Before the pandemic, a new way to think about sharing hands on art activities with others by using a computer with Zoom was never on my radar screen. Today, expanding my love for teaching art goes beyond the confines of conducting workshops or lessons in a brick and mortar building. New doors opened to reach children, teens, adults of all ages – in cities beyond metro Atlanta. I have to thank The Breman Museum for having offered virtual workshops, Studio Earth, related to their current exhibition “Terra inFirma.” This past July, I was one of the teaching artists involved. While working with Susanne Katz, David Schendowich and Cameron Litland, I found the confidence to use Zoom for the first time – to teach from my art studio in Decatur. A mini-miracle happened when my daughter in New York offered to give me her daughter’s iMac Notepad that had been her bat mitzvah gift six years ago. Soon after it arrived, I was practicing and then using it to teach art again. Since summer, that “green light” to go forward in using Zoom spread to more teaching, while sitting in my Decatur studio, interacting with students from metro Atlanta that included my AA Sisterhood, the Berkshire Jewish Federation and Temple Israel’s Sisterhood in my previous upstate New York hometown in Binghamton. I don’t know where the future lies once the pandemic is over. But one thing I know for sure: I can now teach art without using a plane, bus, train or car to find the students, thanks to the “miracle” of Zoom. True, that teaching in person cannot be totally replaced by a virtual experience. Yet, there still can be an interaction between the teacher and the students that results in newfound creativity on both sides – one way to add more light to one’s personal life and to the world around us.
Flora Rosefsky is an artist and regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.