from the Education Director
“For a student new to art, one of the hardest drawing concepts to grasp is the unseen role that space plays as a co-relative of form. A sense of space is an essential distinction in art, since space is the invisible presence that allows us to perceive a subject at all. Those of us who live in the Southwest are very fortunate to have the natural world close by, as an extraordinary teacher of the invisible role space plays in our vision.”
—from “Drawing the Invisible,” in Andrew Rush, The Nature of Drawing, The Drawing Studio, 2011.
Most of us live in the city. Yet some residue of our agrarian past knows that it is important to stay connected to ‘out there,’ to ‘nature’. From this intuition, we bring reminders of nature to our daily living spaces. We include parks in our cities, plants in our house, a strategic view out our ‘picture’ window, or a small garden, even if only pots on the balcony. All else failing, we hang landscape paintings or photographs on walls to remind us of a wider natural world ‘outside.’
We also find inventive ways to stay connected by reestablishing our role as part of nature. We run or hike backwoods trails, or camp, or photograph, or fish or hunt as our way to ‘get out there’. We use our pets or horses or even our children to lure us into excursions that help us feel both in and of nature.
However, I consider my practice of ‘plein-air’ painting a way to unite the urge to both contemplate and be part of nature. Getting myself there starts the process-- driving, walking, arriving, then picking a shady rock to sit, quieting myself enough to be ‘present.’ In time, I put my palette and brushes to my right, and my watercolor paper before me.
At this point, I step into a sacred moment. It is like that incredible biblical moment in the wilderness, when Moses, in an act of pure aesthetic nerve, presumed to talk to God directly. What am I doing sitting here, armed only with my few humble skills of the brush, opening myself to let stream into my inner eye the almost limitless natural intelligence of life itself spread out around me?
Without help, to step outside of one’s routines and habits into the immensity of plein-air-space can be very intimidating at first because most of domestic life is designed to shield us from vastness. Even so, I am pulled to open my heart to the sheer scale of life that is clearly far out of my control or even conscious understanding. Whether it is the galactic deep-space images of the Hubbell telescope, the water harvesting beauty of the barrel cactus, or the familiar vistas of mountains and air currents around me,
I long to belong to that space ‘nature’ that is so huge, scary, humbling, nourishing, intelligent and exciting.
Still, nature has a certainty that makes her ultimately dependable, a kind of loving indifference that is so count-on-able. The sun warms all backs and the rain and wind wash over us all, plants, bugs, people, evenly. The Achuar peoples of the Ecuadoran rain forest call its spirit “Grandmother”—loving, stern but fair.
How to be prepared as a plein-air painter for such a moment? Clearly it is fundamental to have a vocabulary of work skills and a familiarity born of practice, hopefully provided by some gentle but rigorous teaching artist. Without a guide, a path of initiation, and the shared company of other art-makers we wouldn’t know how to start.
During that beginners’ period, it is often easier to follow familiar and conventional models of landscape, so that we can learn the craft of painting to the point that it is second-nature to our hand and brush. For many painters, development stops there, often in collusion with the praise and success that come from producing images that are familiar, even popular with many people.
But there is clearly a spiritual dimension to this work of plein air that has to be addressed to break through the conventional to a more profound opportunity awaiting us, indeed one for which we have been preparing much of our lives. Here, we need a different kind of teacher, one who does not mistake learning to fly in a simulator cockpit on the ground with the challenge of real flight in space, in plein air as it were. Here we need a different kind of coach, a plein-air master whose skills are born of years of the almost shamanic practice of entering space itself, where there are no easy signs, or geometry, or country roads to follow.
Plein air: where the light changes with the slightest breeze or rotation of the planet; where its space contains the whole of the dance of life, always changing, always transforming; where the panorama of life and death, growth and decay, and every state in between are in plain sight. Where space is not perceived as empty, but as fully alive, pulsing with the energy, wind, and weather and the interactivity of creatures--some air-born, many underground, some microscopic, some rooted, still others, roaming phyla of complexity such as we humans. All of life, all drawing sustenance from the same ‘plein air’ of life’s rich chemistry.
Clearly there is nothing here to ‘illustrate.’ Instead, there is a process that can only proceed after one has stopped looking for ‘things’ to paint. If our vocabulary of mark-making is prepared, we can act, alert-eye-hand-nervous system-paper, to create a record of sense-moments in which something passes through us, maybe even changes us. For a little while, we join the wind, the sun, the earth and all its residents in an act of deep belonging. Now and then, when we are quiet enough to allow our mark to flow freely, our understanding shows up in our work. In such moments, our painting expresses not only the images, but the space itself, the very relationship in which we exist.
This essay is dedicated to the plein air teaching artists of The Drawing Studio and their students.
—Andrew Rush © 2012
from the Executive Director
A time of beginnings and new growth, spring is also annual fund season at The Drawing Studio. Once a year we ask you for a financial gift to support our work.
Some of you might be thinking, “What do you mean ‘once a year’? The Drawing Studio asks for money all the time.” It is true that participation at TDS often involves money in the form of tuition, fees, dues, or tickets, but these are similar to everyday business transactions—buying a pair of shoes or insuring your home. You purchase something of value to you and, in turn, support those who provide it.
But the annual fund is a concept unique to the nonprofit world. A gift to the annual fund is purely an expression of generosity and love. It is a statement of belief in and commitment to a mission of service that makes possible life changing experiences such as these:
A former student who came to us through TPD’s Gang Outreach Unit, and to whom we gave a scholarship to our Art of Summer program, came back this spring to tell us that he had completed high school, is now at Pima, and is getting ready to transfer to the UA to major in chemistry. Some of his friends, on the other hand, are in prison. Our Art of Summer program made the difference, he said.
A woman confined to a wheelchair told one of our OATS tutors that she’s waited 86 years to take a drawing class and now finally can because one of our senior outreach program sites is across the street from where she lives, and she can get there under her own power.
Three of our longtime students/Associates who deferred their artistic dreams until middle age have just proposed and had accepted in our gallery an exhibit of stunning pastels, many of which are already being professionally recognized through selection for shows and awards.
For the first time since 2008, Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson have art instruction in all six clubhouses because of TDS—and TDS now has the potential to serve thousands of low-income youth.
None of these experiences would be possible without the generosity of many, many people contributing to the annual fund.
We are all weird about money in one way or another. I sometimes long for the simplicity of the for-profit business. I give you money, and you give me a sandwich or the promise of fewer wrinkles.
Instead, I live in the nonprofit world where asking for and being asked for money can be fraught with anxiety, ambivalence, and guilt. If we are charged with doing the asking, we procrastinate, plead ignorance of how to make a request, and/or simply “forget” to ask. If we are the one being asked, we procrastinate, distance ourselves from the need, and “forget” to mail the check or click the “donate” button. (At one time or another, I have done all of these, and more.)
It doesn’t have to be this fraught. It can be simple: If I deeply value the work an organization is doing, I have a responsibility to myself to honor my own values and support that work. A gift to support life-enhancing work is a gift to myself as much as it is to anyone else.
The size of a gift may vary with current personal circumstances. Some years, we may dig deep in response to more critical needs; other years we may be struggling to handle our own basic needs, and our gift is small. We may structure a gift so that it’s spread out, not all at once. (I myself have found that I am capable of a much larger gift—and happier with its effects on my budget—by making a monthly pledge that is automatically charged to my credit card.)
What is important is that we keep our values in action. And we don’t assume someone else will do it for us.
While every year’s annual fund campaign is important, this year’s is critical. Although The Drawing Studio doesn’t rely on public grants for a significant part of our overall budget, current cutbacks in these funds disproportionately affect our ability to serve low-income youth, teens and seniors. And the recession has hit everyone: ironically, last year’s annual fund brought in more donors than ever, but the overall amount raised was less than the previous year. These two realities created a big gap. In response we’ve cut expenses and added fundraising activities (risking staff and volunteer burnout in the process). We’ve used up the last of our reserve funds. Still, we must raise just under $100K by June 30.
A group of lead donors has come forth to challenge YOU.
If you donated to last year’s campaign, and are willing to increase your gift, the lead donors’ challenge fund will match the additional amount for every gift that is larger than last year’s by at least 50%. For example, if you gave $100 last year, and give $150 this year, your gift will actually be worth $200 to TDS because of the match.
If you are a new donor to the annual fund, the lead donors’ challenge fund will match gifts from new donors dollar for dollar.
Your gift to the annual fund will encourage, inspire, move and delight everyone who benefits, directly or indirectly, from your generosity. You can give securely on our website www.thedrawingstudio.org, return the form below with your check or credit card information, or call our office 520.620.0947 to make a credit card donation by phone. Thank you.
from the Education Director
“…it is people, not their brains, who think and feel and decide. It is people, not their brains, that make and enjoy art. You are not your brain, you are a living
human being. … we need to finally take seriously the possibility that the conscious mind is achieved by persons and other animals thanks to their dynamic exchange with the world around them.”
—Alvin Noe, "Arts and the Limits of Neuroscience", The Stone, NYT, Dec. 4, 2011.
With this publication of The Drawing Studio’s updated 2012 schedule, we enter our 20th year, a very different time from our beginning days in 1992.
Little did we know then that we had entered upon a cultural ‘wind-change’, driven by the velocity of a worldwide multi-media visual transformation that touches everyone, a phenomenon we are barely beginning to
Responding to a new imperative to awaken to the visual world, our learning community at TDS now includes many hundreds of extraordinary people from all ages and walks of life who are drawn to our
programs of visual learning, often with life-changing results far beyond their first expectations.
