Sharing Art with Children

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My love for books and art often leads me to visiting the local library and local fine art and craft galleries when I travel. It is fun for me. My ten year residency in Colorado kept me somewhat in tune with Western art. When I was in Montana this summer, it was fun to revisit the works of artists who are located in the western part of the country,

I witnessed how very young children can enjoy art, too! I walked into the Rialto Theatre in Bozeman, MT and abstracts of horses greeted me. “Neigh, neigh!” a dear little sixteen month old girl, my new grand daughter whom I have finally met, shouted out as she pointed to the equines in the pictures! Frankly, I was surprised she recognized what it was in the abstract. But even the littlest ones, they often don’t miss a thing!

Once finished with the exhibit at the Rialto, next stop was a fabulous fine art gallery on Main Street I had heard of but had never visited before -, Montana Trails Gallery. My daughter-in-law, Meghan, my granddaughter Charlotte, and I had a grand time looking at the exquisite collection and stayed as long as a toddler could tolerate being contained in a backpack.

Once again, my little granddaughter shouted out “neigh, neigh” when she saw the horse paintings and bronze sculptures, “Baa-baa,” she said to the sheep in the pictures, and “moo-moo” to the cows. Ok, in her sixteen-month old experience and opinion, the “doggies” were mislabeled as wolves and foxes. Ah well…perhaps next time we return the labels will be corrected, I think in jest, with a big smile on my face as I remember her sweet little voice calling out to all the “doggies,” and her hands pointing to them as we walked through the gallery.

And lastly during my visit, my son and I took in the art scene at the Bozeman Art Museum. Unfortunately, with my faulty calendar reading we missed the plein air “paint out” two days prior. But on Monday,we did catch up and saw all the works of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters hanging, still wet with paint, at Bozeman Art Museum. I was familiar with a few artists such as Dave Santillanes, from working at the world-class Wild Horse Gallery in Steamboat Springs a few years ago. And the work of Chuck Marshall was familiar as well as Kathy Anderson, who is now represented by West Wind Fine Art, LLC, another superb fine art gallery where I worked when it was in Vermont. If you’d like to see the results of the canvases from the two hour “paint out,” I invite you to visit this link I have posted. Some of the paintings are still available for purchase.

Now, I’m back to East Coast art, which I enjoy immensely too! With the diverse landscape and culture in the United States of America, opportunities abound to share all kinds of art with the next generations. Sydney Gurewitz Clemens once said, “Art has a role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” I wholeheartedly agree!

Valuing The Future

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As a life-long library patron, anytime I visit a library I have never frequented before, it’s like library week all over again. I recently visited one in the western part of the U.S.

Bozeman, Montana has a wonderful library. A good indicator of valuing future generations is a willingness to invest in good community resources for learning, information and gathering spaces which inspire discovery.

Located in the fourth largest city in Big Sky Country, the Bozeman Library is light-filled! In a place where winter is long and cold, an active library where one can find connection through book groups, children’s reading programs, at the library coffee shop and at special library sponsored events, is well appreciated. Sometimes getting involved in library activities can become a “life-saver” for those feeling disconnected or isolated.

Interior Bozeman Montana Public Library
Children’s Library Area at Bozeman Public Library

Art abounds both in the interior and on the surrounding grounds of this and other public libraries around the country.

Through books, we are given the opportunity to fly off to places and meet people we ordinarily wouldn’t! So never discount the value of books and the importance an author feels to engage with others through the written word.

Bringing Art to Life

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Over the past six weeks, I’ve enjoyed three living history presentations given by Colleen Webster. These events were sponsored by the Harford Artist Association and were well attended. Ms. Webster makes an art out of telling stories about creatives of long ago who left their mark on this world. Thanks to the ephemera they left behind and the protection of copyright laws, their bodies of work live on in public domains such as in art museums, on shelves in libraries and bookstores, and in oral history stories.

The first living history presentation featured artist Rita Kahlo. Learning about her personality and traumatic occurrences throughout her life helped me to understand her art. There is little doubt both became artistically rendered through her craft.  Her painting sustained her through difficulty and tragedy. There is more about this performance on this blog post called Interpreting Art and Life.

