Rockwell Art: All about Community

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All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life. ~ Norman Rockwell        

Some of the most recognizable art in history are the illustrations of Norman Rockwell. His work reflects what was most important to him – life in small town America and the people who were integral to the fabric of the community in which he lived. For me, fulfilling thoughts of life in much simpler times are recalled when I see iconic Rockwell images. 

Now, by agreement between Kiwanis International www.kiwanisinternational.org and the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company of Niles, Illinois, outstanding community leaders, recognized by Kiwanis International, can now receive a fulfilling award of a Rockwell-style portrait to grace the walls of their homes. Photographs of Kiwanis Recognition Award recipients are transformed into images by outstanding artists licensed to put the stamp of Norman Rockwell Moments™ www.normanrockwellmoments.org onto their work. 

What a natural and splendid pairing of Kiwanis International and Norman Rockwell Moments™ this is!  Norman Rockwell-style portraits are heirloom gifts to entire families. They are lasting reminders to children, in future generations, of what set their ancestors apart. It was the very same qualities that Norman Rockwell sought in his subjects to paint – people who stood out in their communities. 

Kiwanis aims to bring a new whole generation of young adults into the fold. Maintaining and building strong communities in the 21st century will be as important to this non-profit organization as when the organization began in Detroit in 1914. 

Are you a young adult who believes that community spirit builds a better world? If so, contact your local Kiwanis Club and become a member. Perhaps someday you will be recognized as a community leader!

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Yankee Writers Gathering!

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“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”~  Thomas Edison

 New Englanders are hearty souls! I can attest to that after having lived in the State of Vermont for 35 years!  On March 25th and March 26th there will be a gathering of New England Writers focused on how to “Survive and Thrive” as independent publishers. The New England Publishing Conference will be held at Chapel Hill-Chauncey Hall School in Waltham, Massachusetts. 

Veteran publishers, industry experts and vendors to the independent publishing industry will be on hand fulfilling the need for knowledge for those who are starting out in book publishing. Book promotion and selling through e-marketing and other channels such as libraries, book fairs, bookstores and to non-profit organizations will be topics of discussion, too. 

Cevin Bryerman from Publishers Weekly Magazine www.publishersweekly.com will address the crowd. Don’t miss out on that! Cevin always has a lot of interesting things to share about the industry. There will be workshops focusing on e-books, blog writing, e-marketing, and other information on the business of publishing both domestically and globally. Another important speaker, Tim Brookes from Champlain College www.champlain.edu will be speaking about Publishing in the 21st Century – The Campus Revolution. The keynote speech will be given by publisher David R. Godine www.godine.com

For more information on this important educational conference, please visit www.ipne.org. For questions, e-mail talktous@ipne.org. There are special conference lodging rates at the Holiday Inn Express in Waltham, MA. Make your reservation now, so you can take advantage of this block of rooms set aside for the IPNE Publishing Conference. 

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Engage them in Art

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 “ Creativity is a characteristic given to all human beings at birth” ~ Abraham Maslow 

Instead of holding a birthday party at a pizza joint or a fast food restaurant, surround your kids and their friends with Fine Art. Make it a gala to remember by exposing your children to culture and fulfill your parental duties of providing educational opportunities for your children outside of the classroom. Hold a Birthday Party in an Art Museum! 

The Museum of Fine Art in Boston, Massachusetts is just one of a number of art museums across the country offering birthday parties for kids. Catch kid’s interest in paintings, sculpture, folk art and other mediums of art while they are young. You can arrange for a private museum tour with a docent that is experienced at engaging and exciting young minds about Art. Perhaps a hands-on session of making a creative piece of artwork to take home, inspired by an art gallery exhibition would be fun! Send the party-goers on a treasure hunt throughout the museum looking for animals, artifacts, fashion or other themes represented in the artwork exhibited. Creative learning about art is always fun! 

