Today was a landmark day for me as a working artist and art teacher. Two of my colleagues (Ms. Wan and Mr. Raytis) and I have been collaborating to plan a visiting artist lecture series for our school (Skyline High School – Oakland, CA). We wanted to try combining three classes worth of students in the library and create an interactive presentation format. To test drive this idea, I volunteered to present about my own artwork. Even though I wasn’t a “visiting” artist, many of the students I presented to were students who had not met me before.
Throughout the day, I shared my journey to becoming a professional artist, highlighting my path through college and my study abroad experiences. The students had very thoughtful questions that made me think about my own art-making practice in a new way. I delivered the presentation to six different groups of students throughout the day today, and each time the presentation evolved a little bit. By the end of the day, even though I felt exhausted, I was intrigued by the comments and questions my students had about my work.
Below, I’ve embedded a copy of the slide show that I used in the presentation. Creating the presentation helped me to have a better understanding as to why I paint what I paint, and most importantly how my work is an emotional document of landmarks in my life. I realized today that one of my favorite things about being an artist is that I am able to illuminate and narrate my experiences .
Are you an artist who would like to present your work to even a small group of high school students? It’s amazing public speaking practice, and the students ask questions that help you see your work in a different way. If this sounds like something you would like to do, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org