Nova Silbaugh Art

Art, the Incredible Dream.

Tag: education

Why is Art Important? (My Reblog from the DLC)

I wrote this post for the Discovery Learning Center last week and wanted to share it again here.


Why is Art Important?

The question is not an easy task for some. Art easily takes a back seat to reading, math, science, and even sports in education these days. And it certainly isn’t on the latest test.

But ask yourself…

Can a lesson in composition resound with a future web designer, or a lesson on perspective later help with geometry? Or perhaps learning color theory will help a future physicist understand how light works? How about the visual and contemplative of any art piece that could inspire a poem, the next great work of literature, or any myriad of invention.

Art education is something that is as important in the classroom as it is in the real world. Art helps a person grow and to appreciate; to see the world from art’s own creative perspective. It helps one become a more rounded and cultured human being . Art isn’t just for the “artsy” either; any person can learn to appreciate art. Creating a piece of art can make a person find something in themselves they have not seen before, regardless if they have “talent” or not.

Art education creates thinkers, innovators, problem solvers, communicators, humanitarians. It nurtures the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation. Art helps a person to understand the human experience and helps to shape our identity.

Even the great innovators of the past and of today know and understand the importance of art as a part of education.

“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities….the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.”
–Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft

“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
–Steve Jobs, in introducing the iPad 2 in 2011

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
–Albert Einstein

The Discovery Learning Center runs many art and creative based classes from fine art to tie dye. Join us for the next Art and Great Artists Friday August 24th at 10 a.m. Or check the calendar for the latest workshop.


Keeping up with the Kids

So I admit it! I can’t seem to keep my resolution to keep this blog updated. And of course after procrastinating for a month… I decided to procrastinate a month more.  I guess it’s the way of life when you have kids.

Kids keep me busy.

Extended stays at the hospital keep me busy. (That’s a whole other story!)

Homeschool stuff… that keeps me busy.

Teaching art classes… that keeps me busy as well.

Since I started art classes, I’ve had to create quite a few samples. This has actually taken a bit of time and energy, but it’s been great fun. I think that I’ve benefited as much as the kids from these classes, especially since I have had the chance to learn so much about other great artists. So, I thought I might have a bit of fun here and show off my lovely examples from my class. If you don’t already know, the class is Art and Great Artists. Each week we are creating our own artwork based off an artist!

Inspiration: Henri Matisse

Inspiration: Henri Rousseau

Inspiration: Henri Rousseau

Inspiration: Friedenreich Hundertwasser

Inspiration: Friedenreich Hundertwasser

Inspiration: Henri Toulouse Lautrec

Inspiration: Vincent Van Gogh

Inspiration: Marc Chagall

Inspiration: Jacob Lawrence

I sure hope the kids have inspired as much as I have. Perhaps I’ll post more after a few more months of classes…

Next week maybe some new paintings.

Hundertwasser: Ecology Beyond its time

The last couple weeks I introduced the artist Friedenreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) to the art class and we did some beautiful work inspired by him. I was surprised that none of the parents had heard of him. In fact I had no clue who he was until a friend who had visited Austria showed me some of his work. I suppose he’s just not so very well known here in America.

Hundertwasser was an artist that moved far beyond his time, and a new found inspiration to me. His vibrant, brightly colored paintings are filled with flowing organic lines and shapes, idealized cityscapes that are the idea of his paradise, an unrestricted world. Everything reflects his deep respect for nature and everything small. He loved finding “the little things” others would miss and turning them into something wonderful.

In his own words,” One reason why other people do not want to paint vegetatively or want to take to a vegetative way of life is because it begins too unpretentiously, it does not have great eclat or drum roll; on the contrary it grows quite slowly and simply, and that does not appeal to our social order, people want instant results based on the slash and burn principle.”

Hundertwasser became most well known for his architectural designs in the fifties. Built with unique lines and curves, all with an ecological standpoint in mind, these designs were revolutionary and far beyond their time. He had many ideas on how to incorporate ecology into his buildings, including not only plants, but biological toilets and waste water systems.

You can visit one of his designs in the US. The Quixote Winery in Napa, Ca.

Pierre Restany states from his book: The Power of Art, Hundertwasser, The Painter-King with the Five Skins, Cologne, 1998, ” Ecology is the touchstone of Hundertwasser’s sensitivity, the sensitive cytoplasm of his fifth skin. Hundertwasser is naturally “green”, just as he is naturally a painter, Austrian, cosmopolitan or pacifist. Since his earliest childhood he had displayed a hypersensitivity to his surroundings. Nature is the supreme reality, the source of universal harmony; his immense respect for nature very soon aroused in him the desire to protect it against the attacks made on it by man and industry.”

Hundertwasser is also known for his environmental posters in the 70’s and 80’s. Also his stamp designs for the United Nations and a host of other countries.

Discovery Center Learning Art and Great Artists

Every week my children and I attended some great little classes for home-based learners at a local community run school. Heck, I wouldn’t call this a school per-say, more like a small community that wants to encourage all children (whether homeschoolers or public schoolers) to be life long learners and not to be limited to what they can learn in “school.”

The Discovery Learning Center is a volunteer run non-profit, and I’m very excited to be one of those volunteers by running a new art class for them. Art and Great Artists starts January 20th and is aimed at kids aged 6-12. We’ll be starting out with one of my favorite artists Chagall.

Like I said, DLC is a non-profit. That means they rely on donations, and this has left them lacking in art supplies ( I know, I looked in their supply closet). I REALLY would like to make this art class great, and keep the prices low. I would HATE to have my kids fighting over glue sticks and paint brushes. So with that, I’m donating all my profits from now until Feb 28 2012 to the Discovery Learning Center for art supplies for all classes, and possibly if there is enough, to sponsor a family. This includes all my paintings at the January Mushroom Festival and paintings posted on Etsy and my website.

DLC is a really wonderful community that has been growing to serve even more children as a great learning resource, and I would like to see it continue to grow, especially in a time when it seems education is on the chopping block. The DLC of course always accepts direct donations and you can learn more about their program HERE.