Margarita Garcia, Forest Glen Elementary School
I always ask myself, “Why did I study art”? I should’ve followed my father’s advice and become a nutritionist…I’d be skinny and have money! However, life has brought me to where I am today, an intermediary position between learning, creativity and the individual. Wow! That’s definitely a handful!
I also won’t pose the question over what is Art, because Art is life itself, and it’s so hard as art educators to get other mortals to understand the magnitude of that word. For arts educators like ourselves, artistic education carries a tremendous amount of weight. It’s teaching our students that art is what perseveres over time, the indispensable parts of our culture, the patrimonies of humanity, the beautiful and the ugly, mediums of experimentation, the mess and the cleanup, balance and aesthetic…and so much more.
I began to teach 32 years ago in my island of Puerto Rico. I’m a mosaic artist and a painter, but I love seeing the look of curiosity on a child’s face when I give them the opportunity to experiment and reflect over what they are about to commence. I don’t have the words to describe that satisfaction. I settled down in Indiana in voluntary exile still loving and missing my homeland, my family, my friends, my fellow artists and my students. What convinced me to make this radical change from the heat of the tropics to the cold winters with a visible changing of the seasons, was a desire for cultural diversity assuming the concept that art is universal and that through art, barriers are dropped and people become closer.