There is something special about the teachers at John Adams High School. However, Mr. Moro-Wey is one educator who uniquely stands out, like a Picasso piece in a sea of finger paintings.
Most of us work to put food on the table and a shelter to cover our heads. Mr. Moro-Wey’s work is done purely out of passion. For those of you who are not familiar with Mr. Moro-Wey, he is an art teacher here at John Adams who is also an internationally renowned artist. In a recent interview, I got to know a little bit more about Mr. Moro-Wey.
Many great artists discover their talents at an early age, Mr. Moro-Wey, however, was a late bloomer. Early on, he had decided to originally pursue a career in medicine, in his home country of Nigeria.
In his first year of college, though, his Zoology teacher noticed and remarked how talented he was as an artist. This triggered Mr. Moro-Wey into realizing that, indeed art was his true passion.
A career in medicine was “too demanding,” felt Mr. Moro-Wey. On the flip side, he viewed art as a powerful source of both freedom of choice and expression. His parents did not dispute his career-path decision. In fact, they encouraged him to do what would make him happy.
With that, Mr. Moro-Wey continued and finished his education in art, graduation from the Academy of Arts in Poland. Here, he earned a masters and post graduate degree, as well as achieving something that, to this day, has not been accomplished by another student—earning the highest honors in all three major art categories; drawing, ceramics and painting.
Over time, Mr. Moro-Wey’s success has included winning fourteen national/international contests, and having much of his artwork displayed on various continents. Today, besides serving as an educator, he runs two art studios in New York.
Every artist has their muse. For Mr. Moro-Wey, the world is his muse. He finds inspiration in everything and everyone around him, even something as simple as a walk own the street.
In his lifetime, those streets have varied, from Africa, Europe and North America, to Australia and Asia. Like many great artists, his environment has influenced his work, and this is shown beautifully in the common themes found in his work.
Many of his paintings are from a realistic point of view, but he also uses fantasy in other pieces. His use of color brings warmth and awareness wherever it is places. With such an great amount of dedication to his craft, some may be curious to know why Mr. Moro-Wey would choose to work in a New York City high school rather than devote all his time to creating art.
“The beauty of teaching is that it is a give and take relationship. I get to share the knowledge that I’ve gained from my years of experience in the art world with the students, and, in return, I gain fresh inspiration from their young minds,” he says.
“One of my missions as both an artist and an educator,” added Mr. Moro-Wey, “is to seek out new talent and encourage those individuals to go after their dreams.” In fact, Mr. Moro-Wey has found a smart, easy way to showcase the work created by his students; he has put approximately 700 samples of their art on the internet (at artsonia.com/schools/adams5).
After a conversation with Mr. Moro-Wey, it is clear to see that he is an extraordinary person who finds a great amount of love and enjoyment in his work. And for that, John Adams is a very fortunate to have him as part of the faculty.
Anyone interested in seeing some of Mr. Moro-Wey’s art can visit his website at [billymorowey.com]