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“One Artist Changes His Art & Saves His Life” Interview, Video and Discount Codes from the Studio of Leah Fanning Mebane and Natural Earth Paints
Artist Inger Jorgenson, uses Eco-Solve to create beautiful drip effects.
ARTIST FOCUS: ROBERTO PARADA
One Artist Changes His Art and Saves His Life
Artist Roberto Parada
Note from the Author: Natural Earth Paint sent Roberto a complimentary bottle of Eco-Solve to try after hearing of his health troubles. We look forward to hearing his feedback!! Roberto Parada is an internationally known oil painter and illustrator, having been published in Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, ESPN The Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and Huffington Post. Few people know that his art process came close to ending his life in 2004. I had the honor of interviewing him about his journey in discovering which of his art supplies were literally killing him, how it happened and what he did to change his process while continuing to paint very high quality, archival and professional paintings. Were you ever taught about the toxicity in art supplies in art school?
I went to a very prestigious art school in the late 80’s and early 90’s and was never taught about any hazards in art supplies by my painting and illustration teachers. I did have one sculpture teacher who adamantly forbade the use of fixatives, solvents and chemicals because he had gotten lymphoma from the use of those chemicals. He never really explained why we shouldn’t use them but just told us not use them in his classroom. My painting teachers all used toxic materials themselves and probably just didn’t know the health risks involved.
What was your painting technique throughout your school years and career?
I have always been an oil painter and I’m guilty of never wearing gloves or having adequate ventilation or even thinking that I should. Noone ever taught me the risks and on the warning labels on paint thinners I only saw warnings about difficulty breathing and respiratory issues. There was nothing about the fact that it can get into your bloodstream and cause death risks. The warnings are very ambiguous and limited considering the fact that I can list 5 different types of cancer that come from paint thinners. For example, 3 kinds of leukemia AML, ALL, CLL, and Multiple Myeloma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I also used all of the heavy metal based paints – cadmiums and cobalts – and didn’t think much about it. In the 90’s the “Odorless Mineral Spirits” came onto the market and we all thought that this was a healthier alternative. Now I know that Odorless mineral spirits still have petroleum based distillates and benzene which is exactly what brought about my illness.
Thank you to the thousands of Arts Action Fund members across the country who helped get new education reform over the finishing line. The advance of the “STEM to STEAM” movement these past few weeks has been truly exciting. In November, I joined The Ovation Foundation and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in honoring eight schools for their model STEAM programs. Each school received a $10,000 grant from The Ovation Foundation. Parents, teachers, students and principals traveled to Washington, DC for a day of briefings both at the White House and in Congress. The day ended with a reception with the Congressional STEAM Caucus co-Chairs. A few weeks later as Congress worked in earnest on reauthorization the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), STEAM Caucus co-Chair Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) offered an amendment to encourage the integration of the arts in STEM programs, which was accepted by a unanimous vote. That provision is now law, providing even more opportunities to advance STEAM in the field in the coming years.
ArtsVote2016 Candidate Interactions
Presidential candidate crisscross the country during Primary Election season when voters will choose who they want to be the Republican or Democratic nominee in 2016. Each state has its own rules about who can vote and how, but in all cases Presidential candidates are looking to connect with primary and caucus voters over issues they care about. That is why our grassroots arts advocates are so important.
From boisterous campaign rallies to intimate coffee klatches, Arts Action Fund members are showing up prepared to ask smart questions about the arts to Presidential candidates. In Iowa, Kate Huffman stood up at a large gathering for Hillary Clinton and asked about her position on the arts. As a result, we now have the Democratic frontrunner on record as saying she’s an arts supporter.
At a small gathering of activists in New Hampshire, Toni Pappas discussed public policy with Chris Christie, who said he believes public investment in the arts benefits communities. Sarah Stuart spoke with Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush, and Dominique Boutaud engaged Martin O’Malley and George Pataki. What do these citizen advocates have in common? They all used the tools provided by the ArtsVote2016 web page to ask smart, specific questions tailored to that candidate’s unique history. The most exciting thing about arts advocacy is seeing for yourself the advancement of the arts at the federal, state, and local levels.
