Yesterday Matt was planning to drive here to check out the Studio, and help me get art supplies from Beijing. But then he noticed that the number on his licence plate meant he couldn’t drive yesterday, so all that got put off until today.
I used the day to explore the town some more, buy some fruit. Two school girls followed me for half a block, and worked up their courage to practice their limited English with this strange foreigner. Turned out that Na Ren Hua and Pao Pao were art students themselves, and so they were quite excited to find that I was painting in an art studio in their town. They wanted to show me their school and what they had done, and since I had no other particular plans for the day….
The Pingter School of Liangpin was about a twenty-minute walk beyond town, on the second floor of a big, very gray building. We went to a large room with lots of paintings and charcoal drawings on the wall, and lots of scattered chairs with pallets and partially-completed paintings. Some of the work was well-done, especially the drawings. The work the students had in their personal sketchbooks was heavily slanted toward video game atavars but hey, that’s what you find in the US, too.
Three students, including Na Ren and Pao Pao, wanted me to do a sketch of them, on the spot. So I did, with about half a dozen other students looking on.
Experiences like this leave me with a bunch of questions. This was mid-day on a Thursday, after all. Students were around, but no classes were taking place. Where are the teachers? How many students are there? What is their school schedule like? What else is going on in this school – this building? Where do the students come from? What typically happens after “graduation?” I wish I knew enough Chinese to ask the questions.