Paducah School of Art

People I met at the New School of Art  (a unit of WKCTC)

The New Paducah School of Art has been organized as a part of the Western Kentucky Community and Technical College. It is currently housed in temporary quarters in downtown Paducah and with classes there and in the Clemens building on the main campus. The School is eventually to be housed in a renovated Industrial building just west of Lowertown Several of its faculty are drawn from relocated Lowertown Artists.

I am taking art courses there so that I can learn techniques and be considered more legitimate by those who feel that artistic competence comes only from formal training.  

The fact of the matter is I am a free thinker and a skeptic and will listen and then test ideas against my own experience, knowledge and logical reasoning.  If I find some support for an idea or can test it empirically in some way then I will add it or reject it according to the outcome.  The important thing is to explore and test the limits.  

This is Randy Simmons, my professor  for Drawing 1, dressed in his "fit for public observation" uniform. Randy is somewhat laid back, casual and often has his hair down.  He is not old enough to be a 60's style laid back hippie but how would most of his young students know.

Randy is a good teacher. He has thought about what makes good art and can discuss it intelligently.  He seems to care about his students and is considerate of fragile ego's


Mostly what I want is a how-to  about technique and Randy is able to do this well.  The side discussions about art philosophy aren't bad either.

Bi-Lan Liao is a treasure. Pa ducahis so lucky to have her here.  Bi-Lan grew up in a part of China where certain sounds ( R's and "N's )  are not part of their vocabulary.  Only 10 years in the United States, her pronciaton of sounds like Tone and Tint, Dark and Dull are hard to distinguish.  Perhaps this is why a new school like Paducah's was able to entice her to come here.

Despite the difficulty in understanding,her words,her immense knowledge of techniques, her personal skill as an artist and her mastery of Asian and western styles makes her classes a joy to take.

Bi-Lan's personal story of her family during the Chinese "Cultural Revolution", which she is telling through her paintings is a cautionary tale of the horrors that can come when the government becomes too weak to protect individuals from the tyranny of groups of others.  As we stress freedom as a characteristic of America, we may fail to realize that it is the "rule of law" enforced by elements of our government  that make this freedom possible.  How would we fair if the government institutions such as our court system was so weak that crowd of people could pronounce us guilty of thinking material thoughts and condemn us to prison for it.  This is anologous to Bi-Lan's experiance. It is a wonder that she is so optimistic.

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