Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mose Tolliver - MOSE T. (Folk Art, Staff Development & Buses...OH MY)

Mose Tolliver was born in 1920 to Alabama sharecroppers. One of a dozen children, he had eleven children of his own and supported his family with odd jobs until a crate of marble crushed his legs while he was working in a furniture factory in the late 1960's. Crippled, depressed, and drinking, he picked up a paintbrush to pass the time. His days of hanging paintings in his yard and offering them to passersby for a few dollars each ended in 1982, when his work was featured in a landmark exhibition of Black American Folk Art at Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery. Suddenly he was recognized as one of the most significant folk painters in America, and collectors from far and wide were seeking out his work. Mose continued to paint until 2005 perched on the edge of his bed. Working with housepaint on plywood, he created a wide array of wonderfully straightforward images; his favorite subjects were self, family & nature. He died October 30, 2006. Click here to see more about his original works of art and photos.

OK, so you ask....what does this have to do with staff development for educators. Well, we had a staff development class for our faculty and staff & it was Titled...ARE YOU ON THE BUS? Think about that for a minute. Either you are on board a bus or you are not....literally! Do you have a good attitude with your co-workers, students, parents at your school? Would they throw you under the bus? Do you want to throw anyone under the bus?  Is there a road block in front of your bus? If so, what is that road block. Is it you? Would they want to sit with you on the bus? Do you save seats on your bus? Do you share on your bus? Are you in the back seat of the bus? Did you call "shot gun" and you are in the front row of the bus? Do you have a seat belt on in your seat on the bus? Are you driving the bus? Are you the one hanging outside the window of the bus? Are you asleep on the bus? Did the bus leave you? Were you first in line at the bus stop? Do you need a map on your bus?  I could go on and on with this subject, but I am sure you get the point  -This all relates back to an earlier post on The Fish Philosophy. So, this bus philosophy can be applied to real life also...your friends, is just a good rule of thumb for a reality check on how you are doing with the handling of your LIFE-O-METER.....don't ya think?

As for the Kid's art work, I knew I wanted to cover a  folk artist and Mose T was it! We used his style and all classes created a bus. EASY one day lesson. WE used 12 x 18 paper and tempera paint. I didn't let the kids sketch anything out first with a pencil....this was a challenge for my older students - it made them get out of their comfort zone with an eraser. While the kids painted - I was able to talk with them about the same "Bus" Philosophy! I thought it was really cute that the kids spelled their name with one letter backwards! I believe they paid attention and had an "AH HA" moment! At another school in Fayette County, GA; we also had a staff development and it's theme was a TRAIN! Yep, I believe you could apply this to any form of transportation! (Boat, Bus, Train, Plane, Car) Bottom line- Are you happy in your job? I am the happiest when my room is the messiest and loudest... because then I know we are all learning and having a rip roaring good time!!! I am on the ART EDUCATION about you???

C-ya later...xox 1969


  1. I'm really enjoying your blog, I love seeing all the kids art and reading your thoughts. What you are doing for them is wonderful. One of my K-12 art teachers really influenced my life - actually a few of them did and you are clearly so excited by what you do. Hmmm, I'm not sure what bus I'm on. I'm on the Finding My Artist Path bus! Nice to "meet" you, I'm a fellow fishie in Marisa's ecourse. :)

  2. hey soul relationship with the bus depends on the day...after i am done with today...with grandparents's day and the play tonight, i will prolly feel like have been ran over by the bus and i am lying horizontal on the pavement with my head barely tilted watching the bus drive off....and the bus prolly will have a bumper sticker that says...never take like seriously...nobody gets out alive anyway-

  3. Hi Kim,

    I think it is a great idea to check-in with yourself every now and again to make sure you are being as good as you can be, if you are actually on the bus and what you are doing on it. This is a good question to ask. And what a great art project for your kiddies!