Site Specific Rope Sculpture by Orly Genger

For me it's one of those fantastic moments where the internet makes known to you something entirely new. How can you not be thrilled with this kind of thing?

I'd never heard of Orly Genger before, but I really wish that I could experience one of the site specific sculptures at least somewhat like you see below (the choice to include primary colors is not a coincidence for this art centric blog, either).

She uses a very known and familiar material, rope, in a very different than "normal" way - which makes us interact with, and experience, it in a very new way. If you search around you'll see some of the pieces coming together, and there are other types of work to see on her site, and it is utterly fascinating. I highly recommend even a simple google search of images by her, and if you have the chance to check out some of her work in person, let me know what you think.

New Content

It's just a tricky thing, to put the content that I have been teaching for years up on this site while doing all the other things that life teaching full-time.

At any rate, I do have a small batch of new content up on the site in both the Drawing and Painting categories, so check it out.

Check out the Colored Pencil, Funky Face, and Level 3 Acrylic pages for more information and let me know what you think in the comments. Is there something you'd like to see sooner vs later? I can post that too.



Student Stress

It is all intended to help, but does it. Does pushing yourself or your child to always do more do more do more really accomplish what you want.

In another story of my readings, I recently came across THIS article form KQED's MindShift talking about stress in students. How the amount of stress one is under - and moreover, expresses - is a sort of "cultural currency". What?!

I get it, though. When everyone is connected 24/7, how else are you going to keep up with the jones' unless you are equally stressed out and complaining about it? How else are you going to get into a "good" university if you don't push yourself to the max?

Though also, how are you going to function in a healthy and positive manner once you get there?

“But too much stress has many effects on the body and mind, Alvord says. In the short term it can cause anxiety; over long periods of time, elevated levels of stress hormones can degrade the immune system, cause heart problems, exacerbate respiratory and gastrointestinal issues, and bring on chronic anxiety and depression." and "Colleges are complaining that kids are disengaged, they’re dropping out, taking a long time to graduate. It’s not developmentally appropriate for them to work so hard."

Both quotes from the above referenced article, and so true. I see it in my high school students, and I've seen the change over even the last five years, let alone the last eight to ten years. It's crazy. It also reminds me of the book "How To Raise An Adult", by Julie Lythcott-Haims, that I have been reading - which I will link to below. Over parenting and doing to much for our students/children, while also expecting too much from them, is just unhealthy.

It prevents the students from having the opportunity to figure things out for themselves, to experience their life for themselves, and to enjoy the time they have.

The Key In The Hand

Design You Trust is a website I like to peruse every so often. There is no regular visit you can count on from me, but there is usually something that grabs my interest when I do wander by there.

The Key In The Hand by Chiharu Shiota is a beautiful exhibition piece at the current Venice Biennale and is comprised of 50,000 keys suspended by what looks like miles of red thread above two boats.

Not only is the piece visually stunning, but discusses the idea(s) of journey, travel, and lives lived.

The Phone

I love my iphone. I've loved what it has allowed me - and everyone, really - to accomplish.

Is it a glorious waste of time? Absolutely. Does it provide opportunity that would likely not be available otherwise? Sure.

But there have been two things I've seen lately that really make me step back and think...huh.

The first is the Ivan Cash video, Phone Life. Watch it. Super interesting.

The second, which has really struck me as a parent and educator, is a NYT article on Compulsive Teenage Texting.
I mean what, compulsive messaging can lead to lower test scores? Crazy.

I am not a fan of testing for testing sake, I think we should be looking at the whole person, but the article - and the research it brings up - also brings up how compulsively texting teens have this addiction, and this addiction is very much like that of compulsive gamblers.

I don't know about you, but I don't know a lot of parents that want their wonderful child to be compared to someone with a gambling addiction. That is kind of crazy. But isn't it real?

We seen how there is an addiction to the screen (computer or phone or tv) and how we turn to it when we don't even want to. Too often we don't know what else to do, or are too afraid to really be in the moment - with others or with our self, and isn't that unfortunate. We know that our devices keep us up at night and make it harder to sleep because of the light they expose us to, so that might be part of why lower scores are seen, but regardless of the reasons for the low scores, are our phones so important that we would so willingly give up so much?