Keira J. Jaha

General Education

English Instructor
The Art Institute of Philadelphia

Philadelphia General Education Faculty Keira Jaha

An artist can be lost but never destroyed. Keira J. Jaha , English Instructor , The Art Institute of Philadelphia

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

My Moody Bead

An artist is a bead. Bright, colorful, hard, considered insignificant until encountered in the middle of the night by a naked foot. The foot knows an artist when it sees one. The artist can disappear for a while, into a jar, a drawer, sucked into a vacuum. But it is still an artist.

It makes friends with the neighboring buttons and they do a collaborative project. In the dust bag dark, it points out that even dirt is a color. The artist shows up in odd places. The bottom of the cup holder in one’s car. Pockets. Behind the cereal bowls, between the buttons of the telephone and inside shoes. Like I said, the foot knows an artist when it sees one. No place is too far or too funky. An artist will show up on x-rays. It will move with you to your new house. It will hide in your hair. It will sneak into your bed and keep you up all night thinking about art.

An artist can roll with the bad times. It can sit in the cracks and let things blow over.

It can pose on a pedestal under museum lights. An artist is glass, stone, plastic, pearl, porcelain, paper, bone, flesh and blood. An artist is a call to action because an artist in your bathtub demands a response, an artist rolling across the page holds up the story, several artists falling off the shelf are going to wake someone up. An artist can put you in the hospital. It can go up your nose into the folds of your brain. It can make your mind sparkly and beautiful. An artist can definitely get into your wallet.

The artist is addictive. There is no such thing as one. For every artist that is visible, there are five hundred more hiding under the kitchen table, two million more lying in wait at the bead store. An artist is often shoplifted. An artist can survive pressure. An artist can be lost but never destroyed. There might be an artist in your life and you might not even know it. Be sure to watch where you step.