Friday, April 20, 2012

Life is Short, Art Lasts Forever

Larry admires the hound painting
It is easy to get discouraged these days, with art education budgets being slashed left and right. That is why every April I am inspired by the work of one man, Larry Mitchell. Larry makes the Student Art Show at Blue Licks State Resort Park happen.  I was praising Larry for creating the art show (as Sue, John and I helped set up the art) and he said, "It wasn't my idea. The former superintendent of the park thought there should be a student art show at Blue Licks."  Okay, so it wasn't Larry's idea, but here is what Larry has done. He took that suggestion and went out to the elementary, middle and high schools in all the surrounding counties and recruited work for the show. He was successful! Larry sent follow-up letters that he would be coming to the schools to pick up the art work, which he did adding hundreds of miles to his work horse of a truck.

Larry created the table and floor easels
    But wait, there is more! Every easel you see here was designed and built by Larry. I lost count of how many of the table easels there were. I can tell you that the floor easels are terrific. Once, when St. Peter's was is need of some easels, we borrowed some of Larry's and I obtained some store-bought versions. Let me tell you, Larry's were superior. This year, Larry crafted two new super-easels to help display the plentiful collection of work: there are 313 art works! Even with the new easels (which rest up against the wall, seen in the background) we had to place art work on every surface we could find, only saving the tables for refreshments (the reception is Friday evening, 7 pm) and for welcoming viewers.

      The art is very impressive. There are students out there with a keen sense of design. There are students who definitely use the right side of their brain, because there are exquisite drawings. There are a number of comedians as well. Viewing this work gives you hope. Some of the schools no longer have art teachers, but Larry's efforts give them the impetus to create work anyway. The repercussions of Larry's efforts are expansive and wondrous. Come out to Blue Licks State Resort Park along US 68 in Robertson/Nicholas County, KY and see this for yourself. The show is on display all weekend, April 20 - 22.

    In addition to recruiting and collecting all the art work and making all the easels, Larry also made the signage to identify each school's art. And there is another sign, which I recognized from the horoscopes earlier in the week. It advises Larry-the-Leo, and all of us: Life is short. Art lasts forever.

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