in the school's main hallway. It was quite wonderful to see this being created by a bunch of enthusiastic students and playing a small part. There's truly nothing like working with youth who enjoy art. Nothing.|
|Student rolling up a woodcut print.|
|Wood cut close up entails a hand clutched basketball diving into the net.|
|Their composed seemingly simple still life was plastic fruit, a cup, and wine bottle.|
|Students in action with charcoal.|
|No words for special bonds forming between an art teacher and her fellow students. Mrs. Rogers has been a monumental figure in my life for seventeen years now. She's one of my dearest, truest friends and loves each and every one of her students-- has a memory like one wouldn't believe. It's amazing to see her each year, activating classroom, sprinkling her witty, humorous charm into the kids. They all love her as much as I do.|