Beaufort County Now will publish a sampling of the entries for this book as they come in.
It's a happy mystery how the small, historic city of Washington can inspire such a large percentage of its residents to become artists. Perhaps the desire to create is awakened in Beaufort County residents by the beauty of the Pamlico River, the hunger of the senses and the catching energy of other artists.
One such artist, Amy Scheidegger, formerly of Washington, is appealing to art lovers who live in her hometown and its surrounding areas for help in compiling a book about the importance of art. She plans for the book to be an 'artistic rebuttal' to those who seek to minimize art's significance.
Scheidegger's passion in promoting the arts recently flourished as Arts Advocacy Director at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she received a Masters in Art Administration in 2010.
She is now a working artist in Philadelphia, as a painter for Lantern Theater Company and marketing director for Christ Church's Neighborhood House.
The foundations for Scheidegger's career in art were built in eastern North Carolina. Scheidegger was taught the value of art while a student at Washington High School, studying under Don Miller, and at East Carolina University, where she received a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Painting in 2005. After curating two student shows at East Carolina's Mendenhall Student Center in 2005 and 2006, and spending a short while as program coordinator of the Beaufort County Arts Council, Scheidegger moved to Philadelphia.
Scheidegger's parents, Nick and Sandi Scheidegger, and grandparents, Fred and Mary Williamson, still reside in Washington.
Her request for entries to her book of 'artistic rebuttals' is below:
The other day, when I was on my way to a theater in which I work as a prop painter, I was horribly disturbed by a conversation between eight 'better than everyone' undergraduates who shared my car on the Philadelphia subway. The conversation (what I heard before I exited the subway car so my head wouldn't explode) went a little like this:
"Art is, like, the most worthless degree anyone can get. Like, ha-ha, they have a degree in making sh!@ with Popsicle sticks and string."
Now, I'm not na´ve. I realize that this is what some of those who don't live artistic lives really think about art; but people this young? I thought the youth of America was more appreciative of art as a lifestyle and a valid career choice.
Their sentiments enraged me. (I've realized that it usually takes a bout of anger to get me moving.) So, in artistic fashion, I've decided to channel the anger I felt at their mockery into a book of artistic rebuttals.
If you are an artist, an art lover, or a lover of an artist, and would like to help me protest the sad mentality of these undergrads, and others like them, you can send me 'a rebuttal' for consideration to be included in this book.
The response has already been fantastic. I e-mailed around 600 artists (of the visual, performing, musical and written word persuasion), arts-administrators and arts-appreciators; and it snowballed from there. As of now, about 1,300 people have been contacted, and 50 have confirmed their interest in coming together to make artistic statements about the importance of art, where art is hiding that the non-artist doesn't see, and the amount of money that is spent on art on the local, state and national levels.
A book like this, with the goal of proving, to disbelievers, the essential nature of art, won't be effective if it's only passed back and forth between artists; so a marketing plan to get it in front of people outside of the art-centric bubble is in the works.
Art is too important to let conversations like this be ignored. When I'm old, and can't lift my hand anymore to paint, I don't want the people who are running this country devalue what I dedicated my entire life to. I would feel like I hadn't accomplished anything.
Anyone who is interested in contributing to such a book of artistic rebuttals, knows of a place where this book can find a home, or has any questions, can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries can be of any artistic medium, sized 9" x 7". They can be scanned and e-mailed, sized at least 300dpi, to email@example.com. Include your name, city and profession in your e-mail.
Entries are due May 15, and the book will be self-published shortly thereafter.
This post appears courtesy of our sister site, Beaufort County NOW, with their expressed permission.