#38 Balancing creativity & teaching

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The hot topic for me continues to be how to balance the time and energy needed for to develop my creative projects and the desire to teach and facilitate.

I want to refer to the Joan Mitchell Foundation again, as they were one of the organisations that felt passionately about this too.

And also Asylum Arts, also based in NYC, which runs artist retreats for Jewish creatives. The extraordinary, energetic brilliant Rebecca Guber runs the organisation, and aims to bring together people and ideas for good conversation, skills development and potential creative collaboration.

JMF really see the importance of giving space for the creative work of an artist. Even if the training programmes they offer can’t provide studio space or resources, they do keep on valuing the artist’s creativity.

The course director, Saul Chernick, will use this idea as a theme for next year’s programme.  How are teaching artists bringing art-making values into the classroom? How to decrease the gap between what happens in the studio or desk, and the classroom or community setting?

One way is for the teaching artists to talk about their own work during sessions they lead, bring their own work in, share their own challenges.

Another mechanism is to ensure they are supported by other artists, who they can discuss their creative work alongside.

For Asylum Arts, the artists on retreats with may be teachers, or not, but they all have an opportunity to shares a challenge they’re having and receive feedback from the group.

Regardless of artform, experience and whether they work in the studio, at their desks or in the community, the sessions must make them feel valued as artists amongst peers. As Rebecca says, “it lifts them up.”

Two fine solutions, I think.