A little background: My friend William received a challenge from another artist. The task? To create a work of art within 48 hours–starting immediately. William is an art teacher at a rural Oklahoma school. During the challenge, he found five minutes to drop a quick sketch. When I saw it, I recognized it for speaking volumes about his personal situation, as well as the circumstance of many art teachers. Naturally, I wrote a didactic plate for it, as if it were in an exhibition.
Pen on scrap paper, 2015
Here the artist, also an art teacher, unfurls his subconscious onto a small scrap of paper, also being used for his school duties. The creature illustrated is a chimera–not quite beast, not quite human. The hybrid nature of the creature reflects the conflict which art teachers face, that is, to teach creativity while administering standardized parameters. The broken bottle refers to jokes that teachers make about using wine as a stress reliever, while simultaneously suggesting that the numbing effect of alcohol is not a sustainable solution.
To all you teachers who handle this balancing art, I raise my glass to you.