Many thoughtful people have rightfully lamented the gutting of funding for arts education to privilege more “useful” studies. But there are also the limitations we impose on ourselves, and the diminishment of what many of us once so much enjoyed (“I loved to paint and draw as a kid…”). Art too often becomes something we let go to follow well-rutted roads, to conform, and to not stand apart.
Witnessing that joy before conventional expressiveness takes hold is what I love about children’s art — and it’s what I love about all art — seeing the work of people who’ve survived inhibition, and often derision to assert their unique points of view. The Duluth Art Institute offers an arc of time this month worth meditating on: “Youth Art” fills the Great Hall, while upstairs are Shawna Gilmore’s lyrical efforts to retain a sense of wonder, and Ken Bloom’s looking back at his younger self in an exotic land.
To celebrate the fiercely independent and the eccentric (I’ve found no shortage here), next week’s theme will be “iconoclasts.” Send your unwatermarked, signature-less images by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m to tim @ perfectduluthday.com — 1000px at their largest dimension — along with title (if any), and URL of your website, Facebook page, Tumblr, Flickr stream, or Instagram.
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