There is no better way to experience this than to do it yourself. Check out our calendar of state primaries and caucus in this issue (below), and don’t forget to visit the www.ArtsActionFund.org/ArtsVote2016to read up on the statements, actions, and policies that all Presidential candidates have taken on the arts.
Arts Funding Wins in a Landslide Vote in Cleveland
Almost a decade ago, voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which includes Cleveland, passed one of the strongest local arts funding mechanisms in the country, the Arts and Culture Levy. It utilized a penny-and-a-half per cigarette tax to fund local non-profit arts and culture organizations, to the tune of $15 million a year. But the Arts and Culture Levy was set to expire next year unless it was renewed by voters in a ballot initiative called Issue 8. On Tuesday, November 3, 2015 voters overwhelmingly passed Ballot Issue 8 to renew arts funding by an impressive 3-to-1 margin, which now success fully guarantees the $15 million per year funding stream for another ten years.
As a local extension of our ArtsVote2016 campaign, the Arts Action Fund worked closely to help our local arts advocacy partner, the Arts & Culture Action Committee, to mobilize our 1,000+ resident members in Cuyahoga County to Get-Out-The-Vote. During an off-year election that is historically marked by very low voter turnout and where referenda like marijuana legalization were roundly rejected, Issue 8 stands as a prime example of how the arts are truly a bipartisan issue with voters. Americans understand that public investment in the arts is a critical step to fostering healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities.
2016 Primaries and Caucuses
Big Year-End Victories in 2015 Wow, it was a December to remember! Congress typically wraps a lot into the final month of the year, but this December brought many gifts. First, Congress reauthorized ESEA, bringing new federal K-12 law that has been long overdue, now called Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).Check out our blog at www.bit.ly/Bonamicifor details on arts education provisions, including new eligibility for STEAM, thanks to a unanimous amendment that Congressional STEAM Caucus co-Chair Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) secured. On tax provisions, the IRA Charitable Rollover, an important funding source for arts organizations and a key tax incentive for charitable giving, is now permanent! And, annual funding for the cultural agencies finally passed as part of consolidated appropriations signed into law on Dec. 18th. For the first time in four years, the NEA will see just shy of a $2 million increase in funding, bringing the FY16 budget level to approximately $148 million. All of this work was done under a new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-WI), following former Speaker John A. Boehner’s resignation at the end of October.
Local and State Elections Update Election Update: 2015 was a relatively light year for mayoral elections, but the Arts Action Fund (AAF) is saying goodbye to several outstanding “Arts Mayors.” Mayor Joseph Riley, Jr. of Charleston, SC-after 40 years as the city’s chief executive-chose not to run for re-election. Mayor Riley has been a strong and consistent voice for the arts at the local and national levels. The AAF welcomes his replacement, Mayor-elect John Tecklenburg, an accomplished pianist. In Philadelphia, PA, Michael A. Nutter, another strong arts mayor, retired due to term limits. Mayor Nutter has made the arts and culture a priority by becoming one of the first mayors to appoint a cabinet level advisor on the arts and culture. He is succeeded by Mayor-elect Jim Kenney. In Indianapolis, incumbent Mayor Greg Ballard chose not to run for a third term in office, and the AAF welcomes Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett. Finally, last year’s Public Leadership in the Arts Awardee Mayor Annise Parker of Houston, TX could not seek reelection due to term limits. The AAF welcomes Houston’s new mayor, Sylvester Turner.Turning to governors, there were three races in 2015: Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky. In Louisiana, the Arts Action Fund welcomes Governor-elect John Bel Edwards who defeated current United States Senator David Vitter and succeeds current Governor Bobby Jindal-both of whom have not been supportive of the arts and culture. In Kentucky, new Governor Matt Belvin was sworn in on December 8, 2015 and incumbent Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi earned a second term.
