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Learning Life From Artists

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When I set out to learn all I could about contemporary art, I decided that I needed to get to know as many working artists as possible and study not just the work that they made, but also take a closer look into how they approached their lives. I was interested in developing connoisseurship for the “art of today” but I was also interested in these people…real people who took no real shortcuts and spent lots of time in solitude with the hope of “making” something that would move others.

Here’s what I learned. Artists today, just like in the past, have a unique perspective and approach to life. They are most often driven to do what they do not for fame or fortune, but for purpose. The fundamental goal that drives them is to create original art and share it with the world…and this career path is not for everyone. It is for a rare few and I am at awe of the sacrifice, commitment, passion and positivity that most of the 1,000’s of artists that I have met have shared with me.

I started One River seven years ago last week for many reasons. Among the most important was to celebrate living artists. We often write lesson plans about people in the early stages of their career (like Cameron Welch above) but are doing things that we find to be interesting, relevant and offer educational benefits. We do exhibitions so that our audience can see this work in person in our schools.

And, I visit artists and their studios to observe people who I admire and whose work challenges my senses in a way that has made my life profoundly more interesting.

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