When art and teaching collide, they make magic.
Just ask Ari Hauben, a Boston Public School art teacher by day and artist by night. He recently debuted his solo art exhibit known as “Above the Standard,” which he created by covering the floors with newspaper and the walls with chalkboard materials.
The exhibitresponds to the detrimental effects of the increasingly standardized and mechanized worlds of education and society. Hauben investigates this theme through installations and artwork created from the very things we usually associate with standard education: desks, tests, grades, etc.
This examination leads the public through different styles of his multimedia works which cover a variety of topics, styles, and materials that not only reflect his creative response to working “above the standards” but also the positive outcome that can occur when operating outside these confines in all aspects of society.
“I have been interested in art all of my life,” said Hauben, a visual artist based in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, whose art has been shown throughout Boston, including at the Grand Opening of the Art of Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts. “I went to school for industrial design so I originally had more of a design based focus. My style now takes an element from pop art and street art in terms of technique and materials with spray paint and bright pops of color. I have a unique system of layering with newspaper to build depth.”
How did he land a job as an art teacher working with students who struggle with emotional and behavioral challenges? “It was really a coincidence because the art teacher had left for a new job and it just turned out to be a fortuitous series of events,” Hauben said. “I am now in my ninth year teaching. The show really is a combination of my professional career as a teacher and an artist. The idea of the show is outside the norm of art but with an educational theme.”
Hauben has incorporated the help of former and current high school students in the production of this show in an effort to expose them to the power of this process and acknowledge their influence and inspiration in his creative processes.
For more information, visit www.arihauben.com.