SchoolArts Magazine

October 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 16 of 70

P O I N T O F V I E W W hen I was in college and thinking seriously about becoming a painter, I had a very specific notion about what it meant to be an artist in my paint-splattered, beret-wearing head. First of all, you had to live in New York City, preferably Chelsea, Soho, or anywhere near where War - hol's Factory was located. Second, you had to live, eat, and breathe creativity. No side jobs, no other hob - bies, and no pet hamster; just you and your art battling it out to the bit - ter end. And last, your masterpieces could only be viewed in big, cavern - ous galleries with the most painfully hip and snobby elite in attendance. An Art Star Next Door Where did I get such notions? Art school can quickly become a ter - rarium of ridiculous ideas on what it means to be a creative. When students only learn about the clas - sic rock stars of the art world, they miss out on learning: what it took to become a star, the diversity of creativity in the world, and who the art rock stars are that are alive and living right next door. One such art star that I wanted my stu - dents to meet is Mark Sloniker. Art Rock Star Mark Sloniker I met Mark a couple of years ago when he was leading a hat-making workshop at the Frist Center in Nashville. He is not a milliner by trade but a truly incredible creative. By day, Mark works at Animax Designs, which creates 3D characters for companies all over the world. Trust me when I tell you, you've seen The Art Rock Star Next Door Cassie Stephens their work. You'd think after spend- ing a day creating, Mark would sim- ply want to go home and put his feet up. Instead, he is even more inspired to pursue his own creative passions. Visiting a Creative When I reached out to Mark for a video interview to share with my students, he graciously accepted and invited me over one Saturday morn - ing. Having only met Mark once, I wasn't sure just what kind of art to expect. I certainly didn't expect to see every kind of art! From illustra - tions for books, to hats, clothing and fairytale-esque figures in magical surroundings, it was like falling down a rabbit hole and waking up in a strange, beautiful world. Every - where I turned there was an exqui- site masterpiece that captivated and inspired. I knew my students would love to learn about Mark. Art school can quickl become a terrarium of ridiculous ideas on what it means to be a creative. Some of the many colorful, creative artworks from "art rock star" Mark Sloniker. CONTINUED ON PAGE 60. 12 OCTOBER 2017 SchoolArts

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