The 2nd in the series was about the life of painter artist Georgia O’Keefe who is most frequently associated with her images of stunning poppies and her studio and residence in New Mexico. Here is an article I wrote some years ago on allthingsfulfilling.com  after visiting the O’Keefe museum in Santa Fe. O’Keefe’s life was long, she lived to nearly 100, so there was plenty I wasn’t aware of which was brought out in Colleen Webster’s oral portrayal of the artist.

The subject of the third living history performance by Colleen Webster was about author and poet Dorothy Parker. Like Kahlo and O’Keefe she too was born before her time. It took enormous vulnerability on the part of all three to pursue their art and live so independently and so differently than others of their gender in their day and age. The women all lived lifestyles that many would describe as gutsy, rash, reckless and irresponsible. Yet, it was their love for their art that kept propelling them forward. O’Keefe freely admitted “she was scared every day of her life,” but pursued her passion anyway.  How’s that for unstoppable and driven?

I’d like to thank the Harford Artist Association for bringing these very memorable performances to our community. For more information on other living history presentations by Colleen Webster and her schedule of events, please visit her website.

According to an article about intentional creativity, art is derived from our communications with ourselves. From these oral presentations, the audience could better understand each artists life and how the fulfillment of it was translated into their art. The “Red Thread Chronicles” articulates stories of the power of art on women’s lives globally. Check it out. 

“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”  ― Georgia O’Keeffe

2020 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist

Highlight of 2020.

Author:  Sue Batton Leonard

All Things Fulfilling

We are pleased to announce a biography about Richard Galusha called “An Artist’s Journey,” written by Sue Batton Leonard is a 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist. The narrative tells the story of the unique influences that drove  Galusha’s passion for the arts from childhood to amateur artist to arts educator to professional artist to gallery owner.

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Bringing Culture to Rural Areas

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I recently revisited the 1861 Greek Revival building in Stowe, Vermont which is shared by the Stowe Free Library and the Helen Day Art Center, a non-profit arts education organization “deeply committed to eliminating socioeconomic barriers by bringing a comprehensive education program into the Gallery and out into community. “

The establishment of this multi-use space in 1981 has done much to bring art appreciation to a town which, at one time, was primarily visited for it’s ski culture.

“The Helen Day” is one of 45 Vermont Museums and Galleries which make up the Vermont Curators Group.

The black and white photographic  exhibit I visited displayed the works of Dona Anne McAdams.

I couldnt help but notice how the pictures of avante-garde individuals, social justice and poignant every day life were so similar to the kinds of images photojournalist Cherel Ito chose back in the 1960s. In my eyes, if Ito was still alive she and McAdams would be kindred spirits. Ito’s photographs now live on at the National Women in the Arts Museum in Washington D.C.

Here is a very small sampling of McAdams photos which I enjoyed because the viewer can find the story in each of them.

 

 

 

Indie Bookstore Day

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A few Saturday’s ago was celebrate Independent Bookstore Day. In many states  COVID-19 has restricted the opening of brick and mortar stores over the past 6 months but regulations have relaxed just a little allowing a celebration with social distancing. Many bookstores held sidewalk  celebrations.

As I participated in a book signing in Bel Air, MD I couldn’t help but think how selling books by e-commerce and also the development of electronic books (e-books) and audio books were made for a time such as this. Had it not been for the vast changes in the publishing industry over the past 12 or 15 years, bookselling would have come to a complete and utter screaming hault during these challenging times.

It felt so good to be able to participate in a bookselling event and to meet and greet other authors who share a passion for writing.

Here’s a few images of Independent Bookstore Day in 2020! Books are already being written about this unique time in history.

Book with a Big Takeaway Message

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I just read a book by Rubi Ho called The Thrival Guide to Work and Life. Briefly, Rubi Ho is an expert at organizational change and an Executive Business Coach. His talents are especially valuable in this day and age when corporations everywhere are looking at change or overhauls  due to the pandemic.

Along with sharing many achievable tips, his book paints an abstract of his early childhood as an orphan and how he became a successful business person working with Fortune 500 companies and living a fulfilling life. The tools he used to become successful endorses the idea that education is not always the key ingredient for a thriving life.

