Lisa Fox-Jackson Iowa

A Creative Person

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Lisa Fox Jackson Iowa - Why She Paints

Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa is a third grade elementary school teacher who lives and works in Estes Park, Colorado. She has lived there since completing her education at Naropa University in Boulder.

She is originally from San Antonio, Texas, where she was born and raised, and where she lived until she enrolled in Naropa after graduating from high school. She had never been to Colorado before but was drawn by what she assumed, correctly, would be many opportunities to ski.

Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa also teaches painting at the Art Center of Estes Park. "I teach adult painting classes three nights a week," she says. She began painting seriously as a teenager and has been at it ever since; she sells her work online and exhibits it at the Art Center and a handful of other Colorado venues.

"For me, I can't not paint," Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa explains. "I don't have a very profound ‘artist statement' – one of those ‘big why' statements where you explain why you do what you do. I can only tell you that my work is inspired by life. It's a deep calling, and something that I can't really put into words. It expresses my most inner world; it's the foundation of who and what I am."

Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa is also a photographer, and is active in a Taiko drumming ensemble. for which she plays the traditional Odaiko drum. She has degrees in Visual Arts and Education from Naropa and graduated in 2006.

Lisa Fox Jackson Iowa - Peace Studies

Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa says that she had planned on going to the University of Texas at Austin, just like her brother and sister did, and just like her parents did before her. But she happened to read about Naropa University on the Internet and was intrigued by its description as a Buddhist-inspired, student-centered liberal arts university. The fact that it was in Colorado, where there is ample skiing, made it sound even better.

So she began petitioning her parents to let her go there. They visited Boulder and were impressed by the city and by the campus. She found out soon enough that although it is indeed Buddhist-inspired, there are still rigorous academics at Naropa, and if she went there she would have to apply herself as diligently as she would have at U-T.

Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa entered Naropa University the following fall and has never had a moment of regret for her decision to go there. She majored in Visual Arts and Education and received invaluable instruction and mentoring that she says serves her to this day. But she was also able to take classes she would never have been able to take anywhere else in the United States, including electives offered through Naropa's Peace Studies program. "In Peace Studies," she says, "faculty members and students work together study complex world issues with compassion, and develop the knowledge and critical thinking skills we need to resolve these issues." Students who major in Peace Studies are encouraged to get hands-on experience through internships that gets them directly involved in community-defined issues, she says. Ultimately her interests took her into other programs, but she says her experience with the Peace Studies program is with her to this day.

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Lisa Fox Jackson Iowa - Making A Difference

Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa says that she feels she has been very lucky in life, and so it is important to her to give back, and to share her good fortune as much as possible.

"I know you can't be everywhere. You can't fix everything," she says. "But there are a lot of people in the world who are struggling, through no fault of their own. People who were born into circumstances beyond their control – like all of us were. And I want to do what I can to make a difference."

Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa believes that people are happier when they are able to have meaning in their life. She says that she already has a lot of meaning to her life: the responsibility of raising her daughter, and the responsibility of educating her third grade classes at Estes Park Elementary School. And she is an artist who has drawn and painted for as long as she can remember, and this, too, has given great meaning to her life.

"But making a serious difference in the lives of others, on issues that really matter, is important to me," she says. She is a supporter of several worthy causes, such as her local animal shelter, an adult literacy program, and public radio. And she is a volunteer teacher at the Art Center of Estes Park, where she teaches adult painting classes three nights a week. She also makes annual donations to Doctors Without Borders, an NGO best known for its work in developing countries and in war zones. She also makes regular donations to her local food bank, and to charity clothing drives. "I want to make a difference," she says. "And I want to inspire other people to make a difference, too."

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