I have become very restless lately as I try to relearn how to talk about these expanded new waves of interest in art learning, because it is bluntly obvious to me that something is happening that is much deeper
and relevant to all of us that is not precisely or only about art anymore.
While I don’t quite have a handle on it, I can certainly note that the skills of art learning are no longer a specialist domain open only to professionals, nor are they even the casual avocation for people who have the leisure time to make art. What I can say for sure is that learning how to observe and communicate visually may now be one of the most critical new skills of our time. The people coming to TDS are some of the
most personally motivated individuals I know, and are looking to manifest their lives as a very new kind of alert, creative and energized human being. And we at TDS are deeply challenged to match their seriousness,
because I believe that we represent a generation of new life-long learners desperately needed at this moment of human history to help awaken us from a dangerous trance of self-consumption.
During this my 80th year, as I have churned through my own restlessness about all this, I had a personal wake up call in April, when I had a heart attack--one severe enough to jolt me awake from my own lifetrance.
I am of course grateful to be still here and given a margin of time to attend to life changes that might add quality to what remains of my life, such as reducing personal stress, giving new attention to diet
and exercise, and opening my heart to others more deeply. This last life change is especially important to me because I absolutely know now that my heart attack arose from failing to acknowledge and express
the grief and ongoing loss of the persons and other aspects of my life that are disappearing.
Oddly, the deepest grief that I had hidden from myself was not that of beloved people or even my personal death, but a crushing impacted anguish for the imminent end of our beautiful home, this earth
that is now in the throes of a deep illness, unattended by those in a blind trance of human ignorance and alienation—this planet Earth that is dying, our only essential inheritance worth leaving to our
The most conservative calculations of recent hard science predict the end of most large species of fish, elephants, lions, and thousands of smaller species within ten years, driven by climate warming from our
atmospheric garbage, ocean pollution and the erosion of land, water and air quality. In the meantime, as our world-wide ecosystems unravel along with the quality of life for most people, we plod along in our trance of
consumer practices that presume our tomorrows will be like today.
I never thought I would risk sounding so naïvely annoying and manic, but I have had my wake-upcall, and I can’t deny this is the real situation. At the same time. I am very glad for The Drawing Studio
in my life because if ever there was a time for a massive infusion of awakened, creative and spiritually connected people, that time is now. We need no more rants of anger and frustration; what we really need are
real, home-grown and accessible ways to wake up and connect to our real life on this real earth. Otherwise, considering the massive environmental destruction in motion, our only individual choice is living a life over
the top of the numbness, cynicism or deep depression in one last miserable gesture of isolating oneself from such an unbearable truth as the collapse of our home and all that sustains our life.
So I invite you who are holding this Schedule Update in your hand to act. If you have never taken a drawing class, please start now. If you used to take classes, but haven’t lately, come back. If you are active at TDS,
keep going and share the value of your experience with others. Tell others The Drawing Studio is waiting for them, because what we offer is exactly in line with what people need right now. What we have at
The Drawing Studio are tested programs for people starting at any age or level of learning. We can deliver three practical skills we most need in our time:
1. The Practice of Paying Attention: Being more awake can be learned, especially when this skill is visually connected to the natural world. By introducing people to the
simplest practices of drawing at TDS, we also access the tactile and emotional skills of a much larger biological intelligence than just what the eye collects optically.
2. The Practices and Tools of Image-Making: The ability for clear personal visual expression grows from that core skill of knowing how to practice, using our hands, our spirit, and our mind. At TDS
we offer master teachers of art who are also well rooted in their own work, which means that learning includes not only the data, but the joys and deep satisfaction of creative visual expression.
3. The Support of a Visual Learning Community. TDS is a community of visual learners and a real place—as informal as it is, TDS is not just a friendly club of co-workers, but joins us to a
vastly broader shared creative spirit, expressed in conversations and interactions with our neighbors. From sharing the skills of art in the company of others comes new thought, new relationships, new
action and the joy of bringing fresh light and vision into being together.
I know TDS is not the only example of new kinds of
learning in action around the globe; I am encouraged
by many different signs of awakening, in people all
around me, from the trance that holds most of us in a
death grip of helplessness. I am grateful that we have
created in The Drawing Studio a way of passing the
powerful skills of visual communication into the hands
of the people who will certainly be on the frontier of
what must happen now to bring us back from the edge
of the roof.
In my 80th year, the clearest voice I hear is a greatgrandchild yet to be born, who is asking me: “Great Grandfather, did you not see what was coming? If you didn’t see, why not? And if you did, what did you do
about it to assure me the home you would want me to have? “
—Andrew Rush © 2011
from the Executive Director
Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it … We’re wrong if we think we’re
the only ones struggling with Resistance. Everyone who has a body experiences Resistance.
—Steven Pressfield, theWARofART
This essay is a personal postscript to Andy’s essay about connecting to our real, and larger, life through the kind of art practice and community we offer at TDS. To
state the obvious, my administrative job is consuming, and especially so in the current economy where those of us who still have jobs at all must often do the work of three people. My commitment
to extending the benefits of studio practice to everyone is deep, but my personal studio practice has suffered mightily.
“No time” is a highly effective rationalization to self and others. Everyone sympathizes; rarely does anyone challenge the construct. Unfortunately, I’m old enough to know from numerous experiences
that once we truly connect, and more importantly, do what is necessary to stay connected, to what is important to us, we make time for it. I can only laugh, for example, at the distance
between my pre-motherhood sense of what I had time for and my post-childbirth sense. Somehow I found hours and hours I never knew I had, day after day, year after year, to feed, play with, rock, clean, cook for,
schlep, etc. the newcomer who was suddenly at the top of my priority list.
But I really hit a wall when it comes to art practice (see the quote above). Although I have been in an art practice since the beginning of TDS, I have done little for the last two or three years.
This fall I fi nally started enrolling in some classes, a sort of forced allocation of time for practice. (Note: it’s a huge relief to give up beating yourself up with “I’m a professional, I should be
able to practice on my own,” and admit, “I am currently incapable of setting a studio schedule and working on my own. So now what?”)
A few weeks ago I found myself tromping around the pond at Agua Caliente as part of a landscape class. The assignment was to do a line drawing of a landscape using value shapes. I understood the assignment,
have done the assignment, have actually taught the assignment, and I was paralyzed. I drew, I erased, I drew. I smeared, I erased, I stomped my foot and paced through the bushes. I drew, erased, dropped my
charcoal in the pond, felt the panic and tears rise. “This is really, ah,…abstract!” both classmates and teachers agreed at the mid-class check-in. I got some advice, went back to drawing, and breathed (thank you,
yoga practice). Suddenly, one value shape felt good, then another, I added a heavier line, then just that quickly was lost in the incredible late afternoon honey light, the rushes, the ripples on the water, the cheery greeting from two ducks…. It was suddenly the most beautiful of days in the most beautiful of worlds and I was connected to my life, all of our lives together as beings on this earth, and I was back in the world of practice
and time became something I had plenty of.
If you are contemplating taking your fi rst class, sign up now, not after the relatives leave or the painters finish in your living room. If you have taken classes, but haven’t lately, come back—you’re missed, and you are missing something. If you think you are beyond taking classes, think again.
from the Education Director and the Executive Director
In response to student and teacher feedback, we have revamped our curriculum (details below). To reflect the changes, we have terminated our traditional quarterly
newsletter and calendar (a free publication issued four times a year for over 10 years). In its place we will now produce a calendar of courses and special events as a separate publication,
to be issued twice a year. The fall calendar (this one) will list offerings and events for the entire year. A second smaller calendar, to be published in winter, will include changes and additions
for the remaining year, including the summer.
The newsletter will now be a separate entity available free to Associates and by subscription to everyone. (Watch for details about publication.) It will focus on TDS news and activities of students,
Associates, faculty, and the community. It will feature personal and educational essays, as well as visual art. The newsletter will invite a wider range of contributions from our TDS and larger visual arts
Why these changes?
1. To respond to student requests for clearer course formatting that lets people plan their schedules more flexibly and well in advance. Various ways to access course information will soon be
available on our website.
2. To create a model curriculum that lays out pathways leading to mastery, along with offering many flexible routes to follow one’s personal goals through four levels of study.
3. To create opportunities to deepen mastery and ways to stay involved to greater and lesser degrees depending on personal life circumstances.
4. To recognize the fi nancial reality that, while TDS is healthy and growing, our annual fund fell short, and we must cut expenses. Our newsletter—free to thousands
all these years—is our single largest marketing and communications expense.
What are the changes in this new curriculum model?
Andy’s new book (The Nature of Drawing—see back cover) is a history not only of his thinking about bringing studio art to people from all walks of life, but of the ongoing evolution of one person’s vision
to that of an entire community of master teaching artists. Using his earlier model of studio learning (published in the Winter 2009 Newsletter) as a radiating process emanating from core
fundamentals, TDS faculty recently took on rethinking this concept in more concrete steps.
Through a weekend faculty retreat and subsequent series of meetings, faculty designed new Fundamentals 3
courses in two areas: Color and Composition. They also clarified the content and sequencing of courses leading to mastery in a variety of media and subject areas. Andy noted that he doesn’t know
of any other place where the curriculum is both co-created and constantly evolved by a teaching group interacting with each other every step of the way.
The conditions for learning at The Drawing Studio are as rigorous as any serious art institution, but uniquely designed to serve people who are not ‘only’ students, but people with life and work obligations,
on-going commitments etc.
