Happy Summer – a Note from Ted Orland too…

Hello all! Welcome to Summer Vacation 2010! I have made a couple of comments ona  couple of the posts, but really, the e-mail from Ted Orland is far more interesting… maybe more-so for me than my students, but regarless… a well penned comment from him to my students (in parts… some of the e-mail I want to keep to myself because I don’t want to give all of the advice and secrets up, I sure don’t want to show my poker hand and give it all up!).

From Ted –

Hi Frank,

Wow, what a wonderful surprise package! Many, many thanks for the Collection of your students’ ideas and artwork! I feel more than a bit guilty receiving such a gift, given that I’ve been pretty much missing in action from your class blog this year – but I will savor and sift thru the contents at length.
— My basic job is not to turn my students into artists — it’s simply to keep them from quitting. If they’re still makng art ten years after they’ve had my class, they WILL have become good artists.

— The amount of time they spend with me is really pretty minescule, and about the best I can do is hold up my life as an example of what it’s like to build a life around artmaking, and open a door for them into that same world.

— Students know perfectly well how much effort — or more precisely, how little effort – I have any right to impose on them in a three-unit elective… I ask them to simply aim for making the results a Personal Best. I’ve found that if they set the bar themselves, they actually set it higher than I would have – and throw more energy into it because in a very personal sense they’re doing it for themselves rather than for me.

—  I have a certain technical expertise and some scar tissue built up from surviving in the art world, but I certainly have no monopoly on seeing the world clearly or in having unique experiences to draw upon as raw material for artmaking. And though your high school students don’t have our range of experience – parenthood, a career, etc – as many of my college students, the world they do inhabit on a day to day basis is no less intense or all-consuming than anyone else’s.

— Artists are not in competition with each other. Ditto students.

Well, I could go on & on, but I’d best stop here or I’ll never get this sent. Thanks, though, for stimulating my thinking with your note and your students’ work. And for what it’s worth, I was particularly taken with the written entries by Jackie Graham and Carli Fell, and I think my favorite art piece was the one by Andy Hannula (though my favorites wander with each pass.)

With All Good Wishes,
Ted O
And a photograph…
Copyright - Ted Orland
"A pic that sums up my thinking these days. T.Orland"

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