For many years I taught Videography classes to gifted high school students and I loved doing it. I was often asked to justify why that class had validity. After all, the kids were just out running around with video cameras having a good time. What could they possibly be learning that would serve them as adults? I would go into a litany of practical skills that were required in those classes like working in groups, developing original concepts, meeting deadlines, creative writing, and on and on. These usually convinced people that maybe the classes could have some worth, but what happened years later when these students went into the “real” world is what brings me such satisfaction and joy.
|Old Age Makeup Video II Film Noir Video III The Wakaliwood Documentary film Crew 2017|
I recently heard from one student who is a film editor living in NYC. She sent me links to two documentaries on which she is working. One tells the story of a Ugandan man and his American partner who are making 1980’s style action films on a budget of $200. He started all by himself and now employs over a hundred of his fellow villagers. I would never have known about this man if it wasn’t for my video class. What does this have to do with art?
We paint because we love to paint. We show and sell because we want to share what brings us so much pleasure. What we don’t know is where our paintings will end up, or what response those who see them may have. We all know stories of artists who paint fallen veterans or homeless people or call attention to the plight of those in need. We think those artists are special and that we are just ordinary. Perhaps we may be the butterfly in the rain forest whose wings create a breeze that eventually turns into a hurricane somewhere far far away. Just like the butterfly who is unaware, we have no way to know when we share our art what may come our way in return. Perhaps we will never know, but what we need to remember is simply to embrace whatever responses our art brings and be open to the serendipity.