Innovative Programming A new programming trend is rising at the local level-city government departments are turning to artists to help resolve civic issues. In Minneapolis, the city government is participating in a new program called “Creative CityMaking”- which places 9 local artists within 5 city departments to work on city planning. In its pilot program, artist team E.G. Bailey and Sha Cage surveyed more than 1,900 residents in the Cedar- Riverside area to identify the community’s assets; they transformed a conventional survey into a hand-drawn magazine that included an interactive map of the world. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the city’s new “Creative Catalyst Artist in Residence Program,” facilitated by the Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will be the first city department to receive an artist residency. DOT’s Creative Catalyst artist will design an accessible, targeted campaign to engage L.A. communities with Vision Zero, which is a citywide strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities within 10 years.
Year-End Giving Update
The Arts Action Fund completed its annual year-end campaign for 2015. Utilizing both direct mail and e-mail for the appeals, the funds raised during the campaign directly support the Arts Action Fund and the Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve raised more than $35,000 from loyal Arts Action Fund members like you. We also urged our members to send in a wish, for our national Wishing Tree, in response to the following question: If you could tell the next President of the United States your one wish for the arts in America, what would it be? We were inspired by all of the responses we received both online and in the mail.
Shown above are few of the wishes. Even though the campaign has officially concluded, we continue to receive contributions well into the New Year from our members. You can view all of the Wishing Tree wishes at www.ArtsActionFund.org/WishingTree. We extend our most sincere thanks to everyone who supported the 2015 year-end campaign.
Can you imagine a world in which most jobs are obsolete?
If not, you are most likely in for a rude awakening in the coming decades of radical shifts in employment. This is particularly true for new parents propelling the next generation of workers into an adulthood that many economists and futurists predict to be the first ever “post-work” society.
Though the idea of a jobless world may seem radical, the prediction is based on the natural trajectory of ‘creative destruction’ — that classic economic principle by which established industries are decimated when made irrelevant by new technologies.
When was the last time you picked up the hot new single from your local sheet music store? Many moons ago sheet music was the music industry, with the only available means of hearing pop songs being to have a musician read and perform them. This quickly eroded with the advent of the phonograph, leading to a record industry that dominated the last century and is now itself eroding due to the explosive growth of independent online publishing.
It’s hard to justify using a massive workforce of recording engineers, media manufacturers, distributors, and talent scouts to accomplish a task that a musician can now do by herself in an afternoon with just a laptop. The same goes for the millions of skilled labor and manufacturing jobs that will soon be crumpled by 3D printing technology, the thousands of retailers whose staff and storefronts can readily be supplanted by automated delivery systems, or the dwindling hospitality and transportation industries currently being pecked away by app-based sharing services like Airbnb and Uber.
Never heard of 3D printing, ridesharing, or “post-work” theory? That’s okay; you can just Google them. In fact, thanks to Google we may now add the very concept of knowledge itself to our growing list of no-longer-scarce resources. When anyone can access the world’s greatest library from their cellphone, even the long-revered skill of knowing things loses its marketability.
The Art School Solution
If preparing your kids for a world in which hard-working, knowledgeable people are unemployable frightens you then I have some good news. There is a solution, and it doesn’t involve tired, useless attempts at suppressing technology. Like most good solutions it requires a trait that is distinctly human.
I’m speaking about Creativity.
Send your kids to art school. Heavily invest time and resources into their creative literacy. Do these things and they will stand a chance at finding work and or fulfillment in a future where other human abilities become irrelevant.
Any adult reading this at the time of publication came of age in an era when parents urged children to learn a subject that would funnel straight into a specific career field. Even those parents who encouraged their children’s creative dreams did so with an addendum that we should also consider getting a degree in a practical field that “you can always fall back on if sculpture/philosophy/theater/poetry doesn’t work out”. No doubt this protective instinct was a smart one considering the reality of our youth. An arts education might promise a life of self-discovery, but there has always been reasonably assured financial stability in the high-demand arenas of science, education, skilled trades, governments, etc. Surely that dynamic won’t last much longer as more and more physical and mental human tasks are commandeered by machines and software.