The Drawing Studio curriculum is ‘user friendly.’ Our meeting times offer options that accommodate people’s varying schedules as well as many levels of learning skills. While we have no diplomas or grades,
our core studies are rigorously planned and coordinated by our experienced studio teaching artists to produce the kind of learning that steadily leads to mastery.
The TDS Curriculum could be described as a radiating set of circles of practice-based art learning (as distinct from intellectual knowledge). Practice-based learning relies heavily on engaging in a practice over time,
with individualized guidance, to develop perceptual and kinesthetic skills. In short, the learning is in the doing.
What does practice-based learning teach us?
A few examples:
Rigor in managing oneself and a schedule of work
The importance of paying attention as a disciplined skill
The physical foundation of perception (i.e. the
kinesthetic skills of making/creating/inventing)
Handling the ‘I already know that’ mind, the obstacle to
Patience and how to get out of the way of one’s own
Tolerance for ambiguity and the ‘unfinished’ nature of all
The validity of multiple viewpoints
The unique vision of each person as an essential
contribution to all
The role of group learning and the importance of a
relationship with a trusted teacher as the conditions
leading to mastery
The first circle is our Drawing Fundamentals, Level 1 and 2, program. This core experience has been refined and tested over 20 years, and involve the skills
of observation, presence, and tool skills necessary to produce a rich vocabulary of mark-making.
The second circle Fundamentals 3 enlarges core drawing skills to two signifi cant and complex domains: color and composition. The two Fundamentals 3 courses (Composition through Drawing and Drawing
with Color) retain the focus on drawing because Drawing Fundamentals students’ familiarity and skill with graphite and charcoal is easily extended to colored pencil and pastel.
The third circle includes introductory courses in various media, including a new sampler course in painting media for those interested in painting but undecided about a particular pathway. These intro
courses ground students in foundational skills—for example, tools and technologies, markmaking, color theory (or value relationships for b/w media), color/pigment mixing, composition, and subject
matter—as they are expressed in a particular medium.
Finally, the fourth circle is about mastery. Mastery involves longer periods of relationship with a teacher and multiple opportunities to practice. At the same time, these pathways need to be broken
into affordable, fl exible, and repeatable “chunks” that together lead to mastery in one or more areas, such as a medium, a subject, or a way of working. Mastery classes presume a background in
fundamentals and introductory courses.
The Drawing Studio curriculum continues to be a work
in progress. We look forward to your engagement and
—Andrew Rush and Lynn Fleischman © 2011
from the Education Director
Note from Lynn Fleischman, Executive Director:
I am thrilled to announce to The Drawing Studio’s community of friends the upcoming publication of Andy Rush’s long-awaited book based upon his essays that have appeared over the past fifteen years in this newsletter. The book is entitled The Nature of Drawing: A Conversation about Art and Community. To honor the many students, teachers and friends of TDS who are the reason for this book’s existence, Andy is publishing the book through The Drawing Studio. We will be printing a limited first edition hardcover that will be a gift to donors who make a gift of $500 or more to the annual fund campaign. The softcover version will be available for purchase after June 1. We will schedule a book-signing event for early fall.
By way of inviting you to buy a book and spread the word, we are reproducing below the Preface to The Nature of Drawing, which is in the form of a conversation between Andy and long-time family artist friend and TDS master teacher, Pat Dolan.
PD: I see two dialogues going on in this book. There is the collection of essays that you wrote over the years in The Drawing Studio newsletter as a kind of a conversation with your friends, your fellow teachers, and students. And then there is this wonderful collection of drawings from what, forty or fifty years? So exactly what is this book about?
AR: This book reflects upon my life-long interest in the languages of vision, through the practice of connecting my inner reality I sometimes call my ‘self’ with the world ‘out there’. I really like the Italian word for drawing, disegno, which better gets at the consciousness that lives behind the act called drawing. The Sketchbooks of Leonardo da Vinci come to mind as disegno, his record of deep engagement with the world expressed as a blending of thought, words and images working together.
So this work is not a how-to book, which someone might initially assume from the word ‘drawing’ in the title. You seem to be thinking about drawing in a deeper and broader way.
Yes, and I also consider both the drawings and essays in this book to be one single conversation, a word I like because it more accurately describes how images are a language; they communicate both ways, and not only among ourselves. Even a flower is changed by being observed with respect and attention. The essays are what I can say in words about the practices of drawing as a skill that accesses our capacity for relationship. The drawings are my expressions of the artist behind the essays, and hopefully, the bone structure that grounds the words in an art action.
Your book also seems to address a multi-layered audience. It is oriented towards artists looking at their practice of drawing, as well as those who are teaching people to draw. But it is also oriented towards people just beginning the practice of drawing or people who always wanted to draw but had some kind of idea that they can’t.
Yes, all of them. I hope the book will be useful to people at any level of interest, not only to expand their own understanding of drawing in general, but to maybe take the shackles off some conventional art-school models of drawing as a kind of “school” activity done with a pencil. I made drawing choices from a wide range of my work, in the hope of giving everyone interested in learning to draw a kind of new map of freedom. Whether a person is coming to art from another career, or late in life, or very young, they might see themselves somewhere in the possibilities my drawings present.
As someone who has been involved from its beginning as a teaching artist in The Drawing Studio, I can see certain ideas interwoven in the essays, like this sense of practice and what practice really means. And then the philosophical ideas like you can’t work alone, how musicians play together, actors act together, dance troupes dance together all their lives, so The Drawing Studio has developed as a community for art-making with many levels of sharing and learning.
Yes, I certainly didn’t set out in 1992 to start the drawing studio that includes the hundreds of artists and students we have today. But as you know from our common background living in the community of artists of Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle, Arizona (founded in 1968), The Drawing Studio is really an extension of that experience of artists living and working together, sharing our engagement and projects almost daily, and how important that support became to our art life.
Well, I remember when I first came to the Ranch 30 years ago as a visiting artist from Chicago. I was so struck at how helpful everyone was. People wanted to make sure I was welcomed and settled. It really struck me how very open they were, inviting me in to look at everyone’s work. Just being around other artists who were working, there was this energy that was very helpful, that made one want to be part of it. Now I see people who come to volunteer at the front desk of The Drawing Studio because they want to be more part of this art energy that supports their practice and keeps them going.
Exactly, and this book comes directly out of that community energy. That community art energy model started for me, by the way, many years ago in the printmaking studios at the University of Iowa; you mentioned your print classes at the Institute of Design in Chicago in the same way. Anyway it was my first real experience of working collaboratively with other artists, that led me later to the RLV community and now The Drawing Studio. Which is why I wanted this book to be published by TDS, and I hope will be the first of many, because books can help to spread our community conversation about what an art practice opens up for everyone. And because drawing has an evolution begun long ago in the vision of our many artist ancestors that is now relevant to all of us, not just art specialists.
I think it is very interesting that the purpose of this book is not just a collection of your insights from your years of teaching and being an artist, but that the essays attempt to engage people to have them start to think about the next step of creative learning for themselves in the world we all live in. One of the jobs we have at TDS is to demystify the artist as not a rarefied someone born with natural talent, but that everybody can learn to draw. They just have to show up and get to work. We teaching artists strive to make it very accessible, take the scariness out of it.
Yes, we are developing a new kind of community at The Drawing Studio. I hope that this book broadens the idea of what drawing can offer us as a curriculum for learning about the vast domain of visual literacy as an important life skill in the 21st century, just as verbal literacy evolved with the invention of printing. In this sense I see the practices of drawing as the window into this visual domain for anybody of any profession or background who is ready to engage.
And yet, speaking of the 21st century, we are inundated everyday with visual images and it’s all coming at us so fast. In your book you speak a lot about the nature of practice and the whole idea of slowing down and being still, almost like a meditation except you have this relationship going on with what you are drawing. How does drawing prepare us for the visual speed of the 21st century?
That is exactly the point of The Nature of Drawing. In our time, most of us don’t have a personal visual world. Our ability to observe for ourselves has been co-opted by the images presented to us by the global electronic media juggernaut. By the time we leave the house in the morning, the print media and TV have already dumped into our brain hundreds of images produced by this very commercial world, well- designed to possess our visual space, mostly by a saturation process.
The good news is that just as meditation is a powerful antidote to help us reclaim our inner life, learning to observe for oneself reconnects us with the actual world around us, where our nourishment and life power lives. It is my fond hope that my book will contribute to the awakening of our personal ability to reclaim our relationship with the great beauty of the visual world and of the privilege it is to be a conscious participant in being alive.
—Andrew Rush © 2011
from the Executive Director
More and more frequently, I’ve been hearing a phrase that I’ve never heard applied to The Drawing Studio before. Each speaker starts out from a different place: “I haven’t taken a class lately, but…” “I haven’t taken a class yet, but…” “I can only come to TDS exhibits occasionally, but…” Each speaker then ends up in the same place: “but I like knowing The Drawing Studio is there.” Can it be that as we enter our 20th year, The Drawing Studio has attained “community fixture” status?
One of the consequences of success can be complacency. We are lulled into believing something will just keep going (well) and be there as usual, despite our rationally acknowledging that NOTHING ever stays the same for long.
As those of you on our email list know from my recent communications, things can change dramatically (and literally) in a heartbeat. Andy Rush, Founder and Education Director of The Drawing Studio, recently suffered a heart attack. He is recuperating rapidly, but clearly, as he nears the age of 80, his role at TDS is changing.
