There was a bully in my 6th grade art class in Pleasantville Middle School (above). He would verbally abuse me in every class. Art was my favorite subject. I wondered why couldn't he have annoyed me in gym class, so I would have an excuse not to attend? Whenever the young art teacher, Sally Aldrich, turned her back, he would verbally tease me, so much that I would get nervous before each class started.
One assignment was to use blades to cut linoleum blocks for ink printing. That day this kid started teasing me, and I threatened him with my blade, saying something very mocho like "you touch me again I'll cut off your finger!" I have no idea where this came from, but it stopped him completely, and he never bothered me again, actually he was very friendly after. An early experience proving there was nothing getting between me and my art.
40 years later, that bully's name is long forgotten, and, through the magic of facebook, I have reconnected with my art teacher Sally Aldrich. In 2010 we met face to face during my Open Studio Residency Program at the Museum of Arts and Design here in New York City, and since then we have become friends. Here is a photo of a trip to MoMA in 2015.
Sally introduced me to the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden (below), in North Salem, New York. She is on the museum’s exhibition committee, and has exhibited her ceramic work in the museum as well as a variety of galleries in the area. In 2015 Sally was asked if she knew a glass artist to show at the Hammond, and she immediately suggested little old me!
I hope you enjoyed my short story! Click here to learn more about the Hammond Museum exhibition and artist talk opening this April 2016.