I don’t say this to dismiss the importance of any field of study. A world without scientists or doctors or teachers would be just as broken as a world with no artists. Without programmers and engineers the very technologies that make life efficient would quickly disappear. But with the abundance of information and tools freely accessible online to a generation of youngsters equipped with computers from toddlerhood, it’s safe to assume that those who want to maintain current technology have few obstacles in learning how to do so — No degree required. The same goes for any pragmatic skill.
The arts, however, are a polar opposite to pragmatism. Cameras have long exceeded our ability to realistically and efficiently render images, but still our love of painting remains to this day. By now we know that the value of a great painting isn’t in its accuracy at rendering a view but in the artist’s unique capacity to convey a viewpoint. Even those uninterested in “fine” art are driven to make purely aesthetic decisions on practical matters such as clothing, shelter, and transportation. Our willingness to pay extra for beautiful clothes, inviting homes, and sleek cars is motivated not by functionality but by emotionality.
It’s inherently human to want the objects in our lives to communicate feelings and ideas to us and about us. The constant searching for and assignment of meaning dwells in everyone, but the artist is the person who exercises this muscle regularly enough to control it. The person with creative literacy — a basic understanding of the mental, emotional, and sociological tools used for creative thought and communication — is able to find purpose and apply meaning to her world rather than having meaning handed down and purpose assigned to her. The painting student completes his senior thesis exhibit with a head full of many more lessons than just how to paint. He’s now equipped with an ability to see problems, connections, and solutions where others see only a blank surface. I assure you this ability is not limited to the canvas.
I’m not saying anything new here. These qualities of a liberal arts education have been expounded by its proprietors for ages, but with major industries quickly running out of a need for worker bees it’s becoming clearer by the day that our professors were right.
In fact it’s somewhat amazing that this idea was ever in question. Humanity’s highest-paid workers have always been those who as a result of their innovations created opportunity for others to work.
There’s a reason Steve Jobs became a billionaire, and it’s not because he could program computers.
Of course history is also filled with countless stories of equally creative figures lost in the systemic grind of working for the Steve Jobs’s of the world. We’ve all known brilliant people, seemingly not made for our time, whose potential was crushed by dead end jobs after their work was rejected by the film/music/publishing/anything industries. The excuse of being ahead of one’s time can no longer apply though. We live in an age where a person speaking into a webcam can collectively raise hundreds of thousands of dollars just by telling people about a good idea. The gatekeepers are gone and they are not coming back. Our only remaining obstacle can be lack of good ideas.
It’s time for a revolution in education that reflects our new reality and gives students the necessary tools to survive it. Technological advancements will always outpace the offerings of the traditional classroom, making it entirely purposeless to force memorization of knowledge that may become irrelevant before children even graduate. Instead we should hone the skill that best ensures adaptability and resourcefulness during times of constant change.
Does this revolution require us to toss out math or science or history? Does my ideal future classroom wedge would-be physicists into an endless curriculum of figure drawing classes?
Let children pursue their own interests and they will find their way to all areas of study as part of the exploratory process. Let the child who is in love with fire trucks continue to obsess over fire trucks. With proper guidance he will soon find himself learning civics, engineering, history, physics, chemistry, sociology, economics, and everything in between — all of his questions fueled by a simple aesthetic attachment to the pretty red fire truck.
No healthy child is born without an innate sense of wonder about their world. However, this childhood compulsion to explore is a bud quickly snipped by adults conditioned to fear the unknown. The tradition of discouraging unusual questions and behavior in children is so pervasive that we have come to view those who survive with their creativity intact as having a “gift”. What is more absurd is our amazement at the correlation of great artists and mental illness, as if the battle for self-expression which artists so tenaciously endure has no causal link to their psychic well-being.
