These teen artists blow me away. Their work is well beyond their years! But aside from that, they manage their busy teen schedules of school, sports, clubs, hobbies, chores and friends. And they still have time to hone in their craft! They still have time to be productive and make art. These are special young women, who know who they are and what they want...at least way more than I did when I was their ages.
Last night Dharma and Amelia were the speakers at the Smarty Pants Thursday lectures. The monthly Smarty Pants Lecture Series puts two experts in front of a crowd to talk about different topics and then a discussion arises. These two ladies nailed it last night.
Dharma spoke of the importance of self love, and her suggestions on how to tackle that arduous task that we all forget! She used this article in Psychology Today as a framework for her presentation, adding two extra steps: Take the radical step to end self hate and Document when you feel happy. Her talk hit on a huge point that is affecting everyone, we are more self critical than we should be. This was made evident when she placed the “self love” jar on the counter in the Greenhouse, asking visitors to write something they love about themselves on a card and place it in the jar. The fact that most people respond with “This is hard,” or “I dont know what I love about myself” is proof that this discussion is relevant. Dharma will be taking the cards and hanging them in the Greenhouse for everyone to see saturday night. If she lets us hold on to them, we will leave them up.
Amelia talked about the lessons she has learned outside of school. She certainly spends a lot of time thinking about education in general, but this was not a commentary of our education system. It was a lecture on life lessons. She made points, such as what to do in the process of paying and tipping at a restaurant, which most of us take for granted, but seen through the eyes of a teenager is daunting. She also touched on important experiences, such as how to speak with your eyes (the eye roll), and her most important point (I thought) was accepting that you will, at one point in your life you be a fool in public.
The beauty of these girls is not necessarily their maturity, or their works of art, but the honesty with which they portrayed their experiences, and expectations for their futures. They are lively, excited, and interested.
While these ladies are determined and motivated, they wouldn’t be where they were without their parents recognizing and supporting their interests, or without the special guidance of their art teacher/mentor, Carmen Lugo! I have yet to understand the depths of her teaching capacity, every time I am around her and her students I am surprised by the lengths she goes to not only help her kids hone their artistic skills, but she also pushes them to be themselves, and love who they are. She is helping this group of the next generation grow into self aware humans, who embrace a love of making, kindness and the world.
And this post did not start as an ad, but if you have a child who is interested in art, please, do them the kindness of putting them in Carmen’s class. She will do more than teach them how to make art, she will help guide them to their best possible selves.