I’m not really stuck on having Twinkies in the header. I was just searching for continuity. If showing the underbelly evidence of how they get the cream inside of Twinkies represented teaching art, I figured, why not have my own little trope?
The twinkie photos, BTW, were actually source material for a detour/little series of paintings I started in 2002 or 2003. Never a good one, they segued into all the paintings I did on giant photo prints of sausages. Raw bratwurst. Five feet long. Winners, every last; I’m also sort of glad I no longer have to listen to people tell me how I should try to copy Wim Delvoye, in a Deiter Roth sort of way.
If only I could have, I guess…
So, yeah, teaching is… In the same way you know some people just won’t disappear from your life even when you don’t have much to do with them anymore, teaching art will come back to me. Or, I to it.
Now though, I administrate art. And how the things to administer are piling on. Exciting things. Good things. Blind spots and obstacles I’ve never had to deal with before. Not a lot of advice. Mine field isn’t the right metaphor, it implies malice. Maybe it’s more like I’m crossing the Alps. You know, if all my elephants don’t die, it’ll be awfully cool to be on the other side.
When you teach, people you don’t know give you some nod to respect, a kind of appreciation, without knowing whether you’re even any good at what you do. When you’re an art teacher, you get a genuine “aww that’s soooo nice!”, you help kids express themselves (whatever that is), more often than not on an understood assumption that this art is something no one is actually going to do as an working adult. When you teach art in college, moreover as an (Assistant) Professor (the second word is the only operative one outside of academia) of art, you must have the intellectual deep inside scoop on the exotic world of the Artist (how do you double capitalize “A”?) . It’s a varied sea of mythologies, but it’s out there.
As an administrator, in art, and a government employee, I am now at least three things people don’t understand, may condescend, and possibly revile. My job title may be among the greatest insults on right-wing radio. Sure, that last part makes me kind of happy. But, it’s not lost on me that, amidst coctails (bottled beer), I’ve gone from “Wow, I don’t have any idea about anything you do, you must be so great!” to “Oh, I don’t have any idea about anything you do. I guess we need people to do, um, that. You must feel great to have a secure job!”
I’m fine with that. I don’t go out much anyway.