FIRST POST 0121 | What to do when you have nothing to do...
When you find out that you have no options, you find out that there is only one option. What am I talking about you may ask? Well as of right now, I am a teacher. I teach 8-12th grade as part of a Graphic Design CTE Pathway. Though, I taught PreK-12 Art for two years before. That is not what I've always done. Just five years ago I moved to Pratt, KS to teach Middle School at a different district in town than I am at now. I taught 7th and 8th grade Art. That was my first year teaching, and my only year for that district. I thought teaching was what I wanted to do.
Yeah, it had taken me forever to get that point. I had been a counselor for an after-school program at a Methodist Church in Topeka just prior to that for one school year. Even before that I was a para-educator for three years at a Middle School in Topeka. I had gone to college and got a B.F.A in Ceramics and a B.A. in Art History. But, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated.
As a para I had an epiphany when one of my students told me I should be an art teacher."Yeah right, I've had enough school, I don't want to go back for more". Or, so I thought. It was only by chance that I became a para anyway. I had applied for an office position and was offered the para spot instead. I fell in love with school all over again. I went to Fort Hays for their online T2T program to get my license. I applied and interviewed at countless schools and nothing came through. An e-mail I almost threw away changed everything. Fort Hays was having open interviews for their students. I signed up for all the schools that were looking for art teachers. I had a phone call that same day as the interviews, and here I am in Pratt.
Why am I telling you all this? Well sometimes it's nice to know the whole story. This by far is not the whole story, but it pieces a lot together. But Andrea, why are you starting this gallery? Truth-be-told I had no other option. Well, yes of course I did, but not that I wanted to think about. I'm not teaching at my current district next year due to circumstances that are out of my hands. I don't want to move, that is not an option. I do not want to teach anywhere else. I love my community and the family we have made here. I have to stay, so I am doing the only thing I know how to do. I am making art for a living!
Getting this gallery started has been a lot of work. But it is so worth it! I get to do what I love. Making plans for everything that I want to do has been very fulfilling. I can not wait to open and actually get started. I hope you all are as excited as I am about this next journey.
I'm an artist of many passions. I have always loved art and being creative. Not only do I enjoy ceramics, painting and photography, but I love to cook, bake, clean, read, garden, plant, and work on saving the planet one less piece of plastic at a time. My family always comes first. My supportive husband Jeremy, two daughters; Evelyn and Emma; my shop dog Alabama (aka Bama), and at-home dog Georgia are who I spend my free time with when I'm not creating. Here is where you can check in with what we are doing at ZabelJanes Gallery!