Pentimento no. 2
(Change of Heart)
Acrylic on cradle board
8 x 16 inches
When did cursive become a dying art?
I was astonished when I read an interview in Letter Arts Review with Lawrence Wheeler, professor of Humanities and Applied Linguistics at Portland State University, where he noted, "... I admit to a growing pessimism about our great and marvelous art of calligraphy, if only on the basis of substantial evidence from my undergraduate students of not only a lack of interest in handwriting, but a terrifying incapacity. Given that I write comments on students' papers in Italic, I'd become inured to the relatively small number of students, who, starting in the mid 1970s, would come up after class to ask , "What does this say?"...But in the last three years I have been confronted by the same numbers who, often shamefacedly, say, "I don't know how to read cursive-what's this say?"
After doing a bit of digging I learned since Common Core standards were initiated, cursive is being systematically dropped from school curricula as teachers see cursive as becoming obsolete, as computers and smart phones become more and more the method of "writing."
Where will our future artists find that creative communication between the hand and the mind if they aren't taught cursive? You can't do it on a key board. Your hand has to dance across a sheet of paper or canvas. It's that very human action that unleashes your unconscious creative.
The art of writing, representational or in abstract form, is so lovingly personal, that not to have that gift in our arsenal of communication is a real shame. What are our teachers thinking? Where are the art instructors? They should be raising their pens in protest.