Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies, was the juror of the 26th annual juried art exhibition of the MacRostie Art Center, which exhibited two- and three-dimensional works by 35 artists from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin over the month of August.
Dr. Sameshima also exhibited her own artwork in a solo show in August. Her art included a collection of 11 ceramic bells. The series is called “Silent Belles,” inspired by the work done in a SSHRC grant spanning seven Canadian universities. The grant title is: “Reconceptualizing Teachers’ Roles for Canada’s Creative Economy.”
In an essay called "Teacher as Silenced Superhero," Dr. Sean Wiebe (2016, Primary Investigator of this grant) writes that teachers are given the token social status of superhero and that this obligates them to be expressions of our social ideals for education. The project has found that this obligation silences teachers. Idealism creates expectations for teachers to be perfect role models, and disallows risk-taking, creative experimentation, and authentic relation in their teaching.
The bell(es) present women in various dispositions. The one pictured accompanies a haiku:
down the street
Dr. Sameshima explains that “this bell looks like a Christmas Tree. It is a familiar icon representing happiness, fullness, and idealism. The runway model too, holds her head high and walks with her thin legs down the street. Yet, when the angle of the photo is changed, the thin legs are actually wide and the leaves’ edges are sharp and uncomfortable. The model of perfection is tainted as the expectation of idealism prevents teachers from taking risks.”
For more information, please see: solspire.com