I love serendipity – what are the chances that (a.) a former student of mine (hi, Tyler!) who works at the San Antonio Museum of Art would (b.) start a random conversation with an art teacher from rural New Mexico in (c.) a folk art shop in Port Aransas?
And that (d.) my name would come up? And that (e.) that art teacher would then come to my Studio to meet me? She did, and we had a fantastic conversation!
The teacher is Mary Johnston, and she’s one of those art teachers who knows that art is more than drawing a realistic apple. It’s the heart of human culture, and that’s what she teaches. I received an email from her yesterday with photos of what her students have been up to – and these are students who had never had art before Mary arrived on the scene!
Look at the totems they constructed and the other work they created (below) and then read what Mary has to say about her approach to teaching.
The ceramic totems were a grades 8- 12 collaboration and represented 12 NM Pueblos and their styles of pottery . The students chose a pueblo and used that specific pueblo style to inspire their ceramic creations. They studied and wrote about their chosen pueblo’s history and its contribution to NM history. The students also researched potters from that pueblo and their contributions to the art world and their pueblo heritage.
As well as being near many pueblos, the school is near Abiquiu, Georgia O’Keeffe Country .Almost all my students know of O’Keeffe and share wonderful (never before heard)stories of their great grandparents and grandparents working for Georgia. Many of my students have interned in Georgia’s home at Ghost Ranch or at Georgia’s Abiquiu home and garden. “