Six years ago...Each time Dana and I were on a date and I would be in the midst of savoring the bitter sweet tang of a nice IPA, our conversation would inevitably and eagerly turn to an idea we had of creating a place called Visual Philosophy. We dreamed of a hub for the improvement of art education and a community based on professional and technical advancement for creative and innovative thinkers. In short I wanted to build the place I was unable to find as a student. In fact, in my early twenties I had dropped out of six schools and traveled to several countries in search of an Utopian educational experience. I came close a couple of times and owe a great deal of my love for education to a master in art restoration named Lorenzo Casamenti. I was 21 at the time I had met him. I had just dropped out of a graphic design program and found myself lost both emotionally and literally in an alley somewhere near the Duomo in Florence, Italy. He took me under his wing and showed me a way of life that combined the love of what you do for a living with a balance and passion for education. One afternoon while I watched him restore the Michelangelo portion of a Ghirlandaio fresco I recognized my passion for art and art education.
And so upon meeting Dana, I met the partner I needed and together we created Visual Philosophy. We opened the doors when she was pregnant with our first child Lyla. For several years I held on to my day job while building the foundation for Visual Philosophy with her. Several years later when we found out she was pregnant with twins, I figured it was a good time to put in my notice and quit the day job. Having twins? quit your job. I made the choice while driving home after working both jobs and spending the better part of seventeen hours away from home. It became clear what choice I should make wen I imagined what advice I would give my children if they were in my place. Simply put, I figured that if I couldn't follow the advice that I wished to give them then it would not be advice from the heart. And so for my children, I followed my passion.
Visual Philosophy has been through a great deal of growth and change. Now, six years after we opened our doors Dana and I still talk about this idea of an art hub called Visual Philosophy.
I am proud to say that we have over thirty artist renters, most of our interns have become renters and are pursuing art as a career and way of life, and the School of Visual Philosophy served over 1,400 students last year.
I am proud of the community we helped to create. Last month I thought we were right on track, and then the pandemic of COVID-19 hit. Since the shelter in place orders have come through we have been working very hard to transition to online classes and ways of supporting our community through this time.
We are launching the Kitchen Table Sessions as a way of staying connected. Like most of you we are home. At times I feel uncertain for the future. At times I am grateful for the time with my family. At times I feel optimistic, and at times I feel a loss for my ability to work creatively and miss the community.
The Kitchen Table Sessions will be our way of staying connected with you, our community. It is a video series based on what we can do as artists while stuck at home and will be posted on the school's website. Some of it will be crafty, some of it will be heavy, some will hopefully be funny and educational. Most of we hope that it inspires you and shows how much we believe in becoming more. If you would like to share a video for the Kitchen Table Sessions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the link to view our current Kitchen Table Sessions https://www.schoolofvisualphilosophy.com/courses