Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Filling a Need

There are garbage men in New York who are Russian immigrant musicians unable to find work. Their talent is being ignored and thus wasted. One of the suggestions of President Obama’s Committee on Arts and Humanity was to turn around our views of those coming into the country and see them as an asset and not a liability. Founded in 1982 under Ronald Regan, this group is an independent advisory committee, 35 members strong. Many of them are artists this year, but Chuck Close is the first visual artist on the committee since its beginning. He speaks passionately about how the focus needs to stay on real art projects and not on policy. Close talked of not inventing programs, but finding the best existing ones and cross pollinating those ideas. He also views anyone who sees a need and does something about it as a role model. You can see and hear the entire panel discussion, and hopefully become inspired to start your own project of some sort.

One outstanding example of one of these projects is the TED Prize winner for 2011. JR. a photographer and artist whose work is based on his ability to remain anonymous. In other words, he's a guerilla artist. In 2007, he did Face 2 Face where he asked different religious leaders to make funny faces. He then displays these as large scale humorous photographic murals. In 2008 Women are Heroes, in Paris and in 2010 "Women Are Heroes in Africa are variations on that theme. He has made huge collaborations with thousands of volunteers that enable his work to be public. The TED prize is $100,000 and it will be interesting to see what he does with it. This is a perfect example on one man who sees a need, makes his own opportunity and takes action.

October is National Arts and Humanities Month in the USA. For many of us, every month is arts and humanities month. For those who might need a reminder, here are 101 Things to Do to Celebrate NAHM .

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