I would like to share some of my art along with my beloved junior and senior high school student's art pieces as we create here at Whitney High School in Cerritos, Ca. I'm also using this blog as a teaching tool to showcase professional artists works so that my students can see some really terrific pieces and be inspired!
Alumni Brian Kesinger has really hit the big time.
A retrospect of his work is being featured at the Oceanside Museum
with the reception this Saturday nite from 6-8 p.m.
you are in a museum,
and your artwork is
FLYING ON BANNERS THRU THE STREETS OF OCEANSIDE.
This is HUGE!!!!!!!
I have spotlighted Brian before if you'd like to read more about his journey and work
with the Disney Studios,
just slip his name into my search engine.
These words are Brian's that I pulled off Facebook.
I hope that some of you might be able to attend!
If I was still teaching I'd say Extra Credit for sure!
Wow guys! It’s getting real now! Serious goosebumps when I saw these banners go up on the streets of Oceanside! My #dreamityourself exhibit sponsored by @spectrumnoir opens this Saturday at @oceansidemuseum! The opening reception is from 6-8pm go to briankesinger.com to get tickets. The first 100 people to say the secret phrase “Otto sent me” at the reception check in will receive a very limited edition Otto and Victoria medallion! See you there!
I couldn't be more proud of this amazing and extremely talented artist.
And to say I knew him when;
I was his art teacher from 7th grade thru his senior year.
photo from 1993 in Newspaper article titled Teaching Art with Her Heart
Dearest Whitney Family,
Friends and Blog Followers,
I think many of you knew this was coming,
some of you even guessed it was soon,
but I turned in my retirement papers this last week Tuesday.
To the students who have signed up to take my classes,
the District has flown the vacancy and I'm sure many qualified teachers will be banging down the doors to teach Art here at Whitney.
I know many of my ex-art students have been asking me for years when I'll retire
because they want to take over for me.
Whoever is chosen,
know I will make myself available to help them get started if they want me to.
So no worries right! (in fact I just lined up one of my former art students who teaches art already in Arcadia, he will be in for an interview, and I put word out to others who I know are interested as well)
You will be getting someone who is so much more current and fresh, and who probably knows Digital Art as well.
So please don't bail out of those art classes you signed up for,
or else the numbers might go too low to continue the Visual Arts at Whitney.
Do you hear me!
And Eliana Lee,
I will write your Letter of Rec. this year when you need it.
Just let me know. You know I love you dearly and it would be an honor to do this for such a creative young artist.
Here is the letter I composed to my staff at Whitney which I think explains it all:
It is with great difficulty and profound sadness that I have finally decided to retire after 39 years of teaching all the Visual Arts in room 18. This past Monday, my Doctor had a Come to Jesus with me about how unhealthy I am after several blood tests and x-rays were taken mid June. Of course I knew this was coming because she had warned me after last summer's physical that I better get my act together and get healthy. I only made it half way though when it was time to start this last school year. I was tired much of this year, dragging and even falling asleep a couple times when driving home. Scary stuff. And most days after work instead of making myself go to the gym, I'd take a nap instead. So I knew it was time. Every year when someone would retire, I'd always ask them how did they know it was time. The answer was always the same. They just knew. I guess I knew it too but had a really hard time facing and accepting it. For me, this is so very bittersweet because I feel incredibly blessed to have had such a long and exciting career doing something I love so much. And I'm extremely thankful it was at Whitney where the students pushed me hard to be my very best. I have learned so much about life and about myself amidst these cardboard walls. But it's so hard to leave. A huge piece of my heart will always be here. My classroom has been my second home for a long, long time.
It has been such a pleasure to have worked with so many of my ex-students, to watch all of you grow up, get married, start your families and become Whitney teachers. To see you happy and fulfilled has been such a joy. And how lucky I have been to have worked with so many exceptionally gifted teachers over the years, many of you the best in your fields. Whitney High is a magical place, it always has been for me and I know it will continue to be so. I want to thank all of you for your continued love and support over the years; supporting our art students and buying and hanging their pieces in your rooms and offices. For trusting me to teach you to draw, craft and build with clay Donna Hall, & Deliana Park. The thought of leaving all of you as well as our students fills me with extreme sadness but it's time.
I'm hoping that the next art teacher will be a former Whitney Grad, who understands the rigor of this exceptional school as well as it's culture, and will make the art room and program a haven to relax, decompress in and critically create. To learn how to access the Right Hemisphere of the Brain, to learn to see all the beauty around them in nature, in the cracks in the sidewalk, and the patterns on manhole covers. To learn to produce this beauty with their hands, hearts and minds. There is beauty all around us but sadly so many of our youngsters haven't had a chance to learn to see it or record it. They need the arts in their lives. It's so very necessary to be a well-rounded human being.
I want to give a special shout out to Suzanne, Donna, Jodi, Virginia, Rod, Mike, Deliana, Paul, Derek, Stephanie, Eileen, Yen & Brennan, for being my rocks when I felt I needed an ear, and to Javier for being the best man for the job of cleaning up an art room, my hat goes off to you, you are such a wonderful person, and Juan for making me laugh every afternoon when you stick your head in my door to say hello. And to Dave, my dear friend for many years, all that you have helped me with and done for me, thank you. And I can't forget my best friend of all and drinking buddy, Dennis Brent, former Whitney English teacher extraordinaire. And Cindy, I wish I would have been able to stay a bit longer to have gotten to know you even better. You have such a special vibe about you and are so much fun. And to former Whitney student Bill Sevedge, Class of 1984, for coming back to visit years later and teaching me to use a computer and building my blog for me.
Lastly, but most importantly, to former 8th grade science teacher Virginia Pooler, who passed way too soon, thank you for talking me into getting my Master's Degree with you at USIU in 1985. That's where I met my 1st husband and because of you came my beautiful babies Zach & Danielle. You were such a strong presence on our campus teaching our students so many important life lessons, not just science. and not afraid to tell them the truth. All of our hearts were broken when you left us. You were one of my early mentors and I still think about you everyday,
So many of you who have touched my heart over the years, please forgive me if I have left anyone out.
Well, I wish all of you a relaxing summer. Gotta tell you the one thing I won't miss is doing another accreditation. Good luck with that my friends. You know where I'll be, spending lots of quality time with my husband, my own children and their young ones and animals, traveling to art shows and workshops (and hopefully teaching some of those), at the cabin, in my gardens, at the gym, reading voraciously, creating art and on my blog. OH, and still continuing to take as many new art classes as possible since I am a life long learner. I hope you will stop by for a visit.