Today, we talk with Kenny Martin, a teacher and artist who lives on the edge. Not only do his high school students wield blowtorches to do metalwork, but Kenny’s hobby is undersea diving – while holding his breath. An exhibit of his drawings based on his breath holding free dives is up now at Real Art Ways in Hartford. Oh, and Kenny’s also been a boxer, and most recently founded a Fight Club for teens; he’s convincing in making it sound therapeutic. Back when Kenny taught elementary school, he had his students bury tuna carcasses, a lesson in composting. So do I need to tell you Kenny’s an interesting guy? He says he also gives a great haircut. This is the interview that convinced me I need to have more people from Brooklyn in my life. And btw, where else are you going to find conversations like this but on WESU? Please, during this fall/winter pledge drive, do your part to support community radio by going to wesufm.org/pledge and giving what you can. Or I’ll have Kenny punch you in the nose.
Upper left, Ken with the first of his breath-hold-dive drawings, done from memory for artist Peter Waite’s “Monster Drawing” class in Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Study Program several years ago.
Below, two views of the art cart Ken, then a K-5 teacher, created when he lost his classroom. It was paid for in part with crowd-funding.