NAME: FIELD: POSITION: BEST ADVICE:
DEIRDRE POTASH, BFA 82 ART EDUCATION/ENTREPRENEURSHIP OWNER, ART COMES TO SCHOOL, MONTREAL ART EDUCATOR, MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS “FIND YOUR PASSION AND THEN GET YOUR NAME OUT THERE.”
or as long as she can remember, Deirdre Potash wanted to teach art. So it shouldn’t have surprised her too much when a few days after her Concordia convocation in 1982 she received an unexpected phone call: “Hello, I’m from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Your professor recommended you for an art education position here.” She jumped at the opportunity. Thirty years later, Potash reveals that she’s still living her dream, inspiring creativity in others. “You’re going to be spending most of your life working; find your passion. For me, that’s teaching,” she says. She turned that love for art education into a Montreal-based business called Art Comes to School. As its website (artwill.ca) states: “let the field trip come to you.” “There is a niche market for public schools that have cut down their art programs,” Potash explains. “I go to schools all over Quebec and Ontario and bring art back into the classroom.” Potash accepted long ago that she would never strike it rich from her profession. Yet making a difference in someone’s life can’t be measured by monetary value — and it can serve as a guide for following your heart into a career.
Deirdre Potash’s self-branding tips: n
Take risks, ask questions, educate yourself and listen to your gut. Network and get your name and what you want to do “out there.” Always carry business cards with your name and contact details.
concordia university magazine summer 2012 | 29