The biggest takeaway for me was Rubi Ho’s assurance that limitation, lack of resources and challenge early in life often lays the foundation for learning critical thinking skills and problem solving which can be greatly used to one’s advantage. Knowing oneself and using ones own innate gifts and lessons learned through real life experience leads to thrival. Quang Ho, his brother, a world renown artist is sited as an excellent example of someone who followed his heart for art even though he knew the big challenges he’d face trying to rise to an elite level of accomplishment.

The book is so filled with strategies for both personal and professional achievement that it is best read in it’s entirety.

Rubi Ho, best wishes to you for thrival in your publishing endeavors. You have much of value to share.

Overdue Recognition

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’Twant me, ’twas the Lord. I always told him, “I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,” and he always did. ~ Harriet Tubman

Happy New Year from AllThingsFulfilling.com. Let’s start 2020 with a topic that warms my heart because it magnifies the humanitarian efforts and the importance of a freedom fighter of the past, Harriet Tubman. I am so happy the recent release of the movie “Harriet” has been so well received because her bravery and contribution for the betterment of her people through the Underground Railroad is important to our country’s history.

Over my Christmas hiatus from blogging, I came across a book that further puts the spot light on Harriet Tubman. The Good Ol’ Ship of Zion (Christmas Escape, Part 1) is just one chapter among others in the book Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva  that helps educate, inform and inspire the public about a woman whose recognition is long overdue.

Make 2020 the year when you take your family on a good ole road trip to Dorchester County, Maryland and expose them to a very important part of our nation’s history at the new  National Park dedicated solely to Harriet Tubman! And while you’re there, stop by Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge! By the by – there is a bench along the Tubman Trail on the Blackwater Refuge lands where you can take a respite from your travels. Seek out the bench that says “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

Holiday Books

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Happy December 1st everyone. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I recently began spending time at the Charles W. Lightner Library, a Christian Community Library. What a wonderful assortment of titles – currently 6,300 but who is counting? The number is constantly increasing as new books are acquired.

As I browse the shelves, I see so many titles perfect for family reading. The chances of the whole family being on the same page together when it comes to faith and spirituality is increased when Christian book titles are on the bookshelves of the family library.

Here are two publications which will reinforce your family’s determination to put the focus back into Christmas where it belongs. Pre-holiday reading is recommended!

  • 7 Days of Christmas: The Season of Generosity by Jen Hatmaker
  • Advent Conspiracy by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay and Greg Holder

You, too, can join in on the Advent Conspiracy. I have! I’m participating in a group discussion with the local United Methodist Church in Bel Air.

Keep your eye on AllThingsFulfilling.com.  In the New Year there will be more recommended titles because there are genres of books that can make a world of difference to individuals and family alike who want to live more fulfilling lives. Click here for one more title to add to this short list! There is a meaningful chapter about Christmas in it you will not want to miss.

Post Script:  Ever since I entered the media world as a blogger and writer ten years ago, I have taken about a two-week hiatus, through the holidays, from posting writings. This year it will be a little different. I am dedicating myself to a whole month of quietly observing the holy season and to the renewal of spirit. When the New Year rolls around, 2020!! I will be refreshed and rejuvenated.

Merry Christmas to You and to Yours.

 

Self-Fulfilling Action

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We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than through our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we accomplish goals.” ~ Stephen Covey

 

It’s the season of Thanksgiving. Ten years ago I had limited knowledge about independent publishing and I had never written anything. But I had a strong interest!  If it hadn’t been for the fruits of my labors over a span of the last decade, there is no way a project that will soon come to fruition would have landed in my lap!  A year ago I became entrusted to write someone else’s story. I am honored and thankful! The publication is going to be outstanding.

Truly, it takes just as much action as it does words when it comes to becoming a writer and independent publisher. Nixing fear and doubt and replacing it with unwavering faith and the words “I AM WRITING AND PUBLISHING A BOOK” (rather than I am trying to) makes a big difference in ones determination and motivation to get the job done, project after project.

The opportunity came on the heels of taking a break from any serious writing time because for a season in my life I became full-time caretaker to two terminally ill parents and it reinforced my belief in the power of writing to heal from loss and bring personal fulfillment.

The narrative was so much fun to write! I know the artist is looking forward to revealing his new publication and it will soon be hot off the press!  Keep your eye out on this website, soon more information will be posted.