What can I say about Mr. Gee? And equally important, what can I say about his impact on my life and how I carry him with me everyday!
John was my toughest professor in college. Everyone in the art department heard about the legendary John Gee and his difficult drawing courses. Being a sophomore at Ball State and deciding to switch majors from computer science to graphic design through the art department, I had never drawn a day in my life and I was beyond nervous to find out if I had any ability to draw. After my Drawing 2 course with Gee, I could draw anythingand everything! He pushed me beyond my limits and helped me discover the artist inside of myself that I never knew existed!
What started as just taking 2 drawing courses to fulfill my drawing requirements for my graphic design degree, turned into taking 7 drawing courses at Ball State. 6 of those courses were with the legendary John Gee. My ability, style, and techniques have all been nurtured and shaped by Gee. His high standards for quality drove me to become the great artist I am today.
So what do I do now? And why? Believe it or not, I am a high school art teacher. In a million years I would never have thought I would end up as a high school teacher. But as luck would have it, here I am, teaching multiple grades and different classes. Everything from Art Fundamentals for freshman to Graphic Design and Digital Photography for juniors and seniors.
I bring a little bit of John to school everyday. When my high school students complain to me about how hard I might push them, or how serious I take my art class and their art education. I know that the benefits of the hard work and time that Gee made me put in to earn his approval and good grades will carry on to another generation of artists. He was a great man, an amazing teacher, and I will never forget the lessons he taught me and the skills he gave me.
I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. I had worked for a decade as a digital artist, but remembering back to my college experience, I realized it was the people like John that helped me find my passion in life. Being able to give students the opportunity to grow and learn through the lens of art has been the best career change I have ever made. I love what I do and the feeling of teaching and having students discover themselves through art is priceless. I know that John felt the blessings of being a teacher, no matter how hard he may have been as a professor, he had a big heart. No man would choose to teach if they didn't have a love for art and a love for people.
John Gee will be thoroughly missed, but his art and his knowledge lives on through countless generations of artists that he taught.
Thank you Patricia, for supporting a man who supported so many men and women who desired to improve themselves through the world of art.