Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why does it have to be Science or Art?

TED is one of my favorite organizations.  This talk by Mae Jemison discusses the importance teaching both the arts and sciences.  I think that arts, especially, have become a casualty of No Child Left Behind.  I agree with the statement "we are failing to act in the future. 

Watch and enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I wanted an Ipad until I saw this!

I was reading a blog that linked artist Sara Mayhew's Nokia spot.  There it was.... and I was in love.  The Ipad will get plent of use by me but by the time I buy the unit and add what I consider the necessary accessories I will be into it about $1,000.00.  This above unit is a Wacom Cintiq 21UX.  It is an LCD based drawing pad.  It is completely high tech and gets some great reviews.  Okay I get it... at $2,000 the unit is a luxury.  For a small time scenic designer it maybe over kill.  So!  A guy has to dream.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why Arts?

I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragoon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least.
~UGENE IONESCO, Notes and Counter Notes
I first ventured into the arts as a child in the first grade.  I started ballet.  I knew that I was not content in just watching my sisters in their dance classes.  My mother inquired and enrolled me.  This was my first exposure to performance art and the first time that I attempted any art form beyond finger painting.

In sixth grade I asked, no begged to be allowed to act.  My parents took me seriously and enrolled me in acting school, found an agent willing to take me and before you knew it I was working professionally as a child actor.  At 14 I was a Screen Actor's Guild member and had performed in national television commercials and an ABC After School Special.

During both junior high and high school I was deeply immersed in the theatre programs and they became my home.  The common theme among many high school thespians was the shelter that was provided by the theatre programs.  I lived in a middle class home with all the trappings of a working class dysfunction.  I had a home away from home across the street at my high school. 

The arts taught me to create, to work hard. to have fun, to love and to cry.  I had close personal acquaintances and friends that I made for life.  The theatre was also my ticket to college as a production and design major. 

I left much of that behind for 23 years.  I was a patron but not a participant.  Three years ago that changed.  Now I was in a position to provide in part arts to the community I live in.  I have met and made close friendships with many because of the nature of the theatre family.

I am a firm believer that all great societies are measured as much by their arts as by what they build, produce, worship and consume.  In our society we cannot escape art.  It is in our television programs, video games, structures, religions and schools.  However in recent decades we have been less and less amenable to funding arts and art programs... I am hoping more attention will be brought to this issue.  For me.... it is about providing homes for those who need a place to express their creativity.