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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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  • Rediscovering Art Through ARC

    by Maria Neuhaus

    Mr. Ross,

    My name is Maria (Tridico) Neuhaus, am a wife and mother of 3, and currently live in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1991 I graduated from the University of Cincinnati's, College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, and participated in the work-co-operative, for which the school is highly esteemed.

    My biological father attended the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio from 1970-1974. At age 27, my dad packed my mom, 3 year old brother and myself into our Volkswagen van and headed to Connecticut, to live in a tent for 30 days, in order for my dad to study under Robert Brackman. To this day, I will not drink carnation instant milk, because it was all we drank for what seemed like an eternity, at age 4. However, we all kept a stiff upper-lip in the name of art.

    Throughout my life nothing seemed more important to me than drawing and being with my dad. Although we lived in a remote region of Ohio, my dad drove me to the bronze foundry in Cleveland where his sculpture would be 'given birth'. I watched with pride as my dad's sculptured memorial monuments were unveiled in front of municipal buildings in Ohio. Then life crashed down around my dad in many ways. My mom grew weary of living from 'feast to famine' (her word not mine, because life was always a feast with my dad). My relationship with my dad suffered. Instead of continuing my own study of my dad's work, I was directed to a more 'lucrative' field of study, more acceptable for a woman - fashion design. Though, throughout high school I was asked to paint murals, and do different projects for parents of my close friends.

    While taking illustration classes in college, my heart was crushed. My work was said to be too 'realistic'. However, when I took non-major elective courses, such as life-drawing, I excelled.

    Now, 20 years later, I have been asked to develop an art program in a local private school, based on my most recent mural work, in and around Cincinnati - so much for fashion design. As I searched for art curricula, I found nothing with which to teach children the basic fundamentals of true art. Was I not looking in the right place? However, in my search for resources, I found your website. I'm inspired to say the very least. I feel as if a part of me was resurrected. Where have these works been all my life? Why don't school curricula carry these works? I have been downloading your museum onto DVD's put it to classical music and present it to my students every week!

    I plan to attend one of the ateliers listed on your site. Still, I am earnestly seeking a Pk-12 grade curriculum in the classical tradition, if one exists.

    Mary Beth McKenzie, who offers an atelier on your site, studied with my dad at Cooper, so I may choose her workshop. I'm wondering if this is the direction you would choose for me? If you have no thoughts either way, can you direct me to someone who could direct?

    Thank you, so very, very much,