In addition to painting and seeing other art on this trip, I wanted to explore the possibilities of teaching. What would it be like to teach as I have done at the University of New Mexico and Taos Institute of Arts, only here in a foreign country? I had a brief opportunity to do this in Japan, where I gave a portrait demonstration in Sano (see Painting in Japan.)
My hosts in Shanghai, Sepi and Paul Johnson, have for many years taught internationally. This year was their first to teach at the Shanghai American School. The school had openings for substitute work, so I visited to give them my resume. Within a few days, I got a call back to substitute for Anna Koloseike, one of their art instructors. I gladly accepted the invitation.
Shanghai American School
Teaching and spending time at this school was an eye-opener. The campus was huge – very much like a campus at an American university. The students were from various parts of Asia, yet most of them spoke English as their first language with either an American or British accent. In the classroom, I was delighted to see that they were being taught the fundamentals of art: instruction in values, drawing, and color. And the students were learning and producing some advanced work.
So, teaching in Shanghai turned out to be good for me to experience. Hmmm… what would teaching abroad be like fulltime?
Next: A Visit to the Art City of Hangzhou