July 24, 2017
Why do they call it dog days of summer? The term has its roots in Greek and Roman astrology which connected summer with “heat, drought, and sudden thunderstorms”. Guess what, they also referred to “lethargy, fever, bad luck and mad dogs!”
Because I am an old dog, I will take all the droughts, heat and thunderstorms knowing that I have a window before the ice, sleet and cold turn me into a mad dog. I also love to utilize summer to reset my goals and to think about a proverbial “7th inning stretch” for the calendar year.
Here’s the next level thought. I try to use my summer to think about the life / work balance thing we all struggle with and more specifically, “how do I find time to do things that inspire me emotionally”. For me, this means hobbies and reminding myself that reading great books, finding new great music and uncovering new visual artists is what excites me. It also means doing…playing my guitar, taking a new class and focusing on that creative side of my brain…the side that made life more fun when we were kids!!! I want more of that!!!
Ok, so we will never refer to it as the “dog days of summer” anymore. From this point forward it shall be known as the “personal reset window”. Assignment: take a week to make some goals for the balance of the year and add 1-2 things that are different and creative and maybe childlike…you will love me for it.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #DogDaysofSummer
July 3, 2017
Today I simply want to reflect on America…the amazing country that we live in. I am grateful for having access to so many things and I am deeply aware that being an American comes with great privilege.
My motivation to promote the arts is rooted in the fact that I want people to enjoy life more and I believe that doing creative things promotes happiness and well being. The arts are highly valued and at the same time there are so many pressing issues. One River is adding to the fabric of what is good in America and over the next year we plan to open a bunch of new schools in towns across the country.
I hope that we can all agree that this July 4th we can cherish what we have and respect where we have come from. Happy Birthday America! Just like everything, it is easy to take you for granted too.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #America
May 15, 2017
Daniel Rios Rodriguez is one of my favorite artists and I want to tell you a bit about him in our latest Artist Spotlight. I stumbled on his work at an art fair in 2012. I bought two small paintings and reached out to him to tell him that I just opened an art school and wanted to show his work. Daniel became the first solo exhibition we ever presented at One River and I am thrilled to tell you about the amazing progress he has made in his art journey.
Daniel has a solo show right now in NYC! And, it is with one of my favorite galleries in the world Nicelle Beauchene. His artwork is so cool…and idiosyncratic. They are these small, interesting and odd mixed-media objects that reflect stories from growing up in San Antonio and the landscape of the surroundings areas. Last year Daniel had a show in Chicago that was reviewed by Art in America and his work is now being consumed by curators and major collectors…and it is still affordable so go check it out!
I am thrilled that One River is playing a real role in creating a narrative for emerging artists. At our core, we care about and celebrate artists and we are thrilled to see people like Daniel cut through the clutter in a deeply challenging space. There has never been a time where more living artists are making work and sharing it in so many places…online and in galleries. Support artists because they make our world a fundamentally more enjoyable place. They also give you a chance to reflect on your life and the times we live in via there outcomes. And, of course, take a cool art class!
Daniel Rios Rodriguez On View at Nicelle Beauchene through May 21, 2017
More Info Here >
Founder & CEO
March 20, 2017
I don’t want to be political here…I simply want to talk about the NEA because they provide support to something that is at the center of my heart and soul. Arts and Culture. We are living in a moment of time where there is so much noise. It is really hard to make an argument for anything without having a strong counterpoint.
At One River School, we don’t receive any grants so I have no personal stake here. But, I do sit on the Board of Trustees for the Bergen PAC and an organization called Art 21 who both rely on grants. These two organizations are doing amazing work for our communities and they represent just two of the thousands of non-profits who support our communities with amazing educational services.
The Bergen PAC runs a non-profit theater that is vital to the economic fabric of northern, New Jersey. In addition, they teach thousands of kids performing arts through partnerships with local schools! They also run an amazing school where they teach dance, performance and music…the Bergen PAC is simply am invaluable resource to our community.
Art 21 has changed the paradigm for teaching and learning about the creative process. They provide unparalleled access to the artist’s voice around the world, using the power of digital media to introduce millions of people to contemporary art.
I am certain that getting a budget deal in place, including healthcare and the military takes precedent. I am also certain that ELIMINATING the NEA is the wrong decision and that the small amount that is currently appropriated makes our world better.
If you don’t have details on exactly how your tax money is used visit the NEA’s website. I am hopeful that there will be a change of heart…Culture Matters.
#MondayThoughts #TheNEA #OneRiverSchool #CultureMatters
March 14, 2017
Why do we freak out about the weather? Sometime ago, people would set out by land or sea and get utterly crushed by the unpredictable force of nature. Today, we track weather models a good 15 days in advance with amazing certainty. So, what is it about us and our brain that can’t handle an impending storm with calm?
I think it gets at control. We simply can’t control weather like we can’t control father time. Our whole life is built to try to develop as much control over our lives and when we have to turn that control over to some external force it smacks us in the face of our basic needs. Let it go…and try to apply this to other things in your life that you have less control over.
One of the best ways to deal with this is to find outlets that teach a meditative way of living…yoga, art, music and many other hobbies allow you to slow down, block out the disruptions and maximize the right chemical balance in your brain. They also provide rewarding benefits like friendship, personal growth and a focus on being positive…the key driver of happiness…thinking positively.
