Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Art & Inspiration


Water is as steady as thoughts
as unstable as a child’s first steps
as old as time as fresh as life
as mysterious as dreams

—Amanda Ditmore, age 9
   Berkeley, California

Every year River of Words sponsors a free international art and poetry contest for young artists between the ages of 5 and 19. There is still time for your young artists to submit through December. You can read all about the contest rules at the link below.

I visited St. Mary’s College for the last day of the River of Words exhibit. When I learned of it through the library, I went to the college website and was drawn into the watercolor image of the fish displayed on the museum web page.

Looking at the artwork on the walls and reading the poems that were interspersed between the artwork was invigorating. No two artworks were alike, each representing the young human's view, each a profound statement.

I walked slowly through the exhibit, taking in each piece. I have always been inspired by children’s art and poetry because there is a fresh, spontaneous element, and also in many cases a refined quality beyond my beliefs.

You can click on the first link below to the view the 2012 winners and finalists. From this page, you can also view the poetry. I hope you enjoy the images.

River of Words 2012 Art Gallery

Read more about River of Words here

River of Words Website


Vincent said...

I'm not so sure about children's art. I would not put any particular value on it. Yes, they should be encouraged to develop techniques but I feel instinctively that their work is not to be specially admired, and that we should not expect to find anything much in it. By all means have competitions and so forth but I very much question the idea of profound statements. there are child prodigies of course, but as Dr Johnson said, when a dog can stand on its hind legs and dance it's not the art in the dancing we admire but the fact that the dog can do it at all. Something like that.

Does this sound curmudgeonly?

Rebb said...

Vincent, How funny that we go from a calm Vincent to a Vincent that had a nerve struck and turns into Curmudgeonly Vincent. I love it! I must say, I had a good laugh about it.

All kidding aside, I completely feel and appreciate what you’re saying about children’s art and you’ve made me reevaluate my statement. I may have been too quick to include the older kids in the group that were 15 and 16 years of age and not pointing out that detail. There were at least two or three pieces where my statement can hold up. However, yes, I see that with the younger children ages 5 and 6 and so on—and then I wonder at what age exactly do we draw the line where a child is no longer a child?—but with them yes the 5’s and 6’s, I think you may be right.

I appreciate your comments, especially for making me think further about my thoughts—thank you!