Let’s celebrate our wonderful global artist community!!!!
Dear Art Prof Family,
Our global community of artists means that my world has expanded far beyond what I ever thought possible.
During the years I was in academia, I lived in tiny bubble that by comparison, feels like it represented .00000001% of our community.
I had no idea at the time how truly limited academic communities are, and it feels terribly ignorant to admit that now.
Academia requires students to 1) gain admission 2) have the financial means, 3) make a 4 year commitment, and 4) not work a full-time job, amongst other aspects.
In retrospect, the people outside of that bubble really weren’t on my radar much, until I started Art Prof in 2014.
One example of populations who I never had much interaction with in academia were people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
As an undergraduate student at RISD, I was constantly buying art supplies and schlepping them around campus. I once had to get a 50 lb. chunk of ceramic clay from the bottom of a punishing hill up to my dorm.
I remember wondering how anyone with any differences would be able to sustain these daily trips up and down college hill.
My senior year at RISD, there was a student in my class in a wheelchair. The building we were in had an elevator, but it hadn’t worked in years and there was no sign that they had any intention of fixing it any time soon.
I was appalled that instead of fixing the elevator, the department moved all of that student’s classes to the first floor.
Yikes. There are so many parts of this situation that are offensive, wrong, and illegal that I don’t even know where to begin.
Compare that to our global community of artists. Many people in our audience have a chronic illness, a disability, or other parts of their lives that make in person art classes, much less a degree program, impossible.
I am grateful for messages I get where people tell me about their life situations and differences, and how art is interwoven within all of that.
Having content that is free, adding captions to videos, having written notes on tutorial pages, making all of our slideshows accessible, are tiny actions we have made, but they are far from adequate.
I often really don’t know what will help make our content more inclusive and accessible, which is why I am so glad many of you have reached out to tell us.
Thank you all for teaching me about your worlds.
I love that in our community, I get to nerd out about the General’s Factis BM-2, complain about the latest annoying comment from a family member on my art, and have everyone justify to me yet another run to the art store.
The best part though, is meeting you.
xoxo Prof Lieu
prof lieu ipad
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