Had a nice talk with the Syracuse illustration students on Wednesday. I was ready, armed, prepped and fully caffeinated--and it was all via Skype complete with a slide show, me with a microphone and it went off without a hitch. Thank goodness I practiced a few times prior to the big event, so I didnt look like "the dumb mom" and could retain a tiny bit of hipsterness. Read tiny. It went well. Some good and really insightful questions. And now I have a few new friends on Facebook which is a gift. One of those new friends and I are going to talk today. He responded to my work that was triggered by my visit to Southern Utah University and Ron Spears. I loved it...and was stunned by the landscape, and all things Native American. I came home, on fire (read, I started to research) and did these few illustrations about religion, symbols and the triad of squash, beans and corn.
Ever since my big dose of cultural, sexual and gender related education from Ms. Kitty and Hampshire College, the concept of cultural appropriation has been bothering/itching me. Is it right to be inspired by other cultures, to generate work interpreting that work or is there a wrongness to it? There are illustrators/ artists who have made their reputation and name by being of and derivative of a culture, but we white folks with deep white culture (you know, mayonnaise and Mayflowers) do not have the depth of that experience (or at least to my thinking). I am talking with my new illustration friend, and we are going to get to that. So, thanks to Syracuse, I get to go to school again.