#387 “Teacher Appreciation Day!”

From Gabe in Rock Spring, Georgia

The rallying call to encourage our society to give teachers more credit for the hard work that they put in to educating today’s youth is not a new one, but it is an important one, nonetheless. While I’m sure that more than one teacher has encouraged a student to participate in the artistic journey known as WBS, this is the first the letter that has explicitly stated that it is because a teacher’s influence that a child has contributed his artwork. So, without further ado, a round of applause for the wonderful Mrs. Semtner and her creative impact on our young artist, Gabe.

Now, on to the artwork…

The first aspect of this work that leaps out to me is the mesmerizing creativity of this otherworldly landscape. Something about it brings to mind the famous poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Perhaps it is the “lifeless ocean” or the “sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice.” Then again, maybe it is the fact that this place seems as haunted and savage as the fearsome paradise known as Xanadu and the mighty chasm which resides there and thrusts forth the sacred river Alph. The sorcerer perched upon his lofty precipice brings to mind the “ancestral voices prophesying war” while the fearsome wolf conjures the poems reference to a “woman wailing for her demon lover.” Regardless of whether any of this constitutes an overt reference, this masterpiece is an exploration into the beautifully surreal mindscape of child with limitless possibilities. Simply put, it makes me wish this place were real…

Thanks for the awesome illustration, Gabe. Whenever I want to escape the trappings of this mundane existence, I’ll simply look at this masterpiece and let it sweep me away.


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