Andy has often cautioned people not to think and act as though The Drawing Studio is simply “Andy’s good idea,” which translates roughly as “Andy will take care of the vision and direction thing, and the rest of us will help.” If TDS is truly to be a fixture, it will take all of us thinking and acting as if TDS is our own good idea.
In other words, The Drawing Studio can continue its broad mission of service that the community can count on day in and day out, only if EVERYONE steps forward to declare: The Drawing Studio is mine.
If you’re a parent or companion to a pet or even if you’re a car owner, you know you don’t have the luxury to pick and choose what you’ve taken on. “I’ll feed the kid but forget about enrolling her in school.” “I’ll put gas in the car, but no oil changes for me.” Instead, as best you can, you do what it takes, whatever it takes, to raise the child, take care of the dog, or keep the car running—and along the way you figure out how to pay for it.
The Drawing Studio is no different. We are asking each and every one of you reading this newsletter to walk and chew gum, pat your head and rub your belly, all at the same time, for a couple of decades at least.
This year’s annual fund campaign must raise $190,000, almost double last year’s goal. Why the jump? First, more than half our previous public funding has disappeared because of cutbacks in local, state, and national funding. Second, last year, a very generous one-time gift of $50,000 allowed us to initiate several critical improvements—a modest increase in teachers’ compensation (the first such increase in over five years); an increase in staff time to respond to a growing number of requests for youth and senior programming and for volunteer management; increased attention to timely electronic communications and data management; and an exhibition coordinator to manage this core activity of our operations.
What else does your money fund? 80 percent of our income directly supports education, exhibition, volunteers and Associates, and outreach. (See the accompanying pie charts to see where our income comes from and where it goes.) In keeping with our core service mission, our youth and senior outreach activities are heavily subsidized to serve low-income participants. To keep tuition affordable for the largest number of adult students, and provide scholarship assistance where needed, we must raise about $2 for every $1 of your tuition. Individual gifts are absolutely critical.
What specifically am I asking you to do? On the inside back page of this newsletter is a gift form. Fill it out, cut it out, and return it to TDS with your check. Or go to our website www.thedrawingstudio.org to donate securely right on the home page. If you have given a gift in the past, please consider upping the amount by 50 percent, the same percentage by which our public funding has been cut. If you have never given, please do it now.
While you are making TDS your own through your monetary gift—and feeling really happy with yourself, I hope—please also consider other ways to express your ownership: tell a friend about TDS, take a class, become a member or give a membership as a gift to someone else, enroll your child or grandchild in the Art of Summer, become a volunteer.
If you value TDS at least as much as your car, are you willing to do what it takes to keep it running well?
from the Education Director
On January 13, 2011, The Drawing Studio will open its 2011 gallery season with our annual GALA exhibition/fundraiser entitled “THE RISE OF THE PRINT, Midcentury Masters of American Printmaking.” The exhibit will run through February 26, 2011.
This exhibition is an extraordinary gathering of some the most innovative printmakers of America’s mid 20th century (ca. 1950 to 1980 and beyond). Each artist is contributing a major work to The Drawing Studio in generous support of our mission to bring studio art learning to people of all ages and walks of life in the Tucson community.
These printmakers are all deeply honored and known not only for their own art work, but in many cases, for their role as teachers, technical innovators, and writers about the medium and its processes. They are some of the architects of the American print movement that infused the post WWII years with new energy, new venues, and a breadth of graphic vision that in sixty short years has raised the artist-made print to its present stature as a distinct domain of major artistic expression.
I am happily one of these printmakers who grace this show, which was born from a conversation with a couple of my old colleagues. We noted how this postwar generation of printmakers was inspired by the strong influence of the British artist Stanley Hayter, whose studio Atelier 17 in Paris and then New York espoused the then novel idea of the “artist-printmaker” (one who co-joins aesthetic direction with technical mastery). His influence was in turn inspired by a particularly American community spirit that has since characterized all the great print-studio-workshops and departments in this country, and I would say is the heart of what is unique about this period of American printmakers.
This show is also appropriate to The Drawing Studio precisely because it was in the company of these printmakers of my generation that I participated in their workshop community that eventually led me to found The Drawing Studio in that same spirit of openness. This summer, with the help of colleagues and friends (and the Internet) I undertook to locate, some after many years, those printmakers I could recall,
then invite them (many out of retirement) to donate a work to be sold in support of TDS. To my delight, the response was quick and generous. As we closed the list of invitees because of space limitations, I also became aware of how many others I could easily have invited.
As I look over the list of artists participating (see article on p. 4), I want to mention the seminal role of the University of Iowa’s print department, inspired by its great teacher and printmaker, Mauricio Lasansky, now in his nineties. Lasansky mentored many of us in this exhibition, intaglio and relief printmaking artists who, along with their students, went on to establish many of the printmaking studios throughout the United States. Equally important to the lithographic medium was the work of June Wayne and Garo Antreasian of the Tamarind Foundation of New Mexico, the studios of Ernesto DeSoto in Mexico City and San Francisco, and many other centers too numerous to list here.
So what did I learn from this unique movement that inspired me to found The Drawing Studio in 1992? Here are five of the most important lessons:
1. Provide serious art classes to everyone who is ready to master an art process, teaching both the conceptual and technical aspects together, as prerequisite to any possibility of eloquence.
2. Promote the spirit of cooperation in the learning environment, a spirit critical to the print studio, where materials, techniques and printing equipment are shared by everyone. This environment creates community learning, where all take personal satisfaction in each and every artist’s work, and expand and share technical skills far beyond what any one teacher may know.
3. Inspire deeper engagement with image-making. Because of the investment of time and technique it takes to develop a plate, stone or block, one must cultivate a patient long-term relationship with an image, a process that deepens the level
of exploration and produces more
4. Encourage a more abiding relationship between student and teacher. The kind of workshop learning relationship necessary to printmaking is a long and complex sharing of skills and ideas in action, which naturally develops life-long professional friendships.
5. Acknowledge one’s artistic ancestors. The history of printmaking includes especially a strong regional movement of pre-war American printmaking and its role in addressing social issues throughout the country. This movement also cultivated a natural regional empathy and interest in the artist-made print, including making original art available to and affordable by many more people, and allowing many smaller museums, galleries and venues to participate locally.
It is with great gratitude and excitement that we bring the work of these extraordinary and innovative artists to our The Drawing Studio and the larger cultural community. I invite each of you to participate in the Gala event on January 13, to meet those artists who come, and consider investing in a work that both supports our future ands add luster to your love of art.
—Andrew Rush © 2010
from the Executive Director
Lately, I’ve seen several end-of-year nonprofit fundraising appeals along the lines of “In the current economic climate, as other sources of support are severely curtailed [this refers primarily to public and private grants and contracts], your support is critical in a way it’s never been before.” The subtle message is that, in easier times, individuals are not necessarily at the heart of the matter. At The Drawing Studio your support—in any way, shape, or form—is ALWAYS critical to our existence.
From the beginning, The Drawing Studio declared itself an “artists’ cooperative.” In 1993, “The Drawing Studio” was simply a group of people interested in exploring the world visually, who came together to invent something. In 2011, it still is.
The idea of an “artists’ cooperative” suggests a twofold focus: on the one hand, a do-it-yourself independence, individuals declaring their individual responsibility for creating something that previously didn’t exist; on the other, an interdependence of effort where each brings his/her individual gifts in service to and in concert with each other to create something larger.
This entity is anything but static. Individuals in The Drawing Studio community move away, retire, take new jobs, lose jobs, get married, get divorced, get sick, have babies, take care of loved ones, inherit money, go bankrupt, fall in love, die…the flow of life is always present. But throughout, among an ever growing number of people over the years, has been a commitment to participate and contribute in whatever way is possible for the individual at the time. Collectively, we have never waited for something “out there” to make things happen and keep them flourishing.
The Drawing Studio receives very little public or private foundation funding—a few modest grants. Keeping tuition and fees affordable for as may people as possible means “earned income” only provides a portion (currently about 55%) of what we need to operate. In the end, what keeps TDS going is YOU, when you decide to participate in the “artists’ cooperative.”
How can you play this winter and spring?
First up on Thursday, January 13, is TDS’s annual gala and benefit, Midcentury Madness, celebrating the exhibit “The Rise of the Print: Midcentury Masters of American Printmaking,” a groundbreaking show of work by master printmaker/teachers from across the country who pioneered the concept of the artist-printmaker combined with a community workshop approach to making art. Break out your best early 60s outfit; we’ll provide the Swedish meatballs. (See page 4 for more information.)
In the spring (March through June), we enter into our annual fund campaign, which supports the many educational programs of TDS—Youth Program/Art of Summer, OATS senior program, adult education, exhibition, and outreach. This very personal request for individual gifts is the cornerstone of our cooperative’s financial well-being. Last year’s campaign brought out the “challenge” in all of us—we successfully matched an anonymous $50,000 gift, allowing TDS to strengthen its teaching and program staff.
Sunday, April 10, presents a new opportunity to have a great time and support TDS. Urban Picnic is a longstanding art auction/luncheon benefit for Ballet Tucson. This year The Drawing Studio partners with Ballet Tucson to bring you great art, dance, music, and food, all in the relaxing atmosphere of La Encantada. A portion of the proceeds will benefit TDS.
