Outstanding Teacher Conducts Crash Course on Art History
CLARKSDALE – Honored Thursday as the 2012 Humanities Teacher of the Year at Coahoma Community College, Rosalind Wilcox stood before a backdrop of her own paintings and conducted a crash course on African American art history to a distinguished and willing audience of 100.
Opening her talk on her mother’s quilting and remarking “we are all part of a big picture,” the chairman of Coahoma’s Fine Arts Department, continued: “we are all part of the CCC tapestry working together to educate students.”
“Quilts are patches held together by a thread … and this presentation is a journey exploring the threads that bind us,” she said.
With five packets outlining the Human Genome Project, ancient writing systems, Egyptian hieroglyphics, the decorative arts, and textiles stacked on each table, Wilcox was off and running with her lessons plans.
Accepting the assertion that modern man began in Africa, traveled north to Europe, crossing to Asia, North America, with skins morphing via sunlight and other progressions, Wilcox continually connected shared symbols, patterns, and art forms including tattoos and body art that turn up in many cultures.
“We are not a accursed people; we are blessed,” she said
Peppering her father’s recollection of dragging long sacks of cotton with humor, Wilcox said, “Were the sacks really that long?”as she progressed to storytelling behind her own paintings.
With poetic license on one canvas, she paints a Mississippi mockingbird blue, and places a magnolia blossom in her subject’s hair. The bird changes into a woman every day to cook and clean, but morphs back into a bird at night to escape once abusive husband.
Rewarding Wilcox with standing ovations, the class endured no tests but enjoyed a gourmet lunch prepared by CCC Chef Brennon Warr and his culinary students.
Dr. Vivian Presley, CCC president, praised Wilcox for her contributions to Coahoma. She and Dr. Rosetta Howard, CCC vice president of academics, presented her with an engraved plaque and special gifts.
Also participating in the program were Kelvin Towers, recipient of the 2011 Teacher of the Year Award, his choir ensemble, Vera Griffin, 2007 recipient of the MHC Award; vocalist Angela Collins, and Shanelle Frazier, who gave the invocation.