A View from the Classroom
LESSONS LEARNED a view from the classroom
Artist, Amy Pleasant revisits her past as a teacher, in the exhibition, Lessons Learned. Paintings span over two decades spent as a classroom teacher in Los Angeles, Denver, Honolulu and Shoreline, WA. Pleasant stopped teaching in 2007 in order to return to school to study Art. She went on to exhibit work grounded in an exploration of generational transition and memory. This thread continues In this current series. An important generational shift taking place in this country as the younger generation engage in social activism, in an effort to assert their hopes and dreams for a better and safer world. Her classroom experience has always instilled a great confidence in the potential of young people. A treasure trove of student letters, drawings and photographs provide grist for an exploration of the journey of teacher and student. The teacher is in the unique position to be a sustained and significant presence in the student's life. It is the teacher's charge to take on this great responsibility with the utmost care as they are privy to the daily playing out of the difficulties and successes of their students. The roots of the paintings are in the observation of these moments and provide the scaffolding for the belief that our future may be in better hands.
Paintings combining flat opaque and voluminous painterly figures lend to the sense of the changing and unfinished nature of life. There is always more to come. The bright colors and sherbet palette and the integration of abstracted shapes reflect the innocence of the age and hopefulness for the future. In looking back, Pleasant states, "I witnessed real academic and personal growth in my students on a daily basis and over the course of the year. I realized this happened not only for them, but for myself as well. They were my best teacher and most likely taught me more than I could ever teach them."
More personal notes on the blog.