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Art Toons for the week of 3/28/2022

I usually start my Art Toons with a comment about how the weather has been recently, but I won’t this time (at least not for very long) because I am not even sure what to write about?  We have seen temperatures of late, both in the ’80s and down to the ’20s.  We have had rain, sunshine, wind, and even a few flakes of snow.  I feel that when Will Rogers said, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait ten minutes!”, he had no idea how accurate his comment would still be a hundred years later.

Well. just know that Spring is coming… sooner or later anyway because change is inevitable.  Since I am writing about something that is bound to happen sooner or later, it might be a good time to announce my retirement.  After 39 years of being Mooreland’s Art Teacher, Donna and I have made the decision as a family, that I will be retiring at the end of the current school year.  I will have over 40 years of teaching experience under my belt, and now I can feel that there will be no regrets.  Why, I honestly feel that I have taught art to some of the best students anywhere and I have felt that some of my more recent students needed me to stick with them, as they have done with me.  By the way, I will truly miss these kids.

I would like to end my years with Mooreland schools, with no regrets and with the same hope for the future of fine arts in Northwest Oklahoma, that I felt when I first walked into my original art room.  When I met Roxy Merklin that day, preparing to leave to teach art in Woodward, she told me that she felt that she was leaving me one of the best departments in the state. After 39 years, I still agree with that comment… Between her and I, we have run one of the most successful Art departments in Oklahoma, and we did it for a combined total of 53 years.

I feel I have helped to keep the culture and the arts alive in not just Mooreland but in all of Northwest Oklahoma, and of course in the hearts and minds of over 3200 young people over the last 40 years.  I have taught the Visual Arts to grandparents, parents, and children from the same families for 3 generations.  To this day, I still have parents and grandparents telling me that they had hoped I would stay for another year or two, so their children and or grandchildren could have the same opportunity to learn about the arts, that I gave them.   I thank each and every one of these kind people for allowing me to be a part of their and their children’s education.

My classes have turned out professional architects, engineers, furniture sculptors, clothes designers, computer artists. commercial artists, movie animators, book illustrators, potters, painters, museum directors, and even a few art teachers.  Perhaps the thing that amazes me most though, are those students who did not go into my field but still took art, and then came back to see me years later, to tell me “That my love for what I taught and how I taught it”, helped them to not only understand art but also how it helped them understand things about themselves and life as a whole!  When l hear something like that, then all of the years that I have “rocked the boat” and have fought to keep the Arts alive in Northwest Oklahoma… it makes me feel that not only was it worthwhile but it was also a necessity!

I would like to thank all of my supporters, over the last 40 years, for the grateful help and the loyal support that has been given to me in both the bad times and the good.  Donna and I want this community to know, that we appreciate all of the kind souls that have made my time at this school and in this town something to be proud of and something to look back fondly on.

Changing the subject, I want to let you all know that I will be pushing my “kids” to achieve right up to the last day that I teach in Mooreland.   I will only do this because I feel that it is my job to help my Art students to be the best that they can be.  An example of this is that I had 3 young people make it into a great show at USAO in Chickasha.  Cheyenne Kahoe and Ella Bouse both had pottery that was judged as Merit Award winners, and Shea Eckenrode had a drawing chosen for display.  The award winners can be seen on the Innovations website listed below.

I also need to announce the district winners of the Oklahoma trash poster contest:

1st Annika Ritter, 2nd Gracelynn Anderson, 3rd Skyelin Chancey, 4th Kody Brown, 5th Olivia Clem and last but not least… 6th Laney Snider.  We are currently looking for information that should arrive any day now, of how these kids did at the State level.

Finally, I would like to ensure the people of Mooreland, that I am working on the “Military History” mural for the wall of the City Hall.  I have been held back for several months, because of both my inability to apply paint onto the panels because of the temperatures in my barn and my preparations for retirement.  I hope to have a couple of panels up before long.  I am having my left hip replaced right after school is out, and while that will slow me a bit, I will work with it as best that I can!

Well, it is time to call it quits for another time.  Here is wishing you an artistic week, Mr. Robert Beatley.

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