Ollie Theisen, one of the contributors to The Web of Life: The
Art of John Biggers went to visit him last week and asked him
some of the questions posed in conversation on ArtsEdNet. We
thought you might be interested in the following:
Question: How important is it to you that the viewers understand the
meanings of your symbols?
Response: It's important to me that they find meaning in the
symbols. It does not matter if they do not see the symbol as I
do. Every word that we speak probably has a different meaning
for each of us. It's be the same with the symbols.
Question: How do you think students or other artists can develop
their own symbol systems?
Response: Through their love for nature, including vegetable,
mineral, human, animal. It has to do with one's love for the
environment and that marvelous, individual seeking in that
environment. That which only you can find, that which defines
your individuality, that's what it is.
Question: Now that you have completed "Salt Marsh" (his new
mural in Houston), what is your next project?
Response: Well, I have a superstition. It would be wrong to
discuss the next project; it's dealing again with aspects of
African American life that we don't know much about.
And finally, a message to Juliet:
Did you and your students go to the dedication of "Salt
Marsh"? Please share with us your experience!
Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 305100, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
940/565-3986 FAX 940/565-4867