Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guest Alum-sMACers

Class last Friday was a great way to end the summer semester. The three visiting teachers seemed to have gotten into the 'rhythm' of teaching and had discovered techniques that worked both for themselves and for their students. I was particularly concerned with Lauren Fardig's commentary because I plan to teach in a high need area. Her tips and advice will likely be helpful in my own experience. What I also realized from Friday's class is that as sMACers we already have quite a large network of teachers, throughout all parts of the US and in various parts of the world. It would be immensely helpful to be linked with those teachers when looking for job opportunities this coming Spring.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Things Will Turn Around...

I keep saying that Detroit is the place to be... but no one believes me. Yet here is more evidence that Detroit will turn around:

The New York Times reported today in the article Wringing Art Out of the Rubble in Detroit, that artists are beginning to gather people together with the common interest of sparking Detroit back to life with art as the fuel for that spark. Volunteerism is apparently not hard to come by, which I think is so unique to America: no where else is volunteerism so effective and so powerful! These unique conditions lead me to believe that Detroit can be returned to its previous state of grandeur... given some time.

Even Banksy, the well-known political graffiti artist of London has apparently visited Detroit. Banksy in my opinion represents the type of pop artists that I can envision, and have already begun, to sprout in Detroit. Since those with the means fled to the suburbs, let those that have remained in Detroit use this opportunity to reclaim the city and remake it in their own vision. This is what artists in London have been doing in the East, the rougher side of town: And its lovely, its hip and its cultural!

Here is some of Banksy's provocative work:

Banksy has made a great effect on Londoners, but also internationally. He has brought art to the working classes. Through his political commentary he has encouraged art appreciation throughout all socio-economic levels, which contrary to many schools of thought was once believed to be reserved to the 'intellectuals' and upper classes of society. Banksy caused quite an artistic revolution - from the bottom up!

Here is some of the art going on in Detroit:
This particular piece was created by Mr. Hocking who is intrigued by the idea of rubbish as modern relics.

I would add that the large numbers of buildings that are falling apart are also beautiful ruins, and should be saved before its too late. I understand that there is not much money to go into these renovations but that is where volunteerism may come handy... and I believe that many interest groups would utilize the incentive of renovating spaces if they could then use them toward their purposes. Where this isn't possible it might be a good idea for the city of Detroit to consider selling property relatively cheaply, which I believe they've already begun to do, so that the landowners could take the responsibility for a portion of the renovations and take some of the burden off of the city.

Please visit the following NYTimes article to read about the Soup gatherings and for the source of the last image (above).