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The Challenge for Art & Artists to Touch/Reach Hearts...


From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 02:15:56 PST

You'll have to forgive what appears to be ego-stroking, but it is my
testimony and nothing I am ashamed of. I thought among my artist peers, and
art teaching peers it would be appropriate to share this success story and
inspire others to consider similar acts.

A number of years ago before getting back into the classroom, I was
fortunate to somehow get a foot into the door as a speaker to be invited to
high school assemblies. For the most part, I was a motivational speaker and
that happened because I had won some major state and regional awards as a
painter. Administators thought that anyone that could put hundreds of hours
into a single piece of art might have something to say about passion for
life, meaning, setting goals and reaching them, etc;

Well, this one particular year I was contacted only about a week before this
large highschool's prom. They wanted someone that could present something
to the kids that would bring a message about drinking and driving but not in
a way that would equate to lecturing. Something inspiring not boring. That
kids would tune-in, not tune-out.

My proposal was to create an interactive piece of art work. An unfinished
painting that would require volunteers to finish it and in so doing become
part of the metaphor that would complete the painting and see its effect
transpire. The presentation worked quite well...and goes to show how art
can step beyond the realm of "making" and "marketing" to realize other
deeper potentially more effective purposes. Since we are about teaching
art, and its values in culture...I thought I'd encourage you to check out
this forum thread I began last week at where you'll see
several pictures on the presentation and read it more indepth!

The lengthy url provided below will no doubt be cut off here in your email
post, so you'll have to highlight, copy and paste the remain part of the url
that is not highlighted and attach that in your subject url space. -Larry