Linda speaks at the Youth Art Month Opening, Portland Museum of Art
Linda Stanley retired from teaching art but not before she was recognized for her contributions to teaching by the Maine Art Education Association. On March 10th Linda spoke at the opening for the Youth Art Month exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art. Below you will find her message. The student exhibit remains at the museum until March 31st.
Last week I had the honor of representing the art teachers of Maine at the National Art Education Association Conference in New York City. With five thousand registered attendees and an expected two thousand walk-in registrations, I had the chance to meet and discuss art with many creative artists and teachers.
One of the artists I had a chance to meet and hear was Peter Max. He quoted Isaac Newton who said, “I have not come far without having stood on the shoulders of giants.” Peter Max then said, “My art teachers have all been great giants to me, ever since I was a young boy who was fascinated with art, imagination and creativity.” As I walk through the halls of this museum I hear the footsteps of giants urging all of you to create and work as artists throughout the state of Maine.
Peter Max was raised in Shanghai, China and would spend hours with a calligraphy brush in his hand. His Chinese nanny encouraged him to “just draw”. He developed his muscles in his hands and wrists. He would go through stacks of paper each day. The skills he built early as a child would later help him as an artist.
I would encourage you to draw everyday. Just as a successful athlete or musician makes their art appear to flow from them and seem easy…they practice everyday. Peter Max’s work may appear easy but his practice as a child helped him build a repertoire of images in his mind and skilled hands to work from.
Chuck Close was another artist I had a chance to listen to at the convention. He said, “inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and work. If you go to work – everything comes out of the work itself. I’ve never had an artistic block – inspiration is overrated.”
Each of you is already an artist so please continue to work, create and most of all enjoy what you are doing. I agree with most of what Chuck Close had to say. However, your works hanging in this museum are an inspiration to all of us. An inspiration to get out our sketch books and practice, practice, practice as Peter Max said.
Linda Stanley who is the Maine Art Education Association teacher of the year shared these thoughtst at the opening for the state Youth Art Month opening at the Portland Museum of Art on March 10th.