For the love of art

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Jake K. (Grade 12)

Mr. Scott Bell, an art instructor at Garden Valley Collegiate (GVC), was a regular student at the school ten years ago. He was into sports and a "preppy" style of life, until he seriously began pursuing art. Through seven years of university, exposure to new forms of art, new ways of thinking, and a different blend of people than those with whom he grew up, his identity was shaped and altered. "Art is a means of discovering who you are," Mr. Bell says. "It's a process, not an instant answer."

Expanded awareness is a necessary condition of life for Scott Bell, because art itself is a way to expand a person's awareness; it is a sort of spiritual awakening. "Without these components," says Bell, "art would be more of an empty exercise than a creative form of expression." All of this ties closely to the teacher's meaning of success: "Alleviating stress in one's life...gaining peace of mind....channelling your interests and doing something well."

The decision to become an art teacher has been a good one for Mr. Bell. He finds working with young artists to be inspiring and exciting. Seven years of university, years of art-making, and a love for what he does are among the teacher's qualifications. He always has access to art room supplies and teaching art helps him to refine his technical abilities. The GVC art room is always full of young artists and Mr. Bell finds they are a great source of creative ideas.

Although Mr. Bell enjoys "multimedia drawing" -- with a combination of pen or pencil and paint and pastel -- he says he does not have a favourite medium". I don't think ghettoising art into a specific media is healthy." Instead, he suggests, artists should revere the whole process more than just the "moments."

Scott Bell finds long-term predictability to be frightening, and he does not want to look too far into the future. All that he wishes for is the happiness of creating. He quotes a favourite poet, Dylan Thomas:

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and
humbling all darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking.

(A Refusal to Mourn the Death By Fire of a Child in London)

"The man was a suicidal drunk," Mr. Bell says of the poet, "but the spirit, beauty, and life in his work is inspiring."

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