Artists & Education

September 25, 2013

Art belongs everywhere.

Art, to the observant eye, is everywhere anyway.

When I was in second grade, one of my classmates could draw Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts characters with age-defying accuracy.

Try as we might, the rest of us in Miss Bissonette’s Rowe School class could not hope to mimic the technical prowess that our friend Chris had.

Chris became known as the artist.

I was never known as the artist.

I was the reader; the singer; the playwright.

I became—much later in my academic career—the scientist.

My formal art education ended in 8th grade.

I could not draw, at least not well. So art became off limits.

My talents, I concluded, were not of the visual persuasion.

Fast forward a few years. Taking a break from my doctoring, writing and parenting, I pick up a camera and set out in the world to see what I can see.

The camera is paired with an iPhone.

Soon, I am taking pictures, and sharing them.

People seem to like them.

I am told I may have talent in this area.

“How can that be?” I wonder. I am no artist. I have no formal training in this field.

Yet, because art can be found all around us, I have access to all that artists might also observe.

And, like artists, I have a set of eyes of my very own.

Individuals like Suzette McAvoy of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, and Roger Dell of the Farnsworth Art Museum, remind us that we all have the ability to see.

Whether we have a degree in fine arts, or we are mere dabblers, we are all capable of observing—and savoring—the art all around us.

Art belongs everywhere: in the classroom, in the museum, in the home and in the greater world.

We need only open our eyes (literally or figuratively) to understand that this is so.

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Please join us this Sunday, September 29 for our discussion "Artists & Education," featuring guests Suzette McAvoy of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, and Roger Dell of the Farnsworth Art Museu.

Download past episodes of the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast on iTunes.

 

Motion Pictures

September 18, 2013

Chariots of Fire; Pretty in Pink; A Christmas Story; Life as a House.

Each of us remembers movies that have claimed pivotal moments in our existence.

Each of us remembers movies that reflect stages in our lives.

The movies I just mentioned reflect specific stages in mine.

When I was growing up, long before the era of the DVD, and slightly before personal computing was ubiquitous, movies were a treat.

Going to Maine Mall Cinemas was a significant field trip for my family of ten—a field trip we typically made in smaller groups.

When I finally found myself in the shadow of the big screen, time slowed.

No longer did I feel the tension of packing small siblings into our Econoline Van.

No longer did I hear my parents’ admonishments.

Instead, I was fully present. Drawn into a story that was simultaneously not my own, and exactly my own.

When the lights went I up, I was a changed human.

Our guests on the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour this week recognize the impact of motion pictures on the human psyche. Each has made a commitment to the sustainability of this important art form.

Drlisamovie


Please join us this Sunday, September 22 for our discussion "Motion Pictures," featuring guests Ben Fowlie, Caitlin FitzGerald, Caroline von Kuhn, and Sean Flynn.

Download past episodes of the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast on iTunes.

Words of Wisdom

September 11, 2013

Words have become an increasingly important means of communication.

In the year 1450, German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg invented our first modern printing press.

This allowed the spread of ideas through mass duplication of text.

The written word, its usage once limited to scholars, religious and individuals of means, went mainstream.

Fast forward to the twentieth century.

Computers, and the creation of the Internet, enabled the written word to go digital.

Thus further breaking down barriers to its utilization.

Simultaneously, the spoken word has gained ground through use of recording devices, and new media such as Podcasts.

We love our words, any way we can get them.

But what happens when the overuse of words desensitizes us to the unspoken, unwritten message?

What happens when individuals for whom words do not come easily, such as children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, are asked to participate in society at large?

And what happens when an overabundance of words, instantly available in an online format, causes us to use less care when crafting a poem or a love letter, thus diminishing its impact?

As with most things, too much of a good thing can indeed have its consequences.

Fortunately, there are among us individuals who maintain a dedication to the art of communication.

Gibson Fay-Leblanc is a poet, education advocate and past director of the Telling Room, who delights in helping children and adults understand the pleasure of an artfully crafted sentence.

Author and illustrator Rohan Henry helps us to see that words are often all the more powerful when absent.

Modern man has known great benefit from access to words, written and spoken.

Now we must be reminded of the communication that takes place in the spaces in between.

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Please join us this Sunday, September 15 for our episode on "Words of Wisdom," featuring guests Gibson Fay-Leblanc and Rohan Henry.

Download past episodes of the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast on iTunes

Life Lessons

September 05, 2013

How do we learn best?

The answer to this question is different for each of us.

Our genetics and upbringing have a significant impact on how we assimilate information.

Some of us are visual learners; some need to hear the spoken word.

We are fortunate to live in an age where learning is being made possible by a diversity of creative individuals.

Colleges are bringing innovators like Bates College president Clayton Spencer on board. Secondary schools like Casco Bay High School in Portland are emphasizing “Rigor, Relevance and Relationships” with the help of leaders such as principal Derek Pierce.

No matter how we best understand the world, there are people who relate, and help us to process life’s lessons in a way that makes sense.

One size no longer fits all when it comes to learning.

We all, now, have the chance to find our fit.

DRLISA104

Tune in this Sunday, September 7 for our show "Life Lessons."

Download past episodes of the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast on iTunes.  

 

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