Of course, as always, there are many, many other ways to play. Come be a part of vibrant new volunteer corps. Give yourself (and someone you love) the gift of a class or workshop, and create your own “ganga deal” on tuition by becoming an Associate member. Drop-in-and-draw at Open Studio. Encourage (and maybe make it possible for) your favorite young-or-old-person-who-likes-art (or is game to try it) to enroll in the Youth Program/Art of Summer or Outreach Art Tutoring for Seniors/OATS. Come see an exhibition--be inspired and “buy local.” Come play like it means something—because in an artists’ cooperative, it does..
from the Education Director
Each of us as human beings carries within us a kind of perceptual presence that we sometimes call consciousness. To refer to this kind of inner awareness is a little like trying to explain air to birds or water to fish, that is, it is so much a shared medium that it is usually invisible to ordinary living. But in any serious art learning we must include an effort to understand what consciousness is, because it is central to the spirit of art.
What is immediately apparent about consciousness is that it is not an isolated ‘thing’ located only in single individuals. And whatever it is called among different cultures or peoples, it seems to be a kind of shared space of awareness that connects us with others in what we sometimes call community. As such, it is most revealed in our communications, especially through what we call our creative life.
Educating oneself to be creative only begins when one realizes “I have the ability to widen my consciousness through mastering and retooling the skills of perception in myself.” It is hard to get a handle on this realization without help, first because traditional education doesn’t deal with it, and second, because our available brain-space is mostly clogged up with our personal version of reality that I call a “trance,” a kind of living dream held in place by habit, cultural indoctrination, and fear of change. Each of us also has a personal set of ingrained living patterns that are designed to keep us in our trance with a program of producing pleasure and avoiding pain. I call this trance ‘the human condition’ and note that we are all born into it, without exception.
The truth of life, however, is that we are not dumped into a ready made world that mirrors our trance. Creative Life begins the day we somehow manage to step outside our personal trance, even if only as a passing flash of recognition. Often that flash comes to us as a work of art, generated by seeing a play, a painting, or hearing a piece of music. For some it may be the experience of seeing a sunset or even falling in love. By whatever gift of grace it comes, from that moment, options for learning more about our deeper capacity for new awareness becomes a hunger that looks for new openings of learning.
Fortunately for us, most pathways that lead to a change in life are always physical. For example, once we grasp that the condition of our physical body/mind is largely a function of our trance habits, we can intervene with new practices of exercise, diet, meditation etc., to open a wider experience of well-being. In the same way, given that the brain is also physical, it too is responsive to new learning practices that help us dismantle our ready-made patterns so that our brain has new space to express our ‘self’ as a life force generator, rather than a passive consumer.
The curriculum for the Creative Life consists of seeking out and adopting such new learning strategies. There are many, often well outside conventional institutions. They are often rooted in awareness practices related to the larger field of timeless consciousness that both includes us as well as preexists us in time and space. These strategies often help us integrate many of the dilemmas of living in a seemingly separate inner and outer world. The field of study we call the arts is in fact an enormous repository of these learning strategies.
In my lifetime, I have found deep connections between my art practice and the many spiritual practices of the world, especially meditation. The study of the visual arts is one of the most effective pathways through the brain trances that bind us, in part because the visual cortex is our most active filter in continuously supporting the trance of our personal reality. Because our curriculum at The Drawing Studio trains our ability to observe, it challenges the trance, first by training the brain to distinguish between what I think from what I see, and second, by developing a capacity for empathy with life in many forms.
From visual art practice come several benefits: 1) it naturally awakens the context of quiet inner thoughtfulness (meditation) that no longer takes my view of life for granted; 2) it reveals my neighbor’s view of life as different but equally valid, opening conversations between us that often lead to new friendships and new enterprises; 3) as one learns to see a much richer visual world, a natural and deeper expression of participation in life awakens. This richer participation is sometimes expressed as ‘art,’ sometimes in other domains of life, like relationships, work practices, or a larger ownership that makes community a joy.
Let me end this essay with a few examples of how the Creative Life generates community. I had the experience a few days ago of stopping to look in a studio door to observe one of our teaching artists preparing for her students’ arrival, quietly arranging the lights, the chairs and visual environment, laying out materials, all with a consciousness of a thoughtful hostess preparing for guests. Not long after, I learned that one of our volunteer receptionists, kept busy by a steady stream of phone calls and visitors during her shift at the front desk, returned voluntarily the next day to complete a correspondence task rather than leave it to others. Then yesterday, as I was coming in the rear entrance to The Drawing Studio, I was greeted by a passing student who had stopped to sweep up the trash that the wind brings from the alley to our door.
More dramatically perhaps, were the 275 people who, in less than a month, responded to our appeal to match a $50,000 challenge gift, many adding a second or third gift to their already generous ownership support.
To live the Creative Life is a continual demonstration that naturally expresses our experience of our larger self as part of a living and loving community.
—Andrew Rush © 2010
from the Executive Director
Part of our larger annual fund campaign, the month-long push in June to raise $50,000 to match an anonymous $50,000 challenge gift was not only an amazing success—we raised $55,000—it was also an amazing experience. We in the office were often a little giddy. “There’s another donation coming in on-line!” “There were six envelopes in today’s mail.” “Can you grab that other phone line?” The money literally poured in. (The day after the campaign ended, our air conditioning compressor blew up, but that’s a money story for another day).
Equally gratifying were the notes that often accompanied these monetary gifts. They were full of encouragement, anecdotes, praise, and gratitude for The Drawing Studio. Clearly, the monetary gifts symbolized many different forms of value that people had gotten through their participation.
The statements here were sent in response to my request to our email list of some 2300 people to elaborate on the value of The Drawing Studio in their lives. Our purpose in publishing them is to acknowledge publicly the many forms value can assume and the community who, in its commitment to a common purpose, has produced this value. If you want to throw in a little “aren’t we great” cheer, that’s cool too.
—Lynn Fleischman (Note: I edited some statements so we could publish as many as possible.)
I moved to Tucson a year and a half ago and a neighbor suggested I check out the Drawing Studio. I'd hit a creative dead zone and needed help to jumpstart my artistic engine. There I met Lisa Mishler. Teaching, inspiring, encouraging, and supporting me all the way, she helped me break through my "painter's block" and grow in ways I never imagined. What a ride! I can't wait to continue with her in the fall. Thanks Lisa. —Margie Pye
The Drawing Studio and Josh Goldberg allowed me, after many years absence, to safely re-enter a group painting studio space. It has been a resurrection of sorts for me. The year of studio experience afforded me the opportunity to publicly risk my abstract expressions, to share my images with others, and to begin to share myself more fully as a painter. I am very grateful. —William E. Thompson
A Special THANK YOU to all the members of The Drawing Studio Board of Directors who worked overtime making our Annual Fund a success. Members of the Board met several times to make phone calls telling our constituents of our hopes, dreams and plans for the future. The response was wonderful - we achieved our goal!! Thank you to everyone who made our Annual Fund a great success!