Old man winter is gonna blow…get out your drawing pad and chill. You’ll be happier.
#MondayThoughts #SnowStormStella #OneRiverSchool
January 10, 2017
No we are not starting a college. But, last Friday I visited Michael Rees and The Center for New Art at William Patterson University and I was so happy to see the innovative approaches to teaching art at the college level that exist right here in our backyard.
Michael Rees is the Associate Professor and Director of the program and I couldn’t be more impressed with his vision for his program and the innovative / comprehensive approach that is built into his curriculum. Mike is also a world-class artist…his work has appeared in two Whitney Biennial’s and he holds an MFA from Yale University. (Check out his work here.)
As I delve further into growing One River School nationally, I remain deeply committed to finding like-minded people to collaborate with. I also am hopeful that more of these people exist right here in our community. It takes a vision to build something special but even more important is finding people who can challenge my assumptions and add new ideas.
Take a look at the work Mike and William Patterson are doing. I believe they are on the front end of the curve…developing more creative young adults. And more creative people will simply make us a better society.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverUniversity #WilliamPatersonUniversity
December 5, 2016
We took 11 teen students.
Gave them a studio of their own.
Connected them with a mentor / teacher.
Asked them to make an original body of artwork…akin to a professional assignment.
We told them we would exhibit the work in multiple locations.
They did the work …and we are exhibiting it!
I couldn’t be more proud.
Art Effect by One River is coming to NYC this Saturday, December 10th, 4-8PM.
Bravin Lee Gallery in Chelsea is the setting for our this third and final leg of a three-city tour: Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
It will be a wonderful celebration of the amazing commitment our students made.
Please join us.
#MondayThoughts #ArtEffect #TransformingArtEducation
November 7, 2016
So many things have been said about the election that I will try to avoid the obvious here. For whatever it means, I am not in the game of governing and I respect people who try to make a difference. I may not always agree with them, but I can’t imagine how hard it must be to do the job and either way I am willing to accept whatever happens and support our country.
Life is short and happiness is in your hands. We have the best country in the world by far… warts and all. I can give you so many examples but I am sure I don’t have to convince you about that point. So, lets take a chill pill, go out and vote and then lets come together and work on building a better future for our children.
I often share the story of the British artist Bob and Roberta Smith who last year ran for Prime Minister of Great Britain on the “Art Party.” Absurd as it sounds, he struck a chord with me. Making great people … makes great countries.
To that point, at One River, we are focused on helping people think differently. Our world is better when people are challenging themselves to think differently and that is what art is about. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old…just create.
Check out Bob and Roberta’s latest “creative parade” here.
#MondayThoughts #VoteforHumanity #BobandRobertaSmith
October 31, 2016
I am a health nut. I read as much as I can about diet, exercise and the latest updates with a goal of constantly upgrading my routine. While there is no one recipe that works for everyone, I can assure you that if you demonstrate discipline in a few areas you will improve your health and your brain power…it is that simple.
Exercise: Here’s what the American Diabetes Association says: “Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week. Spread your activity out over at least 3 days during the week and try not to go more than 2 days in a row without exercising.
Nutrition: Here’s what Matt Ross says: Limit your carbs to 150G per day, Eat zero trans fats, Cut out processed food, eat more dark, leafy greens, drink more water, reduce your alcohol to no more than 3 drinks per week.
Your Mind: Get the monkey off your back…a friend recently told me about Daniel Smith’s book “Monkey Mind”. In today’s world, I think anxiety is the number one challenge to heath and well-being. Manage it.
Your Soul: Do something quiet that requires your complete attention. Take an art class! Or, go mediate. Or, go somewhere into nature and sit still.
Get your head making better choices and you will have better health with a more clear head, It’s that simple.
#MondayThoughts #YourHealthandYourBrain #MonkeyMind
October 24, 2016
I may be going into a bigger minefield here than I would if I was talking about Trump vs. Clinton, but in the spirit of the season, I want to share some Monday Thoughts about the World Series. Let me get this out of the way now… I am not rooting against the Cubs. But, there is a side of me that would really like to see the Indians win the World Series.
I know all about the Cubs misery…not a day goes by when you think about the Cubs that you don’t think about their history of disappointments. However, Chicago is a blessed town with a diverse economy. It is a major international city with so much to do, including one of the best art museums in America …the Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago’s growth has been fast and undeniable and even since the end of the 19th century when Mark Twain said “it is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.”
Now, Cleveland on the other hand is a town that very simply always gets dumped on. Who pulls for Cleveland other than people from Cleveland? For God sakes it has been 67 years since they won a world series!!! In 2010, Forbes published a story that called Cleveland “The Most Miserable City in America“. And, according to an article published this past February, Cleveland’s issues are greater than Detroit’s!
I have friends in Cleveland…they are solid. Everyone I have ever met from Cleveland seems to have a wonderful, self-deprecating sensibility. They built a shrine to honor Rock n’ Roll there and it looks like Millennials are moving there now to help rebuild that town.
The time has come for Cleveland to have some love and I am going to spread that love in Cleveland’s direction!!!
PS: Unlike our election, this vote is really hard to make!
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#MondayThoughts #WorldSeries #CubsvsIndians #GoCleveland