Drawing with Crayons

I am always struck by the creativity displayed by members of our visual art department. The focus and philosophy on process and technique give way to a student-centered experience. Yesterday afternoon, awash with warm October sunlight, one of our drawing classes gathered al fresco on our common. They explored a drawing exercise that married one of our apple trees with a pre-Halloween still life created by chair of our visual art department, Jim Woodside.  Drawing with old fashion crayons limits the experience and requires a focus on how what you are seeing instead of what you are trying to put on paper.  Friday afternoons on the Hill are some of my favorite times on campus; watching our visual artists sketching while an army of honey bees circle around fallen apples made for a uniquely Walnut Hill moment.

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Through My Lens, January 2016

Many who know me or have been to my office have seen my collection of Pixar characters. In fact, I have two shelves full of toys from the studio’s movies Toy StoryWall-E, Finding Nemo, and Cars, to name just a few! Recently, at the Golden Globe Awards, Pixar’s film Inside Out won as best animated feature film, and for anyone who has watched the movie, it provides a wonderful glimpse into the mind of a young person and the complexities of emotions many preteens and teenagers experience. It also sheds light on how our emotions as parents or educators can shape our hopes and desires for our students. This summer, I happened to read an article (linked: http://theconversation.com/inside-out-what-universities-can-learn-from-pixar-about-emotions-45341) that explored what universities can learn from Pixar about emotions. Emma Jones, a lecturer in law at the Open University, states: “InInside Out, it is emotions which are guiding Riley’s every waking moment and even influencing her dreams. 

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