Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I think my brain gets fried after talking all day long...I wonder if I can scientifically prove such a thing. All I know is that the process of setting up the exhibit and talking about the work is exhausting and great all in the same bundle. I hope what I say makes sense, but knowing that my brain seems to operate in run-on/ADD fashion, I can only hope for the best. Somewhere in the third hour of talking about the art, and amazing artwork as it is, I hit a blurry haze and wonder if I just repeated myself or if the information I just shared was at all coherent. I have been on tour a lot in the last month, so I think that sleeping away from home adds to the level of exhaustion. Or, I'm just crazy, hard to say. :)
That rambling is a warning that this journal/blog entry could possibly be somewhat incoherent. However, I want to update, so here it goes...

Ahhh, the good stuff, the art education/outreach is worth it. I have been all over mostly NW/W Montana. I am constantly seeing new things in the artwork that is in the exhibit, due to the inquisitive eyes of students and teachers. It is amazing how, as an artist, we create something that is a part of us; something hopefully unique. Something we hope connects each of us to someone else, or possibly the someone else to the environment, a dream, place...something. Whatever it is, it is about that connection. After all, without the viewer (connection) the work never becomes real or alive. I have to hope that even if that connection is small...say, a once a year visit from the Art Mobile, it will be remembered. The possibility that something else is out there. That rules can be broken or that each individual story is important...those are thing I hope these kids are left with. I don't trick myself into thinking that learning a few art terms and creating art for an hour will change their lives or the world. I definitely have students fall asleep and zone out during my visits. But maybe I'm there for the kid in front, soaking it all in and asking every question possible. Maybe that's who needs the Art Mobile.

I have been amazingly blessed in my life. I have the support, education, and drive to be able to create art and to travel with the Art Mobile. I will continue to grow and I will reach goals only to set new ones. I can only hope that each student gets fired up enough, about something, anything...that they will strive to reach their potential. If the students I reach aren't thrilled about art, maybe they'll grow in their appreciation and understanding of it. Possibly we can cross some boundaries and grow to empathize with one another with such thoughts and realizations ...

There are a lot of questions that being on the road and teaching all of these great students leaves me with. I have never seen Montana in the way that I see it from my van. Good people, hard-working people who are doing their best to simply live their lives. People living in an area because a certain industry brought them or their ancestors there. Now seeing schools close, lose enrollment and the number of vacant buildings in small town Montana...I have started to fear that these places may disappear. Jobs are necessary in these areas. I don't think there are a lot to go around. I don't know the answer, I just don't want to lose the core of our state. The people are always inspiring and determined. I trust they will find away to stay afloat. For now, I'll keep bringing them the art!

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