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Art and Optimism

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Last week I received a note from one of our older adult students that put everything that we are going through in perspective.

Barry Fredericks wrote: “I started my painting career at your art school in Englewood. From your school I have progressed to three solo shows and individual works hung in several local galleries. l thought I would share my thoughts with you as to the pandemic by pictures instead of words. The ‘painting of the man reacting to the news in his paper is where we are today. The second is the light and hope at the end of the tunnel’. I hope you like them. Stay safe.”

I quickly wrote Barry, who was one of our original students, and told him how moved I was and asked him if I can share his note and images – see below.

Barry wrote back: “I am delighted that you find my work engaging. Because of my age, I have been isolated for weeks and being able to paint has been of real importance in maintaining a sense of balance. Stay safe.”

Two very important things come to mind for me.

First, the isolation of this moment is profound and we all need an escape.

Second, I am so grateful to hear from Barry and others who reflect on what artmaking and One River have done for them.

For the last two weeks, we have worked on getting our energy focused in the right direction and today we will share a major announcement about our innovative new online education program.

In the interim, let me share something else really cool. I have just decided to show Barry’s artwork in our first exhibition at One River when we reopen. Thank you Barry for providing me with some heartfelt joy…I am grateful for your note and your positive energy.

Check out Barry’s artwork on his website here: barryfredericks.com