Our School Board Voted To Keep Childhood Concussion And Can The Alternative School

Our School Board Voted To Keep Childhood Concussion and Can The Alternative School

2014. Acrylic on canvas, 32 x 24″

In America, school districts rather have non-thinking kids jar their yogurt brains than push for academic excellence. In art as in life, critical thinking has been removed from education. Students are taught art by experts educated in colleges and universities. As if Diego Rivera ever had even a toothbrush in common with a Jeff Koons. The bankers, politicians, corporatists with their small army of propagandists, all educated by avarice, repeat “art is what the media says it is”.
This painting will show at my local art association. It is a visual classroom, debate club, cultural criticism. Perhaps 50 people will see it and be moved by it in some way other than a multi-million dollar Gagosian wet dream. Wheel in the Koons poodle and maybe a rich old lady will buy it because it reminds her of her own dear deceased dog, the only living soul she ever loved.
My painting is neither good nor bad art. It is life in America that everyone understands and certainly can react to. The poor Whitney can’t discern what’s going on in its own country. A Koons retrospective! Millionaires and billionaires jonesing for another catered party of the elite. Harvard educated in the arts is oxymoronic like Wall Street prepped in divinity. Yet they both get along very well at the same dumbed-down parties.
Art needs content. Faith has faded. Antibiotics and Mick Jagger have really done our psyches a bad turn.
Without a judgmental king or trusted God, modern, wealthy societies have no fear marker to guide them. No indelible code of conduct. Today our children are abandoned to the concept of making it up as they go. Acceptance of societal degeneration is the parental new black. And of course if the rabbi, minister, tribal chief, or imam are not controlling the media, then we get more live and let live lost souls reporting on what is right and wrong. Doomed to failure. Exponential failure with few ideas for change.
I have one.
Diego Rivera art back into the mainstream. Use art to teach. Do not teach about art. Stop retelling the lives of the lucky few. They suck our nation’s creativity dry and confuse the hell out of everyone.



  1. Awesome post (and art). Before I ramble…love the art.

    Critical thinking has definitely gone in the ‘too hard’ basket now which is a real shame. Some of us are still working at it. We started this school year with a focus on abstract art: because we are all artists! As I said to the kids (and they started saying to each other…well some of them) an elephant can sell a painting for thousands. We’re heaps better than elephants!

    I have to say though that it is very easy to get caught up in teaching “the style of an artist” (and this is indeed considered good practice). The trick comes with then letting students develop their own style out of it (especially when they are only seven). I could go on and on about this but I was thrilled to see student work culminate in a final piece that was amazing, and showed (without prompting) all of their learning from this year.

    I think the most exciting thing is when they are proud and can talk about how they created their art and why, not to mention experiment without fear of recourse: you’re not doing it right.

    I’m a primary school teacher in NZ who teaches everything, but I am passionate about art. I love this sort of art.

    The lessons in art could be

    1. My daughter is a rookie middle and high school art teacher in New York State, U.S.A. She is getting married to a New Zealander from Auckland this month! When practiced with an open heart, I believe art and expression is interdisciplinary in so many ways. Of course children are receptive to it. It is something they can achieve. Instant feedback, and positive (as should be) with enthusiastic teachers. Now to teach the joys of expression into adulthood. There lies the challenge.
      Thanks for commenting.

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