Artist Mentors Meridian Student

Noted artist Ronald McDowell visited Marion Park Alternative School Monday to visit a student who has a lot of talent.

McDowell has served as a mentor to young artists, in addition to having a long career as a painter, sculptor, and designer.

He talked Monday with student Adrian Gordon, who started drawing at age five and has been encouraged to continue his craft.

"What he does today can affect the world 20 years from now," said McDowell. "Because it's something that's tangible, people can look at it, read it, study it, grown from it, learn from it and experience it. Through his art he can get the world to experience what he's experienced, through one painting."

"To me, it seems like he's telling me I've got talent. Like, I shouldn't stop," said Gordon. "What I should be doing is just keep going forward. I'm trying to go to college to be an architect, or anything that's got to do with art."

Gordon showed off some of his work to McDowell, who says art is a positive way to express yourself.

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  • by Suggestion for improvement offered to MPSD Location: Mississippi on Nov 27, 2009 at 07:34 PM
    MPSD needs to focus on interest of students like Mr. McDowell. Talented students in the arts need to be given opportunities to succeed by having classes that are smaller where teachers can actually teach the art skills necessary for the students to pursue interest in visual arts or go into art careers. I came from a smaller school district that provided a visual art program from elementary to high school. Class size was no larger than 15 and all students came prepared to learn. This school is among the successful rated schools. Visual arts, Chorus, Drama, and Band have always been available for the students to choose as electives. Student choices were honored. Auditions were also important to make sure students were appropriately placed. I'm a strong believer that these choices given to students help to create the wonderful atmosphere that this small school district had in the past and continues to provide for students today. MPSD I hope I have shared a clue to helping you improve!!!
  • by Visual Arts Advocate Location: Meridian on Nov 27, 2009 at 07:07 PM
    Ronald McDowell is a very talented artist who has devoted many hours of his time to students in MPSD. Students with artistic talent need to be encouraged more by this district. If MPSD would create visual arts programs that have smaller numbers of students where teachers could actually have more time teaching the skills needed in smaller groups there would be fewer behavior problems more time on task and carryover to regular academic classes. There is proven research to support art education. Students who are interested in visual arts should have first choice at these classes. Instead it is used to place students who are not interested in visual arts and those who are artistically talented or interested in visual arts cannot even get in the classes. This is more of how MPSD refuses to listen and help children pursue their interest and abilities. Only when MPSD can create individualized education that is truly interested in our children's interest will they see a difference in scores.
  • by Mental Health Preofessional Location: Lauderdale County on Nov 23, 2009 at 01:47 PM
    It's good to see someone comment on something positive the school system is doing. It's funny that most people only have something to say when there are negative things going on. Thanks to the Art Enthusiast, this is positive reinforcement for the school system!!!!!
  • by Art Enthusiast Location: Near Meridian on Nov 17, 2009 at 05:15 PM
    2-thumbs up to Dr. McDowell for taking time out of his successful career to mentor and work with an MPSD student. To have someone of McDowell's notariety come and give so freely of himself is a testimony to his generous heart, and his commitment to the Arts in Education philosophy. Well done MPSD and Dr. McDowell!
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