After the first chair construction, we were to take those prototypes, scrap them, and build another chair. This time, however, the rules were different. For this round, we were to construct a cardboard seat that contains and communicates ideas about the duality of a relationship. we could use any amount of cardboard we wanted while still constructing a sit-able seat for at least one person without using any fasteners.
At first, I wasn't quite sure what relationship I wanted to cover. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful family and friends, but I soon decided on my art teacher of 11 years, Pat Bereskin (This is my Duality Essay assignment):
I know starting out with a quote is a bit cheesy but this one by Picasso is too relatable to pass up: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” I think there are a lot of people who have spectacular artistic abilities that fail to foster their interest and in turn, lose their ambitions of becoming an artist. I was lucky. I was blessed to have a relationship with a woman who was willing to take those artistic ambitions of mine and inspire me to follow my “artistic itch”.
I met Pat Bereskin when I was seven. My family had just moved from Ankeny, Iowa to Bettendorf, Iowa and my mom had heard that she taught private art lessons in the basement of her home. Knowing that I had a special interest in art, my mom signed me up. To this day, I remember walking down to her classroom and this tiny little lady (she was my height at the time) giving me a big smile, pulling out a chair, and handing me a pencil and paper. I drew quite the clumsy-looking tree that day but I kept going back; soaking up all that I could, fostering that artistic ambition.
I took art lessons from Mrs. B for eleven years. Every Wednesday night I would sit in her basement studio and be inspired. She has a passion for art unlike anyone I’ve ever met. But it’s not necessarily that passion that makes her such an inspiration in my life; it’s her drive to spread that passion. Whether it’s painting, drawing, carving, sculpting, or teaching (any and all of those things), she devotes her life to being an artist and instilling that same passion in others.
Through my relationship with Mrs. B, I have gotten to take advantage of opportunities of a lifetime. I traveled to Italy with her in 2008 as well as 2011. She helped me get in the advanced drawing class in high school, allowing me to take AP art twice. She introduced me to a group of local artist where I was able develop my skills drawing the nude figure. I have traveled to Cincinnati with her, taking an oil painting seminar with Richard Luschek. She has brought in guest teachers where I’ve learned glass fusing as well as silk screening and intaglio. She has given me opportunities to teach, substituting for her classes as well as helping me start a summer camp of my own.
Pat Bereskin has opened doors for me that I think very few people have had done for them. When I told her I wanted to pursue art in college, she was right there; taking me on college visits, critiquing my portfolio, and writing recommendation letters. I absolutely love it here at KU and I know I could not have made this decision without her help.
I don’t really know the conclusion I’m supposed to end with in this essay but I know that Mrs. B is one of the most influential people in my life and our relationship is something I will always treasure. She has done so much for me and I know I will never be able to thank her enough. She has taken my seven-year-old artistic self and molded me into who I am today. It is because of her, that I am here at the University of Kansas, pursuing what I love. Take that Picasso.
This is a quick sketch from my journal done during my Tuesday lab. We supposed to draw the image that popped into our heads with the word "duality". I was hungry, it should have been "Peanut Butter Jelly Time"