Think outside the box for your child’s next birthday celebration. Instead of giving things like candy as a party favor,  how about child-sized artist berets, a box of pastels, a children’s book on a famous artist or a brush with a box of watercolor paints. It will provide a way to continue the creative streak long after the party is over. 

For more information on this fun way to celebrate a child’s birthday in an Art Museum visit http://bit.ly/egPsV6 or use your favorite search engine to locate a list of art museums that offer parent/child programs for fulfilling birthday fun or for rainy days. Incorporate  creative learning experiences and personal fulfillment through Art in your child’s life.

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Near and Dear to My Heart

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“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” ~ Kevin Arnold 

On this Valentine’s Day, I thought I would write about a cause that is near and dear to the hearts of many. There are millions and millions of families affected by cancer each and every year. The number of books written by cancer survivors and by family members of the deceased helps us to realize that cancer directly or indirectly touches everyone’s hearts at some time in their lives. Books on this subject are helpful to others, because it brings to the forefront the enormity of the disease. Writing about cancer serves great purpose in fulfilling a need for survivors and family members to share their hurt, their physical and emotional trauma and sometimes, very happily, their triumph over the disease. By reading stories of others who have experienced the effects of this disease, it helps survivors and families realize that they are not alone.

Events such as The Race for Life raises awareness of the need to raise money for cancer research. Teams that participate in the annual Race for Life Relay, Nordic Style are dedicated to keeping the spirit of their loved one alive and to raising money for research. Amy’s Angels will be competing for a second year at the Trapp Family Lodge (of Sound of Music fame) www.trappfamily.com  in Stowe, Vermont, and defending their title as the top fundraising team. The Race for Life Relay, Nordic Style kicks off on March 19 and 20th, 2011. 

If you are unable to put together a team to compete in one of the Race for Life fundraising events, held across the country annually, but still wish to support cancer research or honor the spirit of a loved one that you have lost to cancer, please visit this link, and make your pledge to the American Cancer Society this Valentine’s Day. www.relayforlife/nordicstyle.org

I will be routing for the women on Amy’s Angels team come March from Steamboat Springs, CO. My friend, Amy whom I lost to breast cancer almost two years ago, is near and dear to me in spirit every day. Her legacy lies within the minds of hundreds of children that she educated, mentored and loved in her 30 years of teaching in Vermont.

 Go Amy’s Angels, go!

Melding Recreation with Culture, Art and Religion

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“Art seems to me to be above all a state of soul.”~ Marc Chagall 

Did you happen to see “Chautauque: An American Narrative” on PBS last night? I’ve been aware of this artist colony, located in Western New York, for quite sometime. However, the 60 minute documentary fulfilled my interest in wanting to know all kinds of things about this idyllic, lakeside town, their summer inhabitants and the programs offered by the Chautauque Institute that has existed since the late 1870’s. 

The Chautauque Institute has had it’s struggles over the years, but since the 1980’s a new vision for strengthening it’s programs in science, art, religion and politics has rejuvenated and elevated their institution to new levels. What began as a literary retreat back in 1878 now includes teaching programs, lecture series and live performances of theatre, opera, ballet. Studio experiences abound for painters, sculpture, fiber arts and even more. People come to immerse themselves in the intellectually and culturally stimulating programs for a week or two, or for an entire season. 

The institute’s popular morning lecture event attracts speakers such as Sandra Day O’Connor, David McCollough, Garrison Keiller and Daniel Pink. There are over 2,000 fulfilling programs in a 9 week period for those with a thirst for knowledge on the subjects of art, politics, spirituality and culture. 

Lake Chautauqua provides a setting for recreating in any way you please. Every summer, the town swells from a few hundred full-time residents to a population of 150,000 people. There are families, 5 generations deep, that return annually to enjoy the facilities and the recreation opportunities in this beautiful town and at this culturally-rich institute. For more information on the documentary film about this fulfilling summer hub of recreation, enrichment and intellectual stimulation, please visit http://bit.ly/gh9rTu.

 

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