Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bwidget: A Sprite Who Came Into My Classroom At Exactly the Right Time. Feng Shui.

Bridget Mae Farnack:
The greatest muses amuse me. That is, they arrive to my world and impact my way of knowing simply by intriguing me with the ways they choose to know.

Bridget Mae Farnack, Ceramics and 3D Art Instructor in Philly, is one such sprite. She transferred to the Brown School towards the end of my teaching in Louisville and simply stopped me in my place to begin seeing everything from a new angle. In addition to the creativity invested unto me via my grandmother, several students in Kentucky had a tremendous impact on why CREATIVITY matters in American classrooms. In Bridget's class, she and her friend, Patience, tiptoed through the roses while tap-dancing to the beat of a different flautist. I loved them both for the philosophy they had in life, the artistic viewpoints they brought to everything they did, and the unusual insights they created through their doodles, sculptures, paintings, photographs, and writing.

One day, during the angst and stress of the high school teaching inevitability, Bridget came to my room and said, "You know what you need?  Feng Shui!" Within minutes, she arranged my classroom so it made more sense and put found objects in new locations in order to give the room more meaning. This is how her mind worked and, to this day, I cherish her influence and the copy of Waking Life she gave to me upon her graduation.

Whenever I have an artistic moment, I think this is a touch of "Bwidget." Sure, I know she's human - once my student - and real like the rest of us, but in my creative imagination she has always been a special guest from another universe - a daemon of sorts sent to keep my artistic soul alive through inspiring out-of-the-ordinary thinking and new possibilities.

Above is one of her piece from her website and an example of the work she does that catches my attention. For her, art is in the everyday and she arranges her world for statements with greater meaning. She did this as a student in my classroom and I'm proud to see she's made it a career, as well.

Bridget Mae Farnack is visual literacy and important to this universe.

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