Mountain, Table, Anchors, Navel by Arp

I’ll tell you a little story from my school days.

I had one teacher that I loved, Mrs. Palmgren, my art teacher. When I was in first grade she had us making collages and when she handed out the paste she said, “If you eat the paste you don’t get any more.” I ran out of paste and was afraid to ask for more so I cried. She asked me why I was crying and I said I need more paste. She said stop crying, I’ll give you more. Then I thought she was the nicest person I ever met! She stopped teaching elementary school art and I thought I’d never see her again but when I got to high school she was there! She was the only adult that seemed to understand me and showed me a lot of things of great interest in art.

When I was a senior she arranged a field trip to MOMA! It’s a 4 hour bus trip from Ephrata, PA. to NY.

As we walked through MOMA it was so much to take in! When we got into the gallery that had Mountains Table Anchors Navel and I saw this I cracked up! I mean I couldn’t stop laughing! The other kids were laughing too but they were mostly laughing because I was laughing. It was the funniest thing I ever saw! And so totally unexpected in an art museum! Not that I’d ever been in a real art museum before. I was so wound up by this that I was acting up all the way home! It was the most fun I had as a kid! My parents would never have taken me to NY.

I thought the teachers were probably arguing about me in their lounge because I was a real bad truant. I thought Mrs. Palmgren probably defended me. I had a real bully of a home ec. teacher, Mrs. Lentz. She picked on me and other girls in other classes. Back then, some teachers were real bullies and got away with it. Some of the teachers didn’t like me because I skipped their classes. I bet Mrs. Palmgren asked Mrs. Lentz, do you get modern art? Mrs. Lentz would have said no. Well, I get it. It’s a joke!

Then once when I was in class they sprung an IQ test on all of us. The whole senior class had to take it and I couldn’t just walk out. Those nosy b—–s wanted to find out if I really am a genius like Mrs. Palmgren said I was. I don’t know what my IQ is and I’m not interested in taking another test. I don’t have much of an ego for an artist, but I thought they made us take the test because they had me tracked with the non college bound students and I hated school.

That’s how it is for a lot of young artists. The system fails them.

12 thoughts on “Mountain, Table, Anchors, Navel by Arp”

    1. That’s a weird coincidence with two of our bullies being home ec. teachers! Yeah, a kid might think there’s something wrong with them but it’s not the kid. And you don’t figure it out until it’s too late!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Similar stories in my life too! I hated school! I used to ditch a lot in senior year. I had an art teacher in my senior year who inspired me to continue studying art and made going to school bearable. I ended up going to college to get a degree in art, which I did…but now that I look back, it was a joke. A complete waste of time and money. The art professors were crazy!
    My mother never thought art was a good thing to spend ones time on and used to tell her friends that I was taking “craft classes” in college. She always said I should get a real job at the power company or the phone company! No one in my life ever supported my artistic journey. I love hearing your stories Chris and finding out I’m not alone in these experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG! Just like the PA Dutch with that attitude toward art! I’m glad to find artists with similar experiences. It made me mad but then I thought, hell, I can’t do anything about it. If art is only a nice hobby who cares what else I do. I’ll be bad. that’s what they expect I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Coming from almost nothing, i find school fun and great place to make friends. How can learning math and Writing failed us? Art class was pretty much do whatever comes out…however much energy and curiosity we are willing to expend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing was fun for me too but not math. I didn’t spend the energy on it. I lost interest after geometry. I had a few friends but not a lot. I talk to one friend from high school occasionally. I felt like I got out of jail when I graduated!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lol…you are funny. I think from grade 8 to grad, i missed 1 day of school and i cant remember why. Granted not if most friends made back then are rarely kept in contact and some proved to be a hinder on life but nevertheless, each day was new and exciting with hundreds of faces to see and interact with.

        Liked by 1 person

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