The change that will secure your children’s safe passage through the future comes when we strip creativity of its mysterious, unearthly status. Artists are not magical geniuses. We are simply people who were either privileged enough or stubborn enough to hold onto something that every living person is “gifted” at birth. Assume that your children have limitless creative potential and begin to nurture it. Assume that your children’s ingenuity is the one true safety net available in times of rapid change. Send your kids to art school and they will have exactly what they need to become anything they might need to be.
Premiere Showing in McCloud of 2 Video Shorts by Local Students, February 19th
Complex personal subject matters were the learning theme for Mccloud High School students during their digital workshops with Christina Schmidlin while creating two short videos on “Drugs” and “Bullying” . Ms Schmidlin is a videographer and film maker in her professional life and was contracted by the Mccloud Resource Center and the Mccloud ARTS Society to work creatively with our high school students.. For the last two years McCloud students had the privilege to work with her in developing the storyline for the two short videos. Utilizing their input, talent, and their personal experiences these two short videos represent the efforts for over the two years. Students were enthusiastic participants in all aspects of the project including learning to act with drama coach Bennett Gale. The acting recreates some of their personal experiences regarding these vital social issues which youth everywhere are addressing on almost a daily basis.
In Bullying, “The story focus for this particular project was on the “making of” and “unraveling of” a bully. It is mostly told from the bully’s perspective. Most students in the class experienced bullying both as perpetrators and victims, so we chose this particular, and in my opinion, very effective perspective for the story narrative. There was also one student in the class who experienced a bullying related suicide and ensuing drug use, which lent a powerful story element to the narrative.” said Christina Schmidlin. She further explained that “all participating students linked the experience of bullying or being bullied to the risk of drug use and teenage suicide. Consequently, all the students wanted to explore this topic in depth in the story sessions.”
The Premiere Video Showing of McCloud High Student’s 2 Video Shorts will be Friday, February 19, 2016, 7 – 8:30 pm upstairs in the Mercantile Building. Admission is free in support of the students. The event is being organized by the McCloud ARTS Society. Jeff Wescott and some of the high school band members will provide musical entertainment to showcase their talents. The community is invited to come to the premiere showing and support the students in the first effort to develop a meaningful video short that may later to useful to other students that may or may not be experiencing similar circumstances.
Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell (right) and youth representative Alena Nore (center) visit the White House Nov. 17 to accept an award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Caldera Honored at the White House with national award
Congratulations to Caldera, one of 12 national creative youth development organizations to receive the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell and youth representative Alena Nore accepted the award at a Nov. 17 White House awards ceremony.
Caldera is the first Oregon organization to ever receive the award, the nation’s highest honor for creative youth programs. It recognizes the country’s best programs while highlighting the positive role that arts and humanities play in youth academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment.
In addition to the national recognition bestowed by the prestigious award, Caldera will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and build the long-term sustainability of the organization.
Former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul passes
It was with heavy hearts the arts community learned of the passing of former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul.
Ron was best-known as a chef and restaurateur, with the artistry and sustainability of food defining his professional identity. His work with the City of Portland engaged him at the intersection of politics and policy. As chief of staff to former Portland City Commissioner Charlie Hales, he helped shape plans to develop a year-round, food-focused Public Market. He also led the city’s lobbying for the creation of the Oregon Cultural Trust.
Ron recently served as executive director of Portland’s forthcoming James Beard Public Market.
Oregon’s White House tree features recycled ornaments
Another feather in Oregon’s environmental cap — It is the only state to have its President’s Park (White House) tree decorated with recycled garbage!Incredibly beautiful marine garbage, transformed into art by Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the founder of The Washed Ashore Project in Bandon.
Trees representing all 56 states and territories are annually displayed at the White House park and each year different artists are invited to create the ornaments.
