Friday, March 27, 2009

Create Your Own Stimulus Package: Support the Arts in Your Community

Talk of the Economic Stimulus Package is everywhere you turn.

It occurred to my this morning as I was looking through our local Hockessin Community Newspaper- that there are SO many opportunities to see an art exhibit, hear a concert or poetry reading, attend a theatre or dance production, locally - where ever you are, without having to go to a major city.

The venues are diverse, are all reasonably priced, some are even free... and by doing so you are not only supporting the arts and artists in your community, you are doing your part to stimulate the local economy. And the REAL PERK is that you are creating your own ticket to an enjoyable, rewarding and often inspiring experience in this time of doom and gloom posted in the media.

So get out- see a school concert or play or production, (even if your own kid is not in it!) or a
professional event and see how the arts have the power to transform us into the best that we can be.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Been Meaning to Write...

I have been having SO MUCH FUN since Ellen and I signed up as distributors with SendOutCards.
Many people have told us that they would love to have our images on greetings cards to send to people. There is this fabulous company online called SendOutCards. You can use their images, use other artists images in their Card Catalogue, and the most fun part for me is uploading my own artwork and photos, then adding captions, dialogue bubbles, festive borders- the possibilities go on and on. AND, I am using them to say Thank you, Congratulations, I am thinking of you, etc.

Oh and the best part is that is that you create them online (you can even have your own handwriting on file!) they print them, stamp them and send them!!!!! and it is so affordable- and the quality of the card is professional. No more going to the store, to the post office.

It is such a wonderful way to let others know that you appreciate and care about them. I sent one yesterday to someone at my health insurance company because she helped me appeal a claim that had been frustrating the heck out of me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Life Mirrors Art

4 years ago when my cousin, Ellen McVicker and I were collaborating on the words and images for our book Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings, I "staged" an image for her words "And getting dressed all by myself won't be so hard... so what if my clothes don't match!" Back then, my older son Griffin was 7 and always insisted on dressing himself. I did, however, try and help him keep him room somewhat orderly. Now at age 11, and in Middle School, Griffin is still fiercely independent, has his own room and I try to pick my "battles."

I can't help but notice, not only the constant state of disarray his room is in, but how the image I once drew has come to life! Remember the book- I Will Love You Forever?!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My friend Jack

I just got an email from my friend Eileen telling me the sad news that Jack Abraham, a photographer and mutual friend of ours passed away suddenly on Thursday. I don't know the details but know that he was on medication for his heart.

Jack photographed my work (and so many others) over the years. He was wonderful to work with- kind, generous and quirky in a enduring way.

Here is his flicker site of some of his own work - well worth checking out. Great images of Jersey...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beyond Healing: The Redemptive Power of Music & Art

Just got back from taking Nanny (my M.I.L.) to the airport, and was listening to one of my favorite shows on NPR; Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane.

Today's second segment was a repeat of an earlier broadcast of her interview with Steve Lopez, “The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music.” “The Soloist” is the featured title of One Book, One Philadelphia. You can go to NPR to hear the interview yourself, but the last thing that I caught before I turned my car off was Steve Lopez commented that the first thing people ask him about Mr. Ayers is "is he taking his meds now?" It is much more complicated than that, for Mr. Ayers the treatments he was given took away his creativity and medication=control. Mr. Lopez said is that "Music is his Medication," ( for Mr. Ayers,who has been battling mental illness for years.)

I know first hand the redemptive power of art, not only from my cancer and the work that has come from the experience, but early on as well. Art is how I process my experiences, it gives me a filter in which to view my life, and then create. My passion for art fuels my passion for Art in the Schools. I know first hand out it redeems students from all walks of life, with all kinds of abilities, and with all kinds of life situations. The March/April 2009 issue of Delaware Beach Life features a great article on the value of learning through the arts as demonstrated by schools on Delaware's coast. The arts empower students, they are excited to learn, that are engaged and self confident. Kudos for President Obama for including funding for the arts in his new stimulus plan.

I have very recently connected with Aileen McCulloch, Executive Direction of Young Audience of Eastern Pennsylvania and am excited to work with the schools around here. Above is some student work from a great residency I had at David K. Brearley H.S. in Kenilworth, NJ last year working with the fabulous art teacher, Janice Marsili. This project went on to win a Best Practices Award in Jersey. But what I really loved was the connections I made with the kids. I could go on and on but need to get some photos to Aileen of YAEP.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Adding the Love: who gets it and giving it...

February is over with its paper valentines and chocolate candies, but LOVE is never out of season or out of place. February is also the month of my husband Scott's birthday (who F.Y.I. is the Ambassador of love, move over Barry White) and my Dad who comes from LOVE to his family, the waitress, the shoe salesman- you name it- and they love it!) and of course numerous other family and friends are also aquarians and pisces touched by the arrow of cupid.

We saw President and Mrs. Obama kissing and hugging everyone in line and around them as they worked their way through the crowds last week for the President's address to Congress.

Saw this doodle from my son Griffin on the counter this morning...he has earned a dog and we have found one on who we met yesterday. Her name is Lily and I think it was love at first sight between a boy and his dog. She is working through kennel cough meds and we will make our final decision based on her prognosis. keep you posted. but the message for him is animals=love

I caught some of Sponge Bob the other afternoon. Mr. Crabs wants to know what is taking Sponge Bob so long to get the crabby patty order out. "I'm adding the Love, Mr. Crabs," is his response. Got to love that yellow guy!

And last week, I got to see Barb and Marian in Philly; the city of Brotherly Love! how fitting, just need to change it to the City of Sisterly Love!