divided chair

detail, Divided Chair, April 2010

In March I was asked to create an art chair for a fundraiser at Willow Creek Academy, one of two schools where I teach.  “A Toast to Teachers” annually raises funds to supplement  teachers’ salaries. I am happy to report that my chair raised over $500 for the faculty.

Divided Chair, April 2010

To create the piece I took a bare Ikea chair and sawed it down the middle, then painted one side white and one side black. I wanted to show off my new sewing machine skills, so I created a pillow, with a new print that includes my yelling self screaming at my stubborn self.

The school district is, unfortunately, fraught with division. On the same campus we have a regular public school and a charter school. Luckily, I am one of the few teachers who gets to serve both sets of students, so I have the rare opportunity to look at the campus as a whole. But because I work on both sides of the divide, I also experience the intense anger, confusion, and stubbornness of both sides to find middle ground, to compromise, to collaborate. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in it myself. Since the new art program has started this year, there have been many successes (district-wide professional development, community art walk, inspiring and talented students), and I am honored and challenged to be a part of the conversation.

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