Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Guest Teacher at SCAD-Atlanta

Guest taught last night at SCAD. I have taught my own creative writing class at the Atlanta campus off and on as the class makes since 2003 or 2004, when the ACA continuing education program (and the rest of the Atlanta College of Art) moved lock, stock and permanent records up the street to the old Equifax building the Savannah College of Art and Design had bought for its newest campus.

SCAD kept a few legacies of ACA, including the name of its community (or continuing) education program and library. I think its new owners kept CE's name because ACA still means something and may continue to resonate in this curiously long-memoried town (and that's a well-kept secret to many who move here and go blind here without finding it). I hope so.

My own class rarely makes in the summer, primarily because I don't want it to. I'm dumb as a stone in summer and shouldn't be doing anything near as responsible as teaching. But last night I delivered a quick writing class to a small group of Kim Landor's Sketchbook class.

One exercise involved contour drawing combined with the search for metaphor within one's own universe; literally, the universe rests within your the palm of your own hand. To reach it, draw it. To hear it, draw it in slowly, one breath at a time.

So we did. Here is a shot of my own page for a glimpse of what the process looks like. In a week or so, when Kim's students have had a chance to work their vignettes into art journal pages they are pleased with, she will (I hope) send me photos and I will post here.

In the meantime, here's my page and photos of the students:

Billy, Belinda and Kim (the blonde).

The class was great! I'd forgotten how exciting it is to teach to students who are not necessarily interested in writing but who are artists and therefore interested in the same/similar passions. For many visual artists, words are simply more pictures; agreed-upon symbols and yet another tool for seeing.
For a poet, words are less visual and more musical. We know we are, first and foremost, hearing the words, listening for the sounds of the voice.
One thing I learned while teaching in ACA's CE program and its degree program, was that artists are artists---music, visual, dance, design. And many many students practice with more than one instrument. I've taught lots of musician/painters; poet/painters; design/musicians, etc. and it's been a terrific reminder that art is an approach to life and creativity, I firmly believe, a response to life.
thanks for an evening well spent,

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