Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 / New Culver Academies Letters No.1

From Kim White class
Kim White is a Master Instructor at Culver Academies in north-central Indiana, a private boarding school comprised of Culver Military Academy and Culver Girls Academy. Students are in grades 9 through 12 and come from all over the U.S. as well as a variety of other countries.

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to “discover” a painting done by Cepp Selgas thanks to Vanidades magazine. It was his “Gallinita ciega” and I loved his interpretation of Velazquez’ infanta. I poked around and found additional paintings and sculptures by him and was so impressed by his concepts and interpretations that I built a unit around him and two other Cuban artists for my Hispanic Art course. After watching Cepp paint “El beso de Obbatala” in the Lunaticas video by Ricardo Vega, Zoé and Gustavo Valdés, my students asked if they could write to the artist and tell him which of his paintings they liked the best and why, to encourage him to “keep doing what he was doing”. Though I was reasonably sure that Mr. Selgas would continue to paint without their nods, I told them that if they were willing to write the letters, I was willing to send them to him. Well, they were and so I had to keep up my end of the bargain. Amazingly, through their letters, I realized that many of them felt the same sense of wonder when they examined his body of work. And though they are still somewhat limited by their Spanish, they managed to put that wonder into words and phrases. I am continually awed by the ability of art to inspire.

Here are the names of the students. I think two or three were out when we wrote the letters.
Jason Barron, senior
Elizabeth Becker, senior
Henrietta Conrad, senior
Madeline Danesi, senior
Andrew Gleitz, junior
Sophia Grazian, junior
Marisa Guarino, senior
Natalie Haugen, sophomore
Coty Hilton, junior
Kevin Park, senior
Margaret Rezek, senior
Alicia Schaefer, senior
Mariah Schroeder, senior
Samantha Wilkinson, junior
Ashley Youn, senior
Alex Maloney, junior

(to be continued)

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