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  • Some years ago I was rummaging through a used furniture store and came across a print that hangs in my office at school where I teach.

    In my department students and faculty study the making of artworks from movement. The work might have foundation in story, or pattern, or gesture. Some of the work is intended for the big screen some for the pocket phone. We study the art of animation. We make narratives and documentaries. We make kinetic sculpture.

    It is a little hard to explain exactly what we do to a parent who comes with a teen-age child and asks why they should spend a hundred thousand dollars on an art education. Wouldn’t it be better if they bought their kid a house or several luxury sedans? Some are frustrated that their child wants to study making art rather than something that would pay better.

    Frankly, I don’t know anything that pays better than living a life of observation and making - a life of envisioning possible designs and solutions to issues through the creation of objects… even ephemeral objects can inspire a moment of epiphany.

    I look at the print that hangs in my office. The owner of the used furniture store had dropped it the morning before I bought it. The glass broke and scarred the surface. She felt the damage had lessened its value sold it for next to nothing. I have prized it for over a decade.

    A student came into my office and asked why I hung it on my wall … A baby’s first step…how cute ... tantamount to a Hallmark greeting card moment from the past.

    The baby is full of desire. The dad has a ball the mom’s arm a guardrail ready to defeat gravity during this moment of risk. There is a doll on the floor and some unattended knitting. At the dad’s feet are a cat and an animal that looks like a fox. On the left sits a chicken cage and worn out shoes. There is a rip in the drape around the bed that has gone without attention. A blanket hangs to a point between the child’s outstretched hands and the ball she wants so much. it is rendered into a soft V.

    V is for....

    The scene is messy.

    Learning is messy.

    Its why I like this print.
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