You always drew the best rainbows....

By jodiK
  • Crayons in a Can

    Crayons in a Can
    My mom kept a coffee can full of crayons in the kitchen cabinet. She says that she used to sit me down with them and I'd take care of myself. She was a doctor, not all that artistic, but I can remember drawing with her sometimes. I would ask her to help me draw something I couldn't draw myself, a squirrel for example, and she would try - she'd talk through the different parts as she drew them, reassurig herself that she was covering all the bases and letting me know what she was trying to do.
  • The Little House

    The Little House
    I remember reading this book over and over again. I still have the copy I had as a kid and the spine is completely destroyed. I loved the way the images told the story of the changing of the seasons and the changing of the landscape where the little house lived. I love that the little house "lived," that she was a building with personality and feelings. This story is part visual observation, part imagination, and part critical commentary. This book stands for so many values I hold dear today.
  • Elementary Art & Technology

    Elementary Art & Technology
    At Saddle Rock Elementary School (Great Neck, NY), we had art class every week Mrs. Dansbury was our art teacher. My strongest memory I have of her is that she was African-American, the only teacher of color I can recall. Thinking back, she taught in a DBAE style. I can recall one project where we studied Georgia O'Keeffe and then made flower paintings.
    Mr. Gordon taught technology. He showed us how to use hand tools and power saws and drills. It was empowering.
  • Gilbert & Sullivan

    Gilbert & Sullivan
    For 3rd - 5th grades, I was in an open classroom. Each year we produced a play by Gilbert and Sullivan. I was always in the chous, because I wasn't a great singer or that interested in performing. However, I know that being part of those projects had an impact on my sense of art as a process that takes time to develop and as a community event. (NOTE: This image is not from my own history.)
  • Drawing - Step-by-Step

    I remember using a step-by-step drawing book to create a snowy fram landscape. There were footprints moving through the snow into the fields. It was the first time I used charcoal and a kneaded eraser. I was proud of the results.
  • Usdan Summer Camp

    I attended a full day visual and performing arts camp. I remember carving plaster of paris and some hard, salmon colored stone. I took cermamics and jazz dance. It was intense doing art all day every day for eight weeks. Sometimes, I wanted to do something else.
  • College Prep

    I remember starting to make and collect projects for my college portfolio. They weren't very authentic assignments, all formal exercises. I wanted to study art in college because it was the only thing, aside from math and swimming, that I was any good at. I went to a really competitive high school, and everyone had a role to play. I was one of the art freaks. Students who were scoring 1500s on PSATs respected what I could do in the artroom, and I liked that.
  • Extracurricular Painting Classes

    Extracurricular Painting Classes
    I took painting classes with a woman outside of school for a term as part of my efforts to get prepped for college applications. She had a small studio and a few students at a time. We were all working independently. She asked me to bring a photo to work from - I painted a portrait of Al Jorgensen, the lead singer of the band, Ministry. He was smoking a cigarette and looking very cool, or so I thought at the time.
  • Portfolio Presentations

    Portfolio Presentations
    I remember bringing my portfolio for a review at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. My dad and I drove there together, but I was on my own during the review. I remember the college students asking me questions about what I liked to do and telling me about being students at CMU. They showed me their sunlighted studios, tucked away in the attic, and offered me a cigarette to smoke. I thought it was all so cool.
  • College Crash Course

    At Clark University, I continued to play the role of art freak. My friends all referred to me as the girl with the sketchbook under her arm, though I'm not really sure how much drawing I was doing at that time. In my second drawing course, I had an honest conversation with my professor during which she told me I had an attitude problem - that I needed to say what I thought, not just sit around and play the part of the totured aritst. Shortly thereafter I started talking and I never stopped.
  • The Magic of the Darkroom

    The darkroom at college - Santana's greatest hits the only cassette around. S. Dirado was my favorite photography professor. He had an easy way about him - not shy in critiques, but loose in his teaching style when we were processing film. He'd kind of hang around outside the lab and wait for us to talk to him about our work. His own work inspired me - nudes on the beaches of Martha's Vineyard, dinner parties he threw with his wife, long exposures of the stars at night...
  • Gallery Guides

    Gallery Guides
    My junior year of college, I was invited to by the student director of our on campus art gallery. My advisor meet me in New York for a day to show me around the galleries in SoHo and help me get a feel for the way things were done. That day was life-changing. Having a professor spend that time with me one-on-one, in the "real world," really made a impact and motivated me to learn and work to my potential.
  • A Studio of One's Own

    Got my first studio to spread out my things and experiment, at all hours of the day and night.
  • Sacred and Democratic Spaces

