Monday, February 22, 2016

Harold Pearse - A Fun Loving Spontaneous Guy

Dr. Harold Pearse

"I change my philosophy everyday". This is what was said by a fellow classmate in, Introduction to Art Education, course in the early 70s at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. This statement had been made by this student after my Professor Harold Pearse, told us that one of the best things we can do as student art teachers, is to have a philosophy.

His statement really struck me as being so wise, and was a very much welcomed one, by a rather naive young woman such as myself at the time, who had a philosophy, but really didn't have a clue how to apply it to my life for a myriad of reasons, at the tender age of 22 years. I was relieved to hear Harold say this, and I knew I was definitely in the right class.

Years after, I realized this was one of the very best things Harold Pearse could have said to a bunch of green horns wanting to become art teachers in a public educational system that seemed devoid of any real tangible philosophy.

My Art Education teacher Harold Pearse, is a man of great integrity, intelligence, commitment, spontaneity, kindness and generousity. Not only is he a wonderful artist and person, he is teacher of exceptional quality dedicated to art education in all it's forms. He is also a dedicated and disciplined artist.

A cliche you often hear is " Those who can't do teach. " In the Annie Hall movie, Woody Allen said those who can't do teach, and those who can't teach, teach gym.
Harold is an artist and a teacher and excels at both. He is and has always been truly a very fine mentor to both students and artists.

Harold writes in his blog "Never ask your students to do anything you would not do yourself." "The other old adage of course is that teachers should “practice what they preach”." Harold walks the talk.

I have to tell this story that I never will forget, and have told it a number of times through out the years to some of my artist friends. It is a very fond memory that always makes me laugh.

While I was a student of Harold's, he decided our art education class would have a parade and our route would be up the hill to Scotia Square, a shopping Mall closely located to NSCAD. We all got dressed in various costumes and outfits and a way we traversed up the hill. One of the students was wearing a Joker outfit I believe, and proceeded to make the same noise like a siren of some sort which I'm sure drew attention, but none of us thought anything about it and we were all pretty excited, having way too much fun to worry about it.

 Upon our arrival we were not long there, when the manager of Scotia Square appeared and greeted us in a very disgruntled, annoyed manner, stating emphatically. "How many times do I have to tell you people? Let us know when you are coming!" Harold very politely, innocently and humbly told the manager. " Well, we didn't know we were coming, it was a spontaneous thing." Then the manager promptly shot back. "well don't ever be spontaneous again!"
I still laugh about it, but that was Harold, a fun lovin' spontaneous guy, who was serious about his art and his teaching.

I am so grateful to have had the privilege of being one of his many students so many years ago, and I am also very grateful that we have reconnected after all these years.

Harold knew how to make learning come alive.
And now I will never, ever not be spontaneous again! Thank you Professor Pearse!               

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