Children’s artwork is the heart’s work. Bruce Hucko had the heart for the work in the Pueblo. Yes, America tries to teach us that children of the pueblo or the barrio or the ghetto or the holler don’t need an Art Coach but that opinion really should visit Hucko’s book.

Art Coach liberates each child’s natural talents. This means that an Art Coach believes that each child has special talents just waiting to be released. This individual does not prejudge or stereotype or take his Art Coach abilities up to Park Avenue where he will be well-paid for his trouble. He goes where America does not want him to venture and he holds up before America all the gorgeous possibilities she is overlooking and suppressing in her thousands of impoverished child communities.

Views children as young peers bursting with images and experiences. Because Hucko expected to find vibrant, intense, artistic impulses in the Pueblo children, he was inundated. This book is crammed full of marvelous renderings of everyday indigenous life.

Understand that each child has been molded by a landscape and a culture that endows her with a unique world view. What we see is a series of interpretations of a world that belongs to the Tewa People. If America is interested in learning about her Ancestors, all she has to do is look here. But America has not done well by the Tewas and so it has been America’s habit to look away, to divert her gaze and her money and her safety net and her prosperity from these proud families.

Respect individual points of origin and recognize that each child experiences a Pueblo or a culture in her own way. One size does not fit all and Hucko quickly receives a very diverse set of images from these children. One paints a bread baker and another a horse. Kokopelli appears and so does horned sun design.

Provide space, courage and a process that helps a child explore self and her world. A studio of some kind is required. An investment is demanded so these children have a provisioned space to begin the journey of artistic experimentation and expression. Studios like these become a national priority just like roads and bridges. They sprout like sunflowers in every remote corner of America and we are the better for them.

Instruct children in a body of knowledge called art and how to apply it. Emphasize process over product. There is a discipline and a history of technique that these children deserve to know about. It is their civic right and responsibility to develop, access and contribute their artistic resources to our greater good. We must help them do this. We owe it to them and they owe it to us. They enrich us and we are in dire need of their bounty.

Build an environment in which children are encouraged and supported in taking creative risks. Many of the children that Bruce Hucko worked with were not from situations that had the time or the money to help them develop as artists. It was a great leap into the unknown requiring support and encouragement. “Here is how you do it. We believe you can do it.

Let’s give it a go!”

“The Breadmaker” By Provo Tafoya Age 11 Tempera Watercolor

“Horse In The Wind” By Ian Carlisle Age 11 Oil Pastel

Stop Policing Our Imaginations
By Ashley McCall
A Rainbow at Night is Bruce Hucko’s account of art work by Navajo children. Have a look. It is quite a lovely crowd of young artists!