    Sacred and Democratic Spaces
    My junior and senior years, I took a few thematic courses in studio art and art history that think about all the time. A photo.drawing hybird on The Body, a survey of Architecture & Democracy, and an art and geography course on Sacred Spaces in world cultures. My professors were exploring BIG IDEAS, showing us how concepts relate across disciplines and within the arts.
  • On my own

    On my own
    After college I lived in San Francisco for a few months with my soon to be husband and then ex-husband. We spent our time working in used bookstores and making art. We had no furntitue and slept on the floor. I drew abstract images of what I saw through the windows of our apartment and read John Dewey's Art As Experience, and wondered why I had never read it before.
  • Learning the Life of a Gallery Gal

    Learning the Life of a Gallery Gal
    When I came back to the East Coast, I worked for this guy, Peter Blum, at his gallery in SoHo. He was a taskmaster. But I met a ton of reknowned artists, critics, museum curators, and collectors. I learned that rich people don't know all the works in their collections, and that artists make additional pieces if people want to buy them and others are sold out. I learned that the part of working in the arts that I liked best was talking to people about what they saw, not trying to sell it.
  • Pratt Intitute

    I got a job as the Assistant to the Chair of Computer Graphics and Interactive Media at Pratt Institute in the Spring of 1998. I got my first hotmail account and a joined my working friends who went online during business hours. I learned about the computer as an art medium. I also learned about the Art & Design Education program @ Pratt and started courswork. I wanted to work in a museum, talking about art with people.
  • You always drew the best rainbows...

    Ran into my childhood dentist, who was also a friend's dad. He asked what I was up to and when I told him I was studying to be an art educator, he said, "You always drew the best rainbows in Mrs Rhoades kindergarten class."
  • Talking about Art

    I observed groups at the Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Jewish Museum for my thesis on Talking about Art. I proposed ways clsasroom teachers could integrate what went on in museums into their classrooms. I loved being in the museums, but realized that my future was probably in the classroom as I was leaving NYC for CT and there weren't as many museums there to work in.
  • Teaching in Tolland (CT)

    Teaching in Tolland (CT)
    I taught high school art for 3 years in Tolland, CT. I'm still processing what I learned there. In addition to developing curriculum with two colleagues, I reignited my own artmaking practice, by completing assignments I gave to my students... mostly in my sketchbooks.
  • Post-9/11 projects

    Post-9/11 projects
    First large-scale projects with students – post-9/11 mural, pre-Iraq invasion comment wall. First forays into community artmaking.
  • The Road to PhD

    I moved to Columbus, OH and started the PhD program in art education. I wasn't really sure why I was doing it, I didn't dream of being a professor like some of my classmates. I just knew that I had questions about teaching and learning in the arts that I couldn't satisfy in the classroom. Also, my soon to be ex-husband was moving around for work and I couldn't imagine finding teaching gigs in different states every year, let alone getting licensed to do so! Lesson: Go with the flow.
  • Chicago, Pittsburg, Library

    My dissertation took me to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University where I observed undergraduate foundation courses over the course of a semester. I interviewed students and faculty, participated in critiques, I read, I wrote, and I finally defended my dissertation. I learned that setting goals and getting them done is an important part of any creative process.
  • Dan and the Kids

    Dan and the Kids
    I was about to go on the job market for a full-time teaching position in Art Education when I met my second husband, Dan. I was prepared to go anywhere but Dan - a musician, carpetner, and creative spirit. - hooked me He had two children and they were up for all types of creative challenges. I loved working with them in the kitchen, craft table, basement, dress-up closet, garden... They reminded me that a large part of making art is just playing around with materials, of all kinds.
  • A Long Commute

    A Long Commute
    One incentive for finishing my dissertation was a job that opened up in Cincinnati, two hours from Columbus. It wasn't an ideal situation, but got me in the classroom, using my degree for a few years. I LOVED supervising student teachers, getting out into the schools again. I longed to go back to teaching, in an elementary school, somewhere I never thought I'd want to teach. I met some inspriing students and cooperating teachers whose work I draw on in my current endeavors.
  • Making Murals

    Making Murals
    For the past few years, I've worked with a charter school on some public murals in Columbus, OH. It's provided me with time and space to stay connected to the life and work of teenagers. Orchestrating the funding and siting for the projects has kept me connected to the community and allowed me to give something to a school in my neighborhood that is trying educating students through hands-on work.
  • T&L Online

    I started teaching for the University of Florida's Online Master's Program. I continue to learn how to reinvent myself as an educator, in a new space, with new tools, new colleagues....