—Dick Barber, President of the TDS Board
I would like to acknowledge the teaching and dedication of my Art of Summer faculty, staff and volunteers. In particular I have deep appreciation and respect for the work of Cynthia Miller and Meredith Milstead. The work that they do with the young artists who come to our programs is unsurpassed in creativity and excellence, and is an inspiration. …I can count on them to be my right and left arm during the Art of Summer, and know that because of the work they have done, we have been able to win National and State awards and honors. This summer was the best season yet, and I would also like to acknowledge the work of all of our visiting artists and our ever faithful and lovely lunch lady volunteers Miri Fleming and Carol Mullen. Special thank you also goes to Mary Croll for hospitality shown our families, Melinda for her vigilance, Lynn for her steadiness, Andy for his faithfulness, and Sandy Morse for her coaching. —Betina Fink
I cannot adequately begin to say how much the drawing studio has meant to me over the last few years. Every aspect has been a rewarding and pleasant experience. A certain drawing teacher there, Paul Mohr has changed my life in so many ways…in the four years I have been studying with him, my art has changed dramatically. I actually know something about what I am trying to do in drawing and painting. My daughter's words express it better than I could. Before I studied with Paul,…my daughter asked me why I was a volunteer teaching art at my son's art class. She said, "Mom, what are you doing? You don't know anything!' A few weeks ago she thanked Paul, and said "My mother's art work has really gotten good." Thank you all, THANK YOU PAUL, Sincerely, —Genii Pell
In looking back over the past year, I realize how many wonderful volunteers stepped up to greet visitors, answer phones and take registrations. The Drawing Studio would be lost without the generosity of the following 09/10 regulars at the front desk: Mae Cleary, Mary Croll, Estelle Cruse, Sally Cushman, Pat Fifer, Leisa Forman, Carolyn Gibbs, Rachael Goldwyn, Kathryn Greco, Eudene Lupino, Carile Neale, Dlyn Fairfax Parra, and Alee Schwarz. Equally appreciated are the many others who came less frequently but contributed just as enthusiastically. —Melinda Parris
To me The Drawing Studio has given a different sense of self confidence and joy, from the first times I sat in Open Studio or Paul Mohr's class and realized how much fun it was to just draw, or even paint the live model, and those times we went out with Andy for plein air groups were exhilarating. Having a few things in the Small Wonders show that actually sold made me feel intact as an artist. And then as I had requests for teaching, I talked with Andy and got extremely encouraged until I had real students really asking questions! From my first design class with Andy at the U of A probably in 1960, to now, in 2010, has been awesome, to hear such an understanding attitude - only at TDS. Thanks, —Jean Beck
More years ago than I can remember, I found The Drawing Studio and Andy Rush. Life and Living, and I had simply forgotten about making art. TDS opened up new mediums to me (monoprint), and Josh Goldberg renewed my love and joy, and yes, frustrations, in painting. THANK YOU, all of you - the wonderful staff that makes TDS so special. —Judi Mullikin
I have taken several classes. The most memorable were with Paul Mohr. I took both #1 and #2 Fundamentals of Drawing as well as a Portrait class. His teaching style, tips and techniques, and critiques were all very instructive and encouraging. My drawing and painting skills improved, providing me the ability to achieve the results I have long wanted, an overall experience that turned out to be better than I expected. Thank you, Paul, other instructors, and staff. —Paula Ward
TDS has moved from the for-credit teaching of art to providing the worthwhile self-fulfillment opportunities to learn about and actually do art for its own sake. No pre-recs, no grades, reasonable cost. What I have profited from personally is the Open Figure Studio "General Studies" where there is a well-structured 3-hour schedule of poses…. In the room…a wide spread of ages, backgrounds, and abilities, but all diligently involved …and coming back again and again. I was in the academic art world a long time and it pleases me to see this less structured approach doing so well here. —John Page, retired teacher
For almost nine years I’ve been a model at TDS. I still remember the first, slightly terrifying time I stood in front of 18 artists with sharpened pencils. I was 44 years old then and had never been a big fan of my own appearance. Through the eyes of TDS artists - hundreds of them over the years - I’ve become a better friend to myself and a great admirer of the skill of drawing. About 3 years ago I made a decision to be exclusively a “costume” (clothed) model, posing mainly for master teacher Paul Mohr. Absorbing from the model stand countless hours of Paul’s teaching, observing the learning process and applying what I was learning to my own (fiber) artwork and my own teaching has been a great side effect, a pleasure and a privilege. For all of that I am deeply grateful to the one and only TDS. —Karin Malzan
One of the first things I did when moving to the Tucson area was to go gallery-hopping. There was an opening of student work at The Drawing Studio. They were all figurative studies. I had been doing mostly figurative painting and I was impressed. I met a fellow that evening …His name was Andy Rush. I agreed with what he said about art and practice and the community of artists…. Over the years I have taken workshops, a class or two, and learned to use a printing press there. I have exhibited there, planned exhibits, and met exceptional people. But mostly I think of The Drawing Studio as a comfortable venue in which to practice my craft. I continue to do so whenever I can. —Judy Bjorling
I stay in Tucson for the winter months and have been fortunate to have been able to be in the printmaking studio as an independent artist for several years. This arrangement has enabled me to spend many creative hours making monotypes. I am very grateful to the Drawing Studio staff for all this quiet time. —Diane Pollack
When my husband and I began spending winters in Tucson, I was searching desperately for an open studio figure drawing/painting group. I happened to be in a local art store, and they suggested The Drawing Studio. That was before it moved to Fourth Ave! It wasn't easy to find, but I am so grateful I did. Have enjoyed many hours of figure painting, taking classes, and meeting wonderful, talented people. The Drawing Studio fills a great creative need in Tucson. Many more years of continued successes! —Roz Greiver
What I love about The Drawing Studio is that you fulfilled your promise as I have discovered not only that I can draw but also learned the core of drawing – i.e., how to observe. Over the years since taking Drawing Fundamentals I and II with Andy, I have taken various additional courses and each time have refined what and how I like best to draw. TDS is an incredible resource in Tucson and I thank you for being there. —Wendy Grahm
The value of The Drawing Studio lives in the teaching artists who give their time, expertise and encouragement to all who enter with the desire to learn and participate in drawing from observation. The value multiplies from each participant who takes these new skills and encourages others to do the same. That's how I found TDS. It doesn't matter what level you come in at, the opportunities for your personal discoveries are here for you. All you need to do is come in and join us. —Laura Hudson
Over a time period of approx. 2 years, I enrolled in a total of 10 classes @ TDS. As a retired academic, I can attest to quality of both class content and esp. faculty (knowledgeable, caring and patient)…Paul Mohr, Betina Fink, Meredith Milstead, Ellen Fountain, Midge Angevine and Katie Cooper. Thank you. Katie Cooper would bring books into class from the TDS library. As a lover of books, esp., art books, I wanted to see/experience the library. Seeing the library’s need for organization and TLC, I volunteered for the project. After spending 8 months, 1-2, 6-hour days per week, this marvelous, unique collection is now catalogued onto the computer (2000 bks. and growing). So if you’re a lover of art books, or just interested, “check-out” the TDS library. There is a check-out system. (Instructions are posted above library computer.) Book check-out is available for faculty, associates and volunteers. Enjoy! —MaryAnn Johns, TDS Volunteer Librarian
The years of the early Drawing Studio will always resonate with me as one of the happiest, most creative times of my life.....A time I learned in a loving community of so many of you how to take the steps I needed to take to become the artist I had always wanted to be. Thanks Drawing Studio and especially Andy! —Acacia Alder
Non-judgemental's the vibe, that we all do subscribe
So come as you are
from near or afar,
Art, peace and Love with a fetching tribe!
I live in Virginia, and I am very lucky that I could participate in the first three Drawing Marathons at TDS! Being able to draw all weekend is wonderful! The organizers create a special atmosphere for the Marathon, and find the best models. When Susan posed, I was most inspired! —Janine Higgins
When I started with TDS…I did not think I could be taught anything of importance. I signed up for Fundamentals I and the information…was exactly what was needed. Then came Fundamentals II. I was surprised at the instructor’s ability to put into my mind more information. My enjoyment increased when I would go to a live model session and see improvement in my work. The human I sketched actually looked like a human. I am very thankful for what I have learned and impressed that the instructor did not throw up arms in despair of ever teaching me anything. The instructor took the time, a steady resolve and lots of explaining until I understood. Needless to say TDS has my undying gratitude. —Laura Boles
"What do you mean you don't know what The Drawing Studio is...?” questioned one of my peers at Pima Community College, where…I was enrolled in art circa 2003. "Actually, the only drawing studio I know is the front half of my living room - it ain't much... but it is a drawing studio," I replied. "Well, you've got to see this place, it was started by this faculty type who got huffed at the U, and left... they're on Fourth Avenue….”Time passes…I meet Andy Rush, and start learning about the effort, the sacrifice and the dedication that staff and students make to keep TDS going, which leads to community recognition by the State of Arizona in the Governor’s Awards for the Arts! —Jack Bybee
I find the Drawing Studio one of the real gems in our wonderful state of Arizona. The work the studio does with the students is terrific and the gallery is 1st rate. The artistry that emanates from the studio adds so much to the quality of life of so many. Continued success always always. —Tom Chapman, Secretary, Az Citizens Action for the Arts
Learned from TDS: Be very gentle with older learners who, when young, were belittled for their artistic efforts. —L
After wanting to practice art for many years, I started taking classes at The Drawing Studio. Although the size and locations of the organization have changed since the early days, the quality of instruction has not. I’m continually impressed by the instructors’ ability to bring out the best in students’ work, whether students are beginners or more experienced. The nurturing environment at TDS encouraged me to continue practice art over the years, which is a great way to be “present”, and I think is what Andy had in mind since the beginning. —Genevieve Rothkopf
I want to congratulate the Drawing Studio on filling an important gap for artists, students, and hobbyists alike in Tucson…The Southwest is a wonderful place for the self-taught artist to live and work. An inspirational subject matter of place, dramatic land, fabulous skies and remixed pool of people…"the new Salsa " instead of an old "melting pot". It’s a festive, hot and fun place to be creative. The Achilles heel of the self taught artist though is twofold. Without the drawing foundation, it is difficult to get certain aspects of art right. Also, without the camaraderie and guidance, that one may or not have found in art school, it is hard to grow as an artist. These two elements, the training by other artists with live models, and the small classroom camaraderie are the two gems in the crown of The Drawing Studio. I support the Drawing Studio and send (all) to them unreservedly. Best Wishes, —Jane Hamilton, Jane Hamilton Fine Art
I have never been disappointed in any class at The Drawing Studio. One thing I find particularly rewarding is the ability of the instructors to foster a spirit of continuous learning, not only of the skill of drawing but the skill of expression. —Connie Price-Johnson
I joined The Drawing Studio rather by accident. A friend of mine talked me into taking a class but I ended up getting sick at the last minute and couldn’t go. Rather than get a refund I decided to take a monoprint course. I had done some printmaking in college but never monoprinting. The class was amazing. It was like someone opened up a window deep inside my brain and let the air in! I had forgotten how much I needed art in my life. I quickly became a member and I now participate in open studio whenever I can. It used to be hard for me to rationalize spending money taking art courses, but I consider open studio and the workshops I attend as valuable as a gym membership and cheaper than therapy. And I'm breathing again. Thank you. —Jeanne Davenport
The Drawing Studio is an inspiration: the physical place, the mental space, the visual mission, the devoted leadership. For me, the value in being part of the TDS family just keeps on growing. A type of osmosis goes on at the studio, where I get to absorb my own personal portion of the skills and motivation and creativity offered not only by the wonderful faculty of teaching artists, but also from fellow students and other artists, and even the models, who attend classes and open studios. We enjoy a highly charged and nurturing environment where we are encouraged to listen, to learn, to leap. Honestly, I feel that something is missing if a few weeks have passed without a visit to TDS. I had the “dumb luck” to wander into a TDS class a decade ago and just haven’t been able to break the habit! —Brenna Lacey
from the Education Director
Words and Images Are Joined at the Hip
Words and Images live side by side in our mind. Like the two sexes, they share the same home—fundamentally different yet powerfully attracted to each other. —Andrew Rush
My memories of childhood growing up in the late 1930s and 40s in St. Louis had a lot of word-learning, but I remember almost no images, except the plaster statues of the Virgin and St. Sebastian (with arrows) at my Catholic Church. Other than a calendar or an occasional floral print from the furniture store, interior walls of most houses were bare or wallpapered. The local newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, showed only an occasional blurry war photo among its columns of type. Even ads were mostly words. There were no art classes in the public schools, nor even in my Catholic high school. There were no locally available art supplies or art supply stores, other than bad crayons in the dime stores (as we called them then). I was in high school before anyone in our family owned a camera.
Yet even without TV, I recall an appetite for images as strong as that among children today. I would walk the eight blocks to the public library once a week in order to look at Life magazine, the one photographic magazine of that era that made the world’s events visually real outside of the occasional ‘newsreel’ in the movies. And on Saturdays we kids would stand in line for hours at the one local movie house to pay ten cents to see Gene Autry or Tom Mix fighting off the bad guys. Comic books were few, but passed around until they were dog-eared pulp.
As I have said in my many essays, the last fifty years have witnessed the biggest shift in communication in the history of man, moving from the verbal-based written languages, to the nonverbal, largely visual languages provided by a media network that dominates almost every public and private space of our lives. Gigantic large-screen televisions fill our homes, businesses and airports. Images also stream into our mailboxes and computers and cell phones without end, in forms like Netflix, You Tube, and jpegs of everyone’s grandchildren, vacations, and weddings.
So it is mind-bogglingly tragic that modern children still arrive at adulthood without the slightest training in the skills of visual communication. Notwithstanding this historic image revolution, there is still little, if any, interest in our schools in visual education as an integral part of general education than there was in my childhood, sixty years ago. *
Not long ago I visited a friend who is the chairperson of a large science department at Columbia University. She showed me her current research on her computer, a fantastic array of visual models of microscopic protein particles, which she could rotate for me as if we were walking around a sculpture from all sides. I asked her about how these new visual tools were changing scientific communication. She answered that, while it is still customary to write scientific papers, in practical terms scientists often now say to each other “Show me the images,” meaning that the authenticity of the research is quickly evident in the images, for which the written or mathematical record is at best a support.
So even in the sciences, it is clear that visual languages are now coming ‘on-line’ to join the literal languages of words and symbols in a more balanced and working relationship, not unlike the two hemispheres of our brain. In this sense I sometimes jokingly call The Drawing Studio ‘a right brain university’, because art learning adds new capacities that bring the spatial modes of our intelligence up to speed with the left-brain. For people who are learning to ‘see’ through drawing, in the euphoria of awakening the visual channels of right-brain seeing, it can often seem as if we have forgotten or even discredited the left-brain linear skills of language, logic, or time.
Now that we have a growing community of TDS artists on the road to mastery as image-makers, last fall I decided that we were ready to open this deeper look at the complexities of perception by reconnecting special relationship that words and images have when they are used together to communicate. In this spirit, I invited a few advanced students to explore with me the interaction of images and language. **
Traditionally we think of words and images as collaboration between a writer and an artist, in the manner of illustrated books. But our group chose to work in both domains more like the poet/artist William Blake, or Saul Steinberg, or Ben Shahn, who all combined both visual and linguistic form in one person.
Our projects were varied but very personal explorations. One artist developed an extraordinary mixed media composition honoring a significant spiritual teacher in her life. Another revisited the history of a Montana town, drawing portraits of murderous vigilantes and adding his commentary on how they became the town fathers under the cleansing brush of history. Yet another artist delved into the dysfunctional role of money that strangled love in her family by turning decades of cancelled checks into luminous art works that closed past wounds. One artist made a book of her life-long annoyance with road construction.
Another of our group produced a series of small drawings celebrating the tiniest daily moments of daily life, like brushing one’s teeth or feeding the dog. One artist, recovering from a serious bout of cancer, began to rebuild her confidence in life by a series of jewel-like self-portraits that revealed many of her own ancestors. An Hispanic artist discovered how to use some ancient Mayan ornament in a modern story telling of domestic life. A young Asian scientist created a panel love story of distance and misunderstanding, using beans and color and paper and paste to create a language of new symbols.
One artist found a new energy in Phoenix downtown skyscrapers through his camera, drawing us into astonishing mirrored surfaces of light. Still in progress, a business-person artist started to produce a new kind of narrative to show the changes Tucson’s downtown streetcar project is about to have on our City center.
Why do I enumerate these many projects? Because in our seminar we were all inspired to discover that, as we learn to combine these two powerful languages of communication, new territory opens in how we both look out upon our world and respond to it from our inner life. A new and rich vocabulary becomes available when taken on together. Recently, one of our OATS tutors has begun to combine art-making with life-stories from her senior students, and share that experience with other OATS tutors. I think we are barely starting to reveal the uses of visual languages to our lives, at any age, and how they might work with the verbal languages we have grown up in.
© 2010, Andrew Rush
* Our Art of Summer Youth immersion program is featured in a center insert to this newsletter issue. Please pass along the insert to parents, youth, and teens you know.
** This issue features some examples of their projects.
from the Executive Director
Fame and Fortune Are NOT Joined at the Hip
Many of you reading this may know that The Drawing Studio recently won the 2010 Governor’s Art Award in the category of “Community,” which focuses on the impact an organization’s work has on the community at large. The award especially recognizes our Art of Summer/Youth Program and OATS Senior Program for their work in serving people young and old who otherwise would have no access to studio art practice. The Drawing Studio was the only organization in southern Arizona to win one of the Governor’s Awards, from a field that included 13 nominees.
The week prior to this award, we were awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for our Art of Summer Youth Program. This is our third such award in five years—a demonstration of The Drawing Studio’s ability not just to develop innovative quality programming, but to sustain it. Last year we also received a Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from NEA—one of only four awarded in Arizona—to help support the Youth and Senior Program Directors’ positions.
In the same week as the NEA award—it was a good week—I found out I was one of 20 arts leaders nationwide selected to participate in a leadership institute in Oregon this summer, underwritten by the Andy Warhol Foundation. In part, my selection hinged on The Drawing Studio’s commitment to opening up the realm of studio art practice to everyone. And finally, it was only four months ago that TDS Founder and Education Director Andy Rush received the prestigious Buffalo Exchange Arts Award for his longstanding contributions to (surprise!) arts in the community.
What do these awards have in common? They all recognize our work in taking art practice out beyond the “gated community” (as Andy calls it), beyond the traditional specialists called “artists,” beyond the moneyed, the educated, the leisured, the people “expected” to be involved in art. These awards acknowledge what TDS has been proclaiming and living for years: that the visual thinking skills developed through studio art practice have immeasurable value for everyone in the 21st century, and everyone should have access to them.
What else do these awards have in common? They WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE without the support of individuals like you making gifts through the annual fund, the gala, and the other special events The Drawing Studio hosts throughout the year. It is true that innovative program development was a necessary pre-condition to the awards, but lots of good ideas never see the light of day. It takes a source person building relationships in the community, training teachers, developing curriculum, providing quality art materials and engaging experiences—all over time. Modest grants and earned income have helped fund these kinds of expenses, but only a portion. Our ability to target underserved people and offer tuition and materials scholarships –that is, to actually serve the youth, adults, and seniors who most need us—and to sustain these efforts over time is directly the result of individual giving.
Amid the congratulations that have come our way, I have heard some comments along the lines of “well, you can’t be hurting too badly [financially], you’re winning all these awards.” In the moment I was puzzled about how to respond (especially since only one—the NEA grant—involved actual money to TDS). It is true we’re not “hurting” in the sense of “we’re in danger of closing our doors.” AND it’s also true that we will be flat-out unable to do the kind of work that’s winning awards without your robust support of the annual fund.
I am just as susceptible as anyone to the thinking “well, I haven’t contributed to [name of org] in the past, and they seem to be doing fine, so they don’t really need my contribution.” In addition to making the basic Statistics 101 error of confusing association with causality, this statement also (literally) passes the buck: the success and impact of the organization’s work is not my responsibility. “Somebody else” will take care of it.
Here’s an antidote to that kind of thinking. Last week a mother and her teenage daughter came into the Studio. They had seen the Art of Summer banner hanging out front and were curious. They had never heard of The Drawing Studio. The daughter had never had any formal art instruction in school, but her mother vouched for her interest and natural ability. I gave them a tour of the Studio, anchoring it in description of what goes on in the Art of Summer. Although the girl was quiet, her eyes got larger and livelier by the moment. A small smile flitted across her face, then stayed, and I could tell she desperately wanted to sign up then and there.
Her mother, meanwhile, though quite warm and friendly, seemed to be getting tenser by the moment. Finally, and offhandedly, I mentioned that if money were an issue, we had a generous scholarship program funded wholely by gifts from individuals. I wish you could have seen how, in a fraction of a second, her body relaxed and a smile to match her daughter’s appeared. It was clear to me that here was a mother committed to doing her best by her daughter, to supporting her daughter’s passion, and she had just been handed a gift of the means to do so. The real difference my gift to the annual fund makes couldn’t have been clearer to me than if I had reached in my pocket and handed her an envelope of $20 bills.
You can make your gift to the Annual Fund through PayPal.
from the Education Director
Art Learning at Its Core
About the working relationship between the teaching artist and the art student.
In the very early years of public television, I had occasion to watch two extraordinary series of master classes for performing musicians. The first of the two series of one-hour seminars was taught by the great cellist, Pablo Casals, then in the last years of his life. The second featured Andres Segovia, working with aspiring classical guitarists.
