I weighed skipping some time between episodes as we stand together for justice, freedom from oppression, and an end to police brutality. While I won’t be and haven’t been promoting podcast episodes nearly as much as usual, I decided to go ahead with this scheduled episode with Aaron Bos-Wahl, a talented artist and caring educator. I thought it might be helpful in some way to hear us (2 white artists) grapple with race and representation in the classroom. We talk about a lot of other things as well of course, but back in April when we recorded, representation was on our minds. I also added a longer than usual intro speaking about racism and teaching from an anti-racist platform.
It was great to reconnect with Aaron Bos-Wahl, who got his MFA at Washington University in St. Louis with me. He’s been teaching elementary art at a charter school in Philadelphia for the past 5 years while also maintaining his studio practice. I loved hearing about how his career has shifted since grad school and what he loves about teaching at the elementary level.
Aaron Bos-Wahl was born in 1982 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2007, he earned his BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa and in 2010 his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. He currently lives in Philadelphia where he teaches elementary art at Inquiry Charter School.
I love the idea Aaron brought up of looking with awe at the world, capturing the childlike vision of our students in our own art practice. It was also encouraging to hear how he continues to make art and keep a studio through the challenges of time, budgeting, and self doubt. Realizing that there’s a natural ebb and flow to creativity just as there is to most things in life is soooo helpful. I’ll try to remember his words about keeping faith in the process and having the courage to continue making next time I’m in the ebb stage. Thank you, Aaron!!
Artists Aaron’s been loving lately: