Monday, July 12, 2010

Carrie: Artist Educator

I sat down with Carrie on Tuesday, July 13th 2010. The most notable point that I can take away from the interview was Carrie's belief that being an artist and and educator play off of each other. You can be better at both by doing both simultaneously.

Another interesting fact about Carrie was that she knew that she wanted to be an artist and an educator from a very early age. She didn't decide later that art education was a good career choice, rather she planned her education with a career as an art educator in mind. Carrie recalls viewing her own artwork on a wall when she was in the first grade. It was a pastel of a bunny with a carrot, and she still has the piece.

Always labeled the "artist" in her small school, Carrie chose a college close to home and studied art. Although her degree was labeled 3D Studio Art, she was a graphic artist at heart and made it a point to study all types of media to prepare her self for a career in art education. She knew since about the 8th grade that she wanted to be an educator and that artist and art teacher go hand in hand.

When I asked Carrie how she defines herself, she responded with, "I don't like labels." She doesn't think of herself as the stereotypical artists. She is competitive and a perfectionist. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. There are many things that make a person unique. Some of the things that make Carrie unique, she views as weaknesses and doesn't want to be defined by those particular factors. Carrie tries to maintain a balance and believes that your unique combination of characteristics makes you who you are.

Why does anything have to be titled? The label of art teacher can limit you, since people make assumptions based on titles. Your titles combined define who you are, but they can also limit you. Carrie is an art teacher, she grew up on a dairy farm, and she looks incredibly young for her age. Although these things are part of who she is, she dislikes the stereotypes associated with them.

I asked Carrie what makes her a great educator, artist, and woman. She had similar responses to all three questions. "How would I know?" How does anyone know if they're great at anything? It depends on who is judging. Carrie says that she has done her best, and it's her responsibility to provide an art education to children. It's not a job, it's a responsibility.. I think that pushes toward greatness.

In art, there is always room for improvement. I believe Carrie has made a commitment to being a lifelong learner and that opens up the possibility to achieve greatness.

As a woman, Carrie believes that there are certain things that society defines as "great" in women. Our grandmothers were great women. They were housewives and mothers. They ran a house. Carrie thinks she has not achieved greatness as a woman because she has not earned these societal labels. However, she is an educated woman, with a job and a house who gets to make art for a living. I think that's pretty great.

In the photo, I have displayed the items that Carrie donated for her femmage. The glass, favorite photograph, soccer ball segment, and scrap paint board will be incorporated into the piece.

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