Paintings at the Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development; (Alexandria, VA)
Seven equilateral triangles, each 60". Total size 51" x 264" x 2"; 1998

The global focus of this painting reflects the far-reaching influence of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, a world-wide organization concerned with education for people of all ages and all levels of schooling – elementary, middle and high schools; trade schools; college; graduate schools; and extra studies programs.

I have tried to capture the essence of the Association in this series of seven paintings by depicting the many and diverse people involved in world-wide education programs, both students and teachers. From an image of children in Africa who travel to school, not by bus, but by canoe, to a Japanese teacher instructing her student in the art of lettering; from a scene of children eager to learn math, to older adults extending their education about the environment, medicine and current affairs; the diversity of age and culture come together under the common bond of education.

As you view this work you will undoubtedly recognize the faces of many well known historical figures or current personalities who have been key to the enlightenment of others. Martin Luther King, Jr., Madam Curie, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein and an astronaut occupy prominent positions on the respective panels representing the areas which they influenced. Other significant individuals who have had great impact on the future of mankind – Abraham Lincoln, Galileo and Alex Haley among others – are scattered throughout the paintings.

The seven panels, going from left to right represent art, history, science, health, math, literature and geography.

"Art" is a visual tour that takes you from ancient cave paintings and mankind’s first attempt at signature, the hand print, to the Mona Lisa and modern day art. Music and dance complement visual art here, two important elements of the performing arts.

"History" presents a montage of significant historical events from America and around the world. A colorful fife and drum band in brilliant reds, blues and whites portray the American Revolutionary War period. A wide range of history is reflected in contrasting images including prehistoric times, Native Americans, Napoleon and the Wright Brothers first flight.

"Science" depicts scientists and their fields of study: the history of animals from dinosaurs to the present, Outer space, and medicine, among others. The panel features a dark triangle at the top representing the nighttime sky containing a view of Earth as seen from outer space. One of the most powerful images of all times, for me it represents the unity of the people who inhabit our planet.

"Health" to me means proper diet, exercise and positive relationships. To represent these concepts I chose swimming, family groups, reading and learning together as images. I also included an image of a human skeleton, an important aspect in learning about our bodies.

"Math" affects almost every part of our lives, whether we our consciously aware of it or not. From the measurement of ingredients in the foods we eat, to complicated math equations that drive science and industry, we depend on math to solve problems and improve our lives. Even simple timekeeping for our daily schedules or for games we play with our children rely on math.

"Literature" is a subject that could easily encompass most of the others that I chose for this painting. Many of our historical events have been told in stories, that have become famous literary works. World conflicts have been reflected in many great works of literature, as have social issues such as those presented in "The Grapes of Wrath". I have included the Rosetta Stone which helped bridge the “stories” told by past civilizations and provided a link to the literature of today.

"Geography" is a vital part of everyone’s learning experience. From where we live, to the places we visit, natural and man-made landmarks tie our life experiences together. Mountains, with their natural grandeur, or those bearing great carvings of artists working in stone, along with Nature’s unusual rock formations, leave indelible marks on our minds. Great oceans and bodies of water likewise have their impact. Even certain buildings touch us with their size and uniqueness. All these landmarks convey a sense of the history, culture and people that are tied to them.

My hope with this painting is that each viewer takes away a sense of pride in their own quest for knowledge, whatever their particular level of learning may be. May they find the inspiration to make learning a life-long experience that will, in some way, help improve and preserve the world we inhabit.


©2024 Trena McNabb