Meet the new Bob Ross: Clara Lieu and ART PROF

Clara LieuI recently received an email from Clara Lieu, an adjunct professor in the Illustration program at RISD. Lieu has partnered with Thomas Lerra, a manager at WGBH Digital in Boston, to produce ART PROF: Visual Art Essentials, a video series aimed at teaching traditional art making skills to high school students. They are in the process of raising funding through a Kickstarter campaign and eventually hope to distribute the lessons via YouTube.

Lieu explained that ART PROF will be a free, online educational platform for visual arts that will provide disadvantaged students of all ages equal access to high quality art education. She thinks ART PROF has the potential to make an impact on art education, which she believes is chronically underfunded or non-existent in many schools.

In the Kickstarter video for the project (above), Lieu explains that she wants to create lessons that have the rigor and depth that she craved as a high school student. Of course, the subtext is that Lieu aims to steer the larger conversation away from more conceptual approaches and back to the foundations of drawing and painting. But unlike Bob Ross, who specialized in simplistic, formulaic approaches, Lieu’s lessons will teach viewers how to see, and this seems like a worthwhile beginning.

If you think this is a valuable mission, help her out. The campaign ends on July 19, and as of July 11, 126 backers have contributed $18,877 toward the $30,000 goal. Click here to contribute.

Bonus: Check out Lieu’s Instagram feed, where she gives one minute”Quickie Crits” on video.

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