Saved by art
By Julie Riggott 05/17/2007
He hated school, but now Michael Markowsky is an award-winning teacher. The one subject to turn him around was art.
“Art showed me the possibility of my imagination taking me further,” he told the Weekly. “I saw there was some aspect of school that was fun.”
On Friday, the 29-year-old Pasadena artist and Armory Center for the Arts instructor will receive a 2007 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation “Power of Art” Award at a reception in Washington, DC. Afterwards, the 32 awardees will participate in a workshop addressing the challenges of teaching students with learning disabilities.
Rauschenberg, one of today's most acclaimed contemporary artists, created the awards to increase public awareness of learning disabilities after being diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult.
Markowsky, who is also dyslexic, teaches all kinds of students at the Armory. He says his “Mad Scientists” class, as well as courses in video and animation, make art “relevant” in the current age of technology. Based on his own experience first as a student and now as a teacher, he believes that art can inspire kids and help them contribute to the world, especially when they have no other avenue for creativity.
Markowsky has exhibited drawings and paintings in New York, Los Angeles and his native Canada and will start a residency at the Armory Northwest this summer. The public is invited to visit him during July and August at 965 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena.