Art All State-- The FRAZZLED Night Before

None of these guys is me.
ART ALL STATE 25 is only a few hours away-- just wrapped up my Emerson class for the night and now I'm putting together the supplies I'll need for the morning.  We have a meeting at 830am and we'll need to make sure the dog gets walked before we get there (when will AAS introduce the idea of DOGS attending!) and I've got some AAS items to print out before so we're shooting to get there at 8am.

For packing- I'm bringing my own coffee maker, music and speakers.  I'll be live-blogging with HOPEFULLY updated and improved WAM WiFi so I'll bring my laptop too.  We have a two day event in Marblehead on Monday and Tuesday so this is going to be a tight schedule for the next 72 hours.

This is my eighth time doing the artist mentor thing and there have been some big changes in the event, so it's new for me too.  The person responsible for Art All State first coming together twenty five years ago, WAM Education Director Honee Hess, was let go two weeks ago when her position was eliminated in some major restructuring of the Education Department amidst the wave of change running through the Museum.  Hard for me to imagine it really, and even harder when I think of Art All State.  To me, she and Gillian Bonazoli are Art All State-- even though there are many talented hands of the Museum staff who are instrumental in its success.

ART ALL STATE confirms to the High School Juniors in attendance, who have been selected in a competitive interview process from a much larger pool of candidates, that you CAN make a living as an artist if that's the career path you decide to choose.

It also teaches them problem solving, with many of them working in a large group for the first time anywhere.  It builds confidence, gets them to see unusual objects as artists that can become art and shows them that not all art must be permanent, that sometimes a temporary art installation can be something incredible to see.

Probably most important of all, it shows them that even if Art does not become their vocation it can remain a big part of their lives-- and the rest of us benefit from that.

Life without art looks a lot like that old Wendy's Commercial set at the Kremlin Fashion Show.

The joke being that they have one outfit-- all the same, for beach wear, sports wear, formal wear.  It's clever but it shows a society that lacks appreciation for the arts and design.

It's why I shudder when politicians talk about cutting art education.  It's why I visit so many schools and libraries throughout the year.

The world CAN exist without art-- I just wouldn't want to live in it-- and I don't think you would either.

Okay AAS XXV-- I'm ready for ya-- bring it on!