Last year, Phillips Head Librarian Karen Schneider spent time in the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, teaching drawing to school children. She recounts the experience in this two-part blog post.
From Marrakesh, it was a journey of an hour and a half to the Ouirgane Valley in the High Atlas Mountains, a remote, little visited region of Morocco. We were deep in the countryside when the driver pulled up to a grove of olive, fig and pomegranate trees. There we met with a guide who asked me if I was okay with walking to our destination, the only primary school in the area, where my travel agent had made arrangements for me to teach drawing to children. As I entered the Marigha school, it took me a moment to adjust from the bright sunlight to the dark and dingy interior.
Thirty-two pairs of eyes were fixed on me with a mixture of curiosity and shock. The school didn’t have drawing paper, crayons, magic markers or art supplies in general, my travel agent alerted me in advance. I came with all of the above and the teacher, Abdellah Ait Ougadir, a relaxed, friendly man who had excellent rapport with the students, helped me to distribute art supplies as did my guide and the driver.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2.
Students at work
Students at work
Duncan Phillips at Yale University
When Duncan Phillips arrived at Yale University in 1904, he was interested in pursuing English and writing. He wrote about art during his time there, but was disappointed at the absence of an art curriculum; Yale had dropped its only art history course due to a lack of student interest. After visits to the Met in New York, Duncan penned the essay “The Need of Art at Yale,” which issued “a reasoned plea for the creation of a course in art history that would prepare students” for enjoyment of the world (George Heard Hamilton, The Eye of Duncan Phillips: A Collection in the Making).
Duncan Phillips’s views on arts education are as relevant as ever. His essay reads, “A wider diffusion of artistic knowledge and instinct would give birth and guidance to dormant individualities of taste, and would not only increase the number of future artists and art critics, but would help to color the lives of the future citizens of the republic, and thus advance the precious cause of the beautiful, in this marvelous breathless modern world.” With this, Duncan put art as a prerequisite to experiencing humanity and served as an early advocate for arts education.
Maya Simkin, Library Intern
Rendering of the Phillips’s space at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), expected in 2018
We’re excited to share a progress report on our space at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC). Announced in 2015, The Phillips Collection’s long-term partnership with THEARC willl include dynamic, multi-generational programs grounded in the notion that art, when integrated with personal experience, can change lives. Above is a rendering of the space the Phillips will occupy; below is a photo of the construction thus far, courtesy of sanchez palmer architects. We can’t wait to see more!
Phase III building construction of THEARC (the Phillips’s space at bottom left corner)