GIVING VOICE: Barbara DiLorenzo, author, illustrator, and educator, teaches a variety of different art courses at the Arts Council of Princeton and in New York City, and has published two popular children’s books. (Photo courtesy of Barbara DiLorenzo)
By Donald Gilpin
Barbara DiLorenzo, author, illustrator, and art teacher at the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) and New York Institute of Art and Design (NYIAD), has no doubts about the significance of her work as an artist and a teacher.
She emphasizes the power of students’ individual “voices,” and she demonstrates the technique and the persuasiveness that develops those voices.
“My teaching work reveals its importance daily,” she said. “As people age, they are afraid to call themselves ‘artists.’ Toddlers and preschoolers proudly announce that they are artists. Elementary school students feel that art is open to everyone. However, by middle school, students take note of who around them can draw realistically, and better than them. If allowed, they will talk themselves out of creative pursuits, mistakenly believing that artistic skill is bestowed magically to a chosen few.”
She went on to explain how she imparts her message and inspiration. “I have a standard soapbox speech that can’t be stopped once I get going,” she said. “I don’t let anyone escape my class without hearing that the more one practices, the better one gets. In the end, the goal isn’t who can draw the best. Instead, it’s who has practiced with that medium enough to allow one’s unique voice to come through. Voice is the goal. There is room at the table for everyone’s voice. Many times clumsy use of a medium clouds one’s voice. But once an artist has command of the tools and knows what to say — wow.” more