Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remembering Norm Schureman

Well once again in too short of a time, we have lost another great teacher at Art Center to senseless violence. It was a mere 14 years ago that I got the jaw-dropping news that our beloved Dwight Harmon was killed by a couple of thugs while Dwight walked in the park after teaching his class at ACCD. He was beaten to death by two young predators that saw Dwight as an easy mark or maybe it was timing or opportunity. I don't know. How can we know, those of us that lead "normal" lives. Lives with purpose and meaning unlike so many lost and cowardly people among us. So, how can we know what it takes to be so cruel. I got the news of Norm's tragic death in an email from one of my own ACCD students, Rebecca Blake, the day after the shooting that took Norm's life. I stared at her words, reading in between the lines I felt her pain as she let me know the horrible news. Unlike at the time of Dwight's death, news was instantly available throughout the internet. It was fast but it was widely varied. A lot of it reminded me of the child's game of "Telephone". So much of what I read on idiotic BLOGS were the usual inane people assuming things beyond their knowledge and I read disturbing suppositions about the event and even about Norm himself. It reminded me of the multitudes of cowards behind anonymous, often hate-filled spewings. So many people nowadays hide behind anonymity.
But through all of the cybergarbage,the one fact was irrefutable, Norm was no longer with us. I lost a friend and colleague that Saturday night, I will miss the talks about future plans to join forces and create a class that combined my Imaginatomy class with his VisCom/drawing class. It would be a uberclass. But as with many things that get put on the shelf, time ran out. As a matter of fact it is in part because of Norm and his trust in my knowledge that I created IMAGINATOMY. It's a long story but it was over a decade ago that Norm started sending his students over to me on a regular basis to help with anatomical questions that I could help with. He was brilliant and the sign of true brilliance is knowing that you don't know everything. Anyway, I figure, why not create a class to answer those questions about made up beasts and their anatomy? Voila, Imaginatomy was born. I also remember that he always liked my sayings, I often write them for my students on my blackboard. He liked one in particular that I often tell my students, it's about drawing......"To draw is to pull out, to interpret is to put in".
Well Norm, we will miss you and it is with a heavy heart that I bid you a final farewell...or, to be more precise,"Toodle-Loo" as I would say to him in the halls of our ol' school. Toodle-loo Norm, until we meet in heaven. I am now filled with even more passion to teach to my fullest and to try to give more fully in life. Life is good even when it hurts.
Rey Bustos, March 24th, 2010