Tibet Through the Red Box
Just got in a bit ago from a long day of teaching, a brief nap, then a class on using the illustrated books of Peter Sis to teach art, history, and current events. The original illustrations for the book TIBET THROUGH THE RED BOX are being shown at the Woodstock Art Association and Museum, in Woodstock, NY, as well as the scrapbook and objects he made which inspired the book.
Peter's father saw Tibet just before the invasion by the Chinese, and the book tells the story of what Peter discovered about his fathers long mysterious absence in his father's diaries, which had been kept locked in a red box. There is much more to the story, but I will leave it to you to explore the site which includes a very moving documentary (but does take a special video player that I do not have on my computer yet).
His art is inspiring, his books beautiful humanistic stories about freedom, and personal and global history. I came away with many ideas for new ways to reach my students which may be more motivating and relevant to their lives - what is happening NOW vs. what happened 4,000 years ago.
Yes, it is still important for students to know how art and culture are intertwined, and how art developed, but perhaps it is time to rethink my curriculum to make it more current, more about personal growth, personal stories, and how each one of us is an agent for change.....
After class I met Larry for a bite to eat at Joshua's, which was on of the first restaurants I went to in Woodstock in the early 70's...when I escaped from the clutches of my controlling family and would pretend I was a hippie for a few days. I still order the same things, they bring back such sweet memories of my friend Susan and her family and friends. She is one of the few people I still stay in touch with, but don't see often enough.
Off to watch the remainder of Ladies in Lavender. Sweet movie. Turn on the heater on the bed, as it is still cool out, and settle in for an hour or so while Larry grades his Marist student's photo portfolios. From the sound of it, lots did not follow directions.
Patti O Student
Art is by Peter Sis, who incorporates symbols throughout his work, a few of them being mazes, maps, and mandalas. It was a download for kids to do, so I took the liberty of posting it here.