You know, there's something that your kids won't find in their school curriculum, and it's crucial that we fill in that gap for them. There are two types of artists that they absolutely need to be introduced to, the artists in your community and the artists in your family.
This is the artwork that will have a deep connection to your child's sense of identity, connection and help them feel truly at home in this world.
The Artists In Your Community
Local artists are deeply connected to the local culture, history, and environment, and their artwork reflects that intimate relationship to the community you share.
When we expose our children to the work of these local artists, we give them the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and significance of their own community. It creates a sense of pride and belonging that is truly invaluable.
For me, there's a local artist who holds a special place in my heart and brings me right back to my hometown. His name is Paul Sawyer. His prints were scattered all around my grandmother's house growing up, and whenever I think about my beloved hometown of Frankfort, Kentucky, it's his impressionist watercolors that come to mind.
The way he captured the essence of downtown and the Kentucky River, makes me feel like I'm from someplace truly special. What's even more incredible is how his paintings have influenced my own painting style.
Interestingly enough, I didn't learn anything about Paul Sawyer until I was in my 30s. He wasn't featured in any of my art school books, and I'll be honest, I took his work for granted because he wasn't nationally recognized.
It's absurd to think about it now, in retrospect.
The impact he has on our community and on me personally, yet he was overlooked. It just goes to show how misguided our perceptions can be.
But here's the thing, there's another type of artist that tends to go unnoticed in our children's education, and that's the artists within our own families.
The Artists In Your Family
These family artists carry with them a rich heritage of artistic expression and personal stories that can deeply impact our children's sense of identity and belonging.
They provide a direct connection to our own history and lineage, allowing our children to understand their roots and cultural background.
These family artists instill in our children a profound appreciation for their heritage and nurtures a strong sense of identity.
Speaking of family artists, there is one artist who holds an incredibly significant place in my life—my sister, April.
April's chosen medium is fiber art, and she has a talent for creating whimsical characters in felt. These characters embody a mix of pain and resilience, with smiles that speak volumes about overcoming hardship.
It's a testament to the strength we can all relate to on some level. However, what makes her artwork even more powerful is the familial connection that underlies it all.
Our shared history gives her storytelling an extra layer of depth and meaning, strengthening the impact of her work within our family.
Through April's fiber art, I feel a deeper sense of belonging and appreciation for the resilience that runs in our family's veins.
So, as responsible adults, it's essential that we take the initiative to introduce our kids to these often overlooked artists. By familiarizing them with the local artists in our towns and encouraging them to explore the artistic talents within our own families, we provide them with a more holistic artistic education.
We empower them to appreciate their community, their heritage, and the transformative power of artistic expression. It's a gift that will truly enrich their lives and open up a world of creativity and self-discovery.