Throughout the years as an art educator, Bonnie Bostwick has watched art education in most districts diminish down to the barest minimum other than what is mandated at the secondary level. At best, students in the middle school have the occasional task of coloring in maps or decorating walls for open houses. By the time students enter her class for their one year of required arts, they have lost all of the spontaneity and curiosity that they once held as young children. They are afraid to explore or take risks or to tackle the open-ended challenge of creating from their imagination. Fear has more or less shut down their right brain and the demands for grades and college acceptance has led them to believe that creative work is obsolete and childish. And yet we hope that they will somehow have the tools to solve the puzzles of life’s demands in both their professional and academic endeavors that will lead to growth and advancement in our future. Without a drastic amount of rethinking in this area of our educational system, we are fast approaching a lose-lose state in our future lot of ground-breakers and problem solvers.
Bonnie Bostwick is a seasoned art teacher with 36 years of art education experience. She has spent half of those years working with students with special educational needs and severe emotional challenges, and the other half in the high school public education system. Bonnie is also an accomplished painter with works that can be seen in Pasadena and around Los Angeles.