Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Art with a purpose

We had the opportunity to go to North Brooksville last Monday, where I got to meet the artist Robert Shetterly and interview him for a short film. I did this as a favor to a filmmaker I know and we sat and spoke for 2 hours in his studio. He has a gorgeous home, full of wood, white walls and much of his own and his wife's art. He has written a book for school aged children based on a series of paintings he created called Americans Who Tell the Truth. I found a few of my heroes in the book (Susan B. Anthony, Jonathan Kozol). He talked a lot about when he was younger, and how he was facile with words. I sometimes cannot connect with the feeling that artists get when they create art, but I did feel his emotion and purpose. I felt really alive but exhausted talking to him. It made me wish that I did something that had more of a purpose. Of course, being a librarian does have a purpose, but maybe not as thought provoking. Burger flippers have purpose, as do trash collectors, embalmers and tax preparers. I went to school to become a journalist, quickly abandoned that and here I am.

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