Arts Commission on tour
The Arts Commission took a tour of Northwest Portland galleries, including the Elizabeth Leach Gallery (pictured), following its Dec. 4 meeting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Pictured (left to right) are: Vice Chair Libby Tower; Public Art Coordinator Meagan Atiyeh; Commissioner Avantika Bawa; Community Art Coordinator Brian Wagner; Commissioner Christopher Acebo; Chair Julie Vigeland; Commissioner Anne Taylor; and Executive Director Brian Rogers.
2015 was a huge year for the arts! From increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to a monumental education reform bill, arts and arts education policy have progressed immensely this past year. Take a look at the top eight arts policy wins arts advocates have achieved this year:
Arts education policy ENACTED
President Obama signing ESSA into law
Dedicated funding for arts education SECURED
New funding for the NEA
Key charitable giving tax provisions made PERMANENT
New opportunities for STEAM education APPROVED
STEAM advocates at the White House
Arts eligibility in Title I funding RETAINED
Afterschool programs PRESERVED
Image by Scott Cronan Photography
Airline carry-on rules for musical instruments FINALIZED
To learn more about what 2015 has meant for the arts, check out our blog post online.
Want to do more? Attend Arts Advocacy Day on March 7-8, 2016 and bring your voice to Capitol Hill! Learn more about this event and how to attend on our website. Wishing you a happy New Year!
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Arts in Education Returns via OR Rep Bonamici, Turns STEM to STEAM!
As you may know, congressional education leaders began a series of face-to-face meetings two weeks ago to hammer out remaining differences between House and Senate bills to reform K-12 education. The committee completed their work this afternoon.
In a conference committee meeting on November 19, arts education had a breakthrough moment. U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) offered an amendment to integrate the arts into the nation’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. Rep. Bonamici, a co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, has tried to offer similar amendments in previous legislative efforts.
Today, Rep. Bonamici’s amendment to integrate the arts into STEM and promote a well-rounded education was approved unanimously by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee!
This is of particular significance because her amendment was unanimously adopted by voice vote by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee during today’s mark-up of the final ESEA bill. The bill next goes to the House and Senate for final (and likely) passage in early December before landing on the President’s desk.
After many years of anticipation, this bipartisan legislation will set new K-12 education policies impacting the nation’s 100,000 schools across the country.
Rep. Bonamici is the Co-Chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and a proud recipient of Arts Action Fund PAC support.
This amendment advances the status of the arts in the nation’s K-12 education system impacting 100,000 schools, 3 million teachers and 50 million students.
Rep. Bonamici at November 19 meeting
This amendment’s success comes on the heels of a Congressional STEAM Caucus event on Capitol Hill last week recognizing eight schools for their work to incorporate the arts along with STEM subjects.
There will be more legislative news to share on this Elementary & Secondary Education Act rewrite when the bill text is made available November 30th. Stay tuned for final votes as soon as the first week of December, bringing a new federal K-12 education law to the next generation of students.
Art 4 Joy: Fun Arts Program Opens in Central Point
Create Fun Art!
Central Point, November 18, 2015: “Sip and Paint” classes have been spreading across the U.S. like wild fire, but more often than not these venues are limited to availability in larger cities. “Sip and Paint” classes are a new social scene for adults who enjoy painting in a social atmosphere often served up with alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages while guests are guided through a pre-determined painting project from start to finish in about 2 hours. At these events all supplies are included for the project and guests go home with their finished “masterpieces”.
Kim Samitore, Art Director/Owner of Art 4 Joy, located in Central Point has brought big city fun to small town America in the heart of downtown Central Point! Art 4 Joy, which offers not only “sip and paint” style classes but a full schedule of youth programs, quietly opened their doors Oct. 12, 2015, at 63 S. 4th Street in Central Point. Samitore chose to start her company as a grassroots project,rather than buying into the popular franchises offering similar services so that she could bring arts and crafts to children and adults of all ages within the Rogue Valley with her own unique program plan!
