This past week, we had the opportunity to visit several schools in Duchesne county. As we were driving in on Tuesday morning, I was trying to catch a little shut eye since we had left at 6 am and had at least a two hour’s drive to get to our first school. When the sun crept over the horizon, I was stunned by how beautiful the landscape was. It definitely had the redrock, desert, other-worldly feel that many places in Utah have, but it also had a lot more desert vegetation than I was expecting. Needless to say, I began to bother everyone in the car by snapping pictures constantly.
We arrived safely to our appointed schools and got to work. When we present for most elementary classes, we only take half an hour to give a presentation about the museum and figure drawing. In one school, we ended up teaching high school aged students, and we were given a full hour to present to them. After we talked about figure drawing and portraiture, the students asked us about portraying animals. As I was drawing a deer on the whiteboard, the students remarked on how it looked like a “2 point.” I mentioned that I had no idea how the rating system for deer worked, and the teacher laughed. “You city slickers!”
And it’s true, we definitely are city slickers, and we were in a place where horse riding, operating farm equipment, and owning your own cow wasn’t as rare as it is here in Utah county. Where I live, it takes a good 20 minutes or more to go find an open piece of nature. For the cities we visited, it was all around us. It was interesting to see how this environment affected the way the way the students related to the artwork we showed them. For example, we usually show this painting, Chelsey VI, to the younger kids, and we ask them to tell us what objects they see in the abstract shapes:
While most kids will mention trucks and trains, some of these kids began talking about farm equipment. I was impressed, because I wouldn’t have had any idea of what they were talking about when I was their age.
At one point, I was waiting at the main office of Altamont High School for the others to get back from their schools so they could pick me up. I was looking through the local newspaper, and I found these announcements of the grand prize winners for different livestock.
I thought how cool it would be to have hands on experience in raising one of these animals. We “city slickers” are so far removed from the farming and agriculture that we depend on daily, so it was nice to get back to that.
Overall, it was a wonderful visit. The landscapes were gorgeous, and the people we met were welcoming and helpful. Thanks Duchesne!!