We had the good fortune of connecting with Lizy Dastin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lizy, do you think college was worth it?
College clarified my professional, but also my personal, identity in profound ways. My experience at Wellesley College, an all-women’s institution, encouraged me to develop my feminism, strengthen my beliefs, be open to the magic of female friendships, and amplify my awareness of art. I have always been so dazzled and influenced by teachers and knew, especially after my time at Wellesley, that I wanted to give other people the kind of information and support that my teachers had always given me. For that reason, and a myriad of others, college was worth its cost in my life; however, I don’t think college is a necessary investment for everybody. I believe it is universally and wildly meaningful to develop a diverse knowledge base and deepen one’s curiosity about the world, but do not think that college is the exclusive gatekeeper of those pursuits. The fixed time restraints of college also presupposes that learning is complete after graduation, when learning can happen every day for the rest of our lives. I loved the focused intellectualism of college but I’m also a nerdy academic who has never left the classroom. For someone whose ambitions are different, I believe the learning they crave and receive can, accordingly, be different but just as significant.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Apart from classroom teaching, I co-host an art history themed podcast called Art Attack with urban icon, Justin BUA. As arts education continues to be diminished in schools, BUA and I believe the need for free and democratic access to art history for any student, of any age, who wants to learn is more critical now than ever. We think that through metabolizing, understanding and appreciating art, that we all can magnify our tolerance for each other and better understand the world. That was our impetus in developing the show, which, to date, is an archive of over 115 episodes on themes ranging from individual artist spotlights to artivism to the impact of drugs on art.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love exploring cities by foot so would highly suggest a visit to the Gabba Gallery alleyways and DTLA Arts District. I might also take an architecture tour of the Schindler House in WeHo or go wine tasting at Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House. My boyfriend is a big foodie and introduced me to Majordomo in Chinatown, which is one of the most delicious restaurants I’ve been to. Plus, there’s a ton of street art in the area and some murals by David Choe inside.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was five years old I built my first makeshift classroom out of stacked boxes, stuffed animals and a pointer made from taped together pens. My mother was my only living student and, despite her inability to answer questions about Cutie the Space Kitten, was my favorite part about teaching. She was so enthusiastic, so eager to listen, so brimming with joy. When Mercy College offered me my first college teaching job and I was initially too terrified to accept, it was my mother’s enthusiasm, willingness to listen and overflowing joy that changed my mind. In the 14 years that have followed, her support has only grown and she continues to undergird each career and personal change in my life.
Instagram: @artandseeking, @artattackpodcast