At the time I was a young, new, and very nervous teacher of drawing, and I avidly watched both series to learn anything I could about the great mystery of how to teach. To confuse me further, the contrast between Casals and Segovia could not have been more dramatic. Casals was impatient, and often interrupted the playing of his pupil with "No! no! no!.....like this, it goes like this!" Then he would play the whole piece, becoming lost in the music, overwhelming his pupil with the power of his playing, indeed, of his genius!
On the other hand, Segovia, after assuring himself that the posture of the guitarist sitting before him was satisfactory, would indicate with a slight nod for him to begin his piece. Segovia would then cover his eyes with his hand, rest his elbow on the top of his guitar and listen. Sometimes he would interrupt only to reach over to adjust the student's right hand (from ‘hearing’ the notes struck), then nod for him to continue. On other occasions, he would stop his pupil to correct a short passage, often by demonstrating what he wanted and then having the student play it several times to be sure that the correction had been digested.
From these two masters, I gradually came to understand an important distinction between teaching by demonstration (or example) and teaching by attending to what the student needs (or tutoring). In a way, Casals’ loyalty was to the music rather than the student, which left the student to get what he/she could from the experience of the master’s commitment to the music. Segovia, on the other hand, was committed to the person who happened to be his student, seeking to set up an exercise appropriate to the student's understanding at that moment.
Unlike most academic subjects, art learning involves both modeling and tutoring, because what one needs to know has to be absorbed, literally like a sponge, into the body, from the practice of doing it. Some of the 'doing it' can be learned by watching, emulating or just ‘hanging out’ with those who have some mastery and willingness to share it with a novitiate as was the case with Casals’ master classes.
However, for any really serious progress, the role of a teacher of art who will work in a close coaching relationship with the student is critical. It is critical because art is about ‘seeing’, and the history of how each person learns to ‘see’ is deeply rooted (one might even say ‘stuck’) in the dark forest of childhood, which is further camouflaged by the random images of one’s social upbringing. To extract oneself from that forest, one needs a guide who has the life experience and perception to penetrate his/her student’s background of assumptions in order to provide the catalyst that opens the space for learning. Not only is such teaching a skill, it also calls for a generosity of spirit and compassion not easily found in the world of artistic egos eager for their own personal success.
It is for this reason I am surprised that even now most professional schools of art have little to say about teaching art seriously. We seem to assume that anyone skilled as an artist can teach if they want to, and not just to ‘specialists’, but now to an emerging broad spectrum of people newly interested in visual learning as a natural extension of their other interests or professions. And while art programs abound, they are often staffed by artists whose interest in teaching is slight, but who nonetheless teach as a way to support themselves, even though their real energy is often more engaged in developing their own talent.
Not that this indentured teacher of art cannot provide valuable guidance, but their teaching tends to be confined to what interests them at the moment, as distinct from what the student may require. Such self-absorbed enthusiasm is often delightful, and indeed may serve the advanced art student, but it can be confusing and even harmful to the beginning pupil who needs to be connected, not just churned up by forces he does not understand as yet. Thus, I myself have little patience with teacher complaints about the ineptitude of students commonly heard around many art departments, because such laments are more often more revealing of the inability or the inexperience of an artist/teacher to connect with what his student actually needs.
It is of course sometimes true that what is missing is a serious effort from a student; without such effort, no amount of either demonstration or tutoring will help because the level of commitment is too weak. Most often, however, what is needed and wanted is the inspiration of a personal teacher in Segovia’s tradition, a dedicated tutor who is committed to connecting his student with the learning process by first revealing and validating the student’s present level of understanding. Once that ground of relationship is established, the master teacher can construct appropriate exercises that encourage the next level of skill--and the student will respond because it just feels right.
In this spirit, we hold it as essential to maintain a core of master teachers at The Drawing Studio, and I am very satisfied at the quality of the Teaching Artists who serve our students.* But as much as a student obviously benefits from great teaching, our teachers also know that the real beneficiary is the teacher, who discovers that in the act of passing on the core of one's own art experience to others, one actually completes one’s own understanding--which is the very definition of mastery.
© 2010 Andrew Rush**
* I invite interested artists to consider my upcoming Certification (CERTS) training program (offered in this newsletter), a six-month intensive we have developed to learn the new curriculum of teaching the skills of observation through drawing, to people of all ages and walks of life who are coming to us in ever larger numbers.
** This essay is a largely rewritten version of an earlier essay published in The Drawing Studio newsletter in 2003 under the title ‘On Teaching’.
from the Executive Director
Givers: People Like Us
There is a truism in the fundraising world: a nonprofit organization doesn’t need people who are rich; it needs people who are givers. With that in mind, I set out to discover what makes The Drawing Studio’s current “givers” give. I interviewed several long-time donors who donate at all levels. They also participate in other ways—as students, volunteers in various capacities, and Associates. I asked them how they came to their own decision to make a financial gift and what they might say to a person considering one to The Drawing Studio’s annual fund campaign, which kicks off March 1 (see accompanying story).
Sara Dobbis (student, Associate, Board member, special events volunteer chair):
Sara signed up for a class on the recommendation of a friend, attended a few exhibit openings, and had lunch with Andy Rush who, in her words, “got me fired up.” Because of her past experience, she agreed to chair our first annual benefit event (and is now working on her fifth!). She made her first gift because she felt a responsibility to set an example. “There isn’t anything I don’t believe in at TDS. It operates in ways I support, and money is used in the ways that are promised. I’ve heard the stories of others in class. The Drawing Studio takes care of seniors and fosters kids’ development. It gets you what you need—art supplies, a scholarship—when times are tough. As they get better, give back.”
Clay Bacon (student, Associate, special events participant):
Clay admits he supports The Drawing Studio from self interest: he loves the classes. He is deeply concerned about the effect of the economy on TDS’s continued existence and thinks it is time for everyone who participates to make a gift beyond the fees that are charged, which don’t cover the full costs of providing services. “If you haven’t donated, give now. If you have, give more. It’s easy to take TDS for granted; it’s been around for awhile. But there’s nowhere else like it. Losing it would be a huge loss personally. What would I do? What would you do?”
Emilia Arana (student, Associate, exhibition volunteer, teaching artist):
Emilia gave her first gift to TDS because she was having such a great time learning about art. She continued because she “really wants this organization around”, and because she wants to witness now what happens from her support, not wait until she’s dead! She views financial giving as stepping up to the appreciation one has for something. “Look at the impact—I hear so many testimonials. The effects are quiet, but life changing. I think you have to have some level of involvement with your community. Once that decision is made, if financial support is possible for you at any level, the commitment should be honored. If TDS did not have in place the outstanding leadership it has, my desire to give would be tempered. But I am totally confident and secure in knowing that my financial support will be used wisely.”
Bruce Cobb (student, Associate, front desk volunteer, past President of the Board):
Bruce had had a significant career in business before he ever set foot in The Drawing Studio as a student. He made his first gift shortly thereafter because “I was having the time of my life.” First came the experience of transformation in his own life, then seeing similar effects in others, and then the realization of how important TDS had become for him. “The Drawing Studio experience is so great, we can’t let it go by the wayside. I’m not sure that people realize that TDS’s survival is completely in their hands. We’ve all been hit by the recession, but food and clothes are not the sum total of being human. Our spiritual lives are just as important. We can’t substitute one kind of poverty for another.”
Four voices that speak for many more. I have been so inspired by my conversations with our donors that I’m going to have more of them even though I’ve finished this article. In the meantime, here is where I locate the bottom line for all of us: It’s personal. TDS givers have a messianic streak. We want to bring the thrill and joy of learning how to see through studio art practice to everyone. We need money to do so. We want you to give it to us. Now.
The Power of 10: Annual Fund Campaign 2010
The Drawing Studio’s 2010 annual fund campaign, “The Power of 10,” kicks off March 1 and runs through June 30. Our goal is $80,000.
The annual fund campaign is the cornerstone of individual giving at The Drawing Studio. In years past, it has been key to our core activities: starting and sustaining the youth and senior programs, developing the library and dedicated print and sculpture spaces, and renovating and operating the new studio.
The annual fund has never been more important than it is in 2010. Interestingly, during times of economic contraction and uncertainty, people often become their most creative, inventive, and visionary. TDS is no different. I have been astounded to witness the teaching artists, the volunteers, the Associates, and the students come forward with new ideas, activities, and initiatives to strengthen and expand TDS’s value in the community. However, we are severely limited in our ability to respond because we lack the additional staff to shape and guide this new volunteer and participant energy. In particular, we need staff in the areas of communications, exhibition, volunteers, and membership. As in the past, it is to the annual fund we look to provide seed funding.
Further, in the next fiscal year, The Drawing Studio, like other nonprofits, will lose a significant portion of its public support at the local, state, and national levels because of government cutbacks. So the annual fund, in addition to maintaining essential services and seeding the future, must also fill this gap.
Therefore, we have an invitation to each of you:
Think about “The Power of 10”
…if the 5000+ people who receive this newsletter in their mail each gave $10
…if our 1,400 active students recruited 10 friends and family members to give $10 each
…if each of our donors added $10, $100, another “0” to their previous gift
..if YOU said, “I’m ready to be a 10. Here’s my gift.”
What Could We Accomplish Together?
The annual fund is not about convincing a few rich individuals; the Power of 10 is about thousands of generous givers coming together to make tangible their commitment to the power of art to change lives.
Thank you for the immense privilege the TDS community is.