In late November 2015, Samitore moved her business to a larger location just around the corner at 425 Oak Street in Central Point (still located in 4 Oaks Centre) to accommodate for the community’s growing desire of different class offerings. Art 4 Joy has classes for children 5 years old and under that focus on tactile and motor skill development through creative art play, as well as weekly youth painting classes for first grade on up. Other classes offered include classes for Seniors 55+, some of which have never painted before, but are very excited to learn! Jim DeKorte (73), Samitore’s father, has Parkinson’s Disease and enjoys his art classes as his tremors subside and his cognition increases during art class. Other Seniors attend for increased social activity, for relaxation or mood elevation, etc. “Art is very therapeutic for mind, body and spirit,” says Samitore. She feels strongly that art classes can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what age or experience level you have. “Studies have shown that art is a valuable therapy for stress, anxiety, depression and more. Our classes are very social and always educational in a fun way, so whether a guest is young or young at heart, they leave with very positive feelings,” says Samitore.
Samitore has been fielding calls and emails for work parties, birthday parties, potential partnerships with local schools and non-profits who provide services to foster care children and more. Her goal is the bring art back to the community due to reduced art activities within the schools and to inspire adults to take a night out for social time in a new and fun way that is different and healthy for body, mind and spirit. She wants to help people feel good about themselves through creativity.
Art 4 Joy is currently working with the City of Central Point’s Recreation Department to expand their arts and crafts offerings during Community Christmas, scheduled for Dec. 5th, 2015. Art 4 Joy will be open to the public for free arts and crafts to all kiddos who attend Community Christmas, just 1 block east of City Hall so that families can enjoy the celebration a little longer where they can get out of the cold.
Samitore recently retired from teaching horse back riding lessons at Samitore Stables, also of Central Point, to children and adults with and without disabilities/learning/behavior disorders since 2005, to pursue her other love in life – CREATIVITY! She hopes to keep working with special needs children and adults as well as those without them. “What’s neat about this new learning opportunity is that no level of physical fitness, or experience is required and fees are lower (than horse back riding) so I can work with a larger population within our community,” says Samitore. She loves teaching and sharing the joy of expanding one’s horizons of what’s possible when you give something new a try!
Samitore is planning a Grand Opening/Christmas Open House in December (TBD), as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony (still to be scheduled) with the Central Point Chamber of Commerce.
Photo Opportunity: Saturday, November 21, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm, a promotional free class will be held at Art 4 Joy to introduce the community to our Taste and Create classes.
The Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon Fall 2015 Community Meeting
held last week in Medford was informative and fun- thank you to all who attended.
It was a great opportunity to strengthen our arts community, we shared the new logo design and tag line “The Artist Network” and unveiled the new rack cards.
From now through the end of 2015, Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon will continue to build membership (only $20 for 2015!) Please spread the word- we are now up to 60 members and growing strong!
Our new rack card is hot off the presses! All Charter Members, please contact us to get your stack of 50 (or more!) 10,000 rack cards have been printed and are available-anyone willing is encouraged to help distribute them. They turned out beautifully and feature artwork and logos from Charter Members. Please email us when you place them in certain locations so we can track and organize our outreach efforts.
ARTS ALLIANCE OF SOUTHERN OREGON MEMBERS RECEIVE DISCOUNTED RATE! SIGN UP FOR KEVIN OR GREGG’S WORKSHOP AND RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY TICKET TO THE YOU ARE A WORK OF ART PANEL/DISCUSSION ON FRIDAY NIGHT. More details below…
Don’t forget to share your events, call to artists, inspiration, and more, keeping Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon: The Artist Network active and robust. Together, we are helping our arts community thrive!
On July 28th, Hillary Clinton expressed her support for arts education at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire. The presidential candidate responded to a question about education with an answer that featured great enthusiasm for the arts.
She remarked how valuable it was that she had an opportunity to sing in a chorus and participate in drama and visual arts classes in school. “But the point is when you remove the arts you really hurt kids who learn that way!”
Watch the portion of the town hall meeting where she speaks about arts education below and then continue the conversation on social media using this sample tweet: