I have often walked through the canyons and mountains of Sedona and surrounding areas in awe of the natural beauty in this place I call home. There is no question in anyone’s mind that nature has carved and painted vistas that force you to stop, gaze endlessly and listen to the wind or breeze moving through the environment. I fell in love with Sedona’s beauty and quickly found myself connected, like so many others - through that beauty.

 

Today I spoke with my mother who has a number of acquaintances and friends in Japan, having lost contact with them many years ago; she is worried about their safety and wellbeing. Some of them had even lived with our family during their studies or work. They left behind art and books on the subject of Japanese art, culture and architecture that I often leafed through as a child. I found there to be a connection with the artists of Sedona and the artists of Japan, both ancient and contemporary. Whereas Western Europe, influenced by Mediterranean cultures and Christianity exalted mankind, Far Eastern artists, especially architects embraced and exalted nature. A few days ago nature heaved terrible destruction in Japan, destroying much more than infrastructure, homes, businesses, livelihood and worse: lives – it took away the art, architecture, the dreams and hopes of centuries of their civilization.

 

While I do not recall my mother’s friends from my early childhood or even before my time, her sadness had a deeper impact on me. I considered the connections to people I barely know, to the great losses of those things we have not had time to think about as people naturally come first. Entire towns were destroyed with the tsunami, taking with them centuries of art, cultural artifacts and architecture of temples and communities. I recall that the Japanese people predominantly practice Buddhism and Shintoism, using the latter primarily for ceremonies in life. Looking up the meaning of “Shinto” online I found it to mean “the way of the gods.” Shinto gods (kami) are “…sacred spirits which take the form of things and concepts important to life, such as wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers and fertility.” In concept, this is similar to many faiths, including our Native Americans, whose art we are honored to have close at hand. In fact, people of many faiths see inspiration in Sedona as do artists and architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright who designed The Chapel of the Holy Cross, nestled in natural rock. Imagine if suddenly an earthquake destroyed this area, including the art and architecture and natural formations that we admire and deem sacred.

 

In Shinto, nature is essentially a positive force despite being unpredictable - eventually good will prevail and all will be forgiven, if not forgotten. Art helps us to see our true selves and envision possibilities, to immerse ourselves in beauty and trust. Hope helps us rise above our fears and grief to see the beauty in our world and create magnificent wonders.

 

Relief plans are in place across the globe to help the nation of Japan and its people. Sedona Arts Center (SAC) is putting together a donation to provide relief to an organization that will inspire and give hope to the people to create and build what was lost. SAC is inviting a collector to donate a significant work to the May 21st 2011 Sedona Fine Art Auction. All proceeds from this donated piece will go to the Artists Help Japan fund. If you can and as you contribute to the humanitarian relief, please also add a donation to Artists Help Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Fund. The fund is founded by Dice Tsutsumi, an art director at Pixar Animation Studios. Dice was also behind the 2008 Totoro Forest Project to help preserve Sayama Forest in Japan and the Sketchtravel Project. Visit us online at SedonaArtsCenter.com for more information or to see what you can do to help. We at Sedona Arts Center send the Japanese people our heartfelt condolences and empathy for all their losses and wish for strength and a quick recovery.

 

 Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

I am inspired by theatrical music that gives rise to vast worlds within my mind. I am inspired by the colors and soft sounds of a brilliant sunrise or sunset on these red red rocks. I am inspired by truthful words well spoken and laughter skillfully evoked. I am inspired by my own optimistic dreams and thoughts. I am inspired by peace, tranquility and balance. I am inspired by science and beauty and can recognize beauty in science. I am inspired by children who question everything about the world they live in. I am inspired by altruism.

What inspires you?

Inspiration comes in endless forms and countless ways, all unique to each and every one of us. It could find its way to us by way of birds singing, people dancing or something more subtle like a pattern, shape or color seen arbitrarily. It can be found hidden within a painting or far off in a cloudy memory of times long past. Or perhaps your muse is found in chain emails, discount coupons or thrift stores. These breakthroughs are a powerful force that can shape the world when not left to stagnate.

I want you to think for a moment on what influences you most. Allow your thoughts to drift away and remember what caused that painting to be born; that poem to be penned; that song to be sung; that sculpture to be carved? Think on what it is that motivates you to create, act or be driven to a purpose...

...and then experience it; change it; shape it - over and over again, each and every day.

Embrace that which inspires you. Fall deeply into your thoughts and dreams. Don't let the mundane in life slow the momentum of any new found enthusiasm. Take advantage of each edifying moment and use it to create something new that will perhaps give impetus to others. Illuminate the world with your ennobling words, music and art. Flow with life; flow with innovation.

 

Whether you are an artist or not, take a moment each day to feel the inspiration art bestows you. Appreciate the sounds of nature, music and the entire world around you. Become involved with those who create and inspire others. Share your creativity with your fellow human and living thing equally. Find your muse, welcome it and change the world.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


*Are you a potter or ceramicist that needs more motivation? There’s no greater inspiration than helping to create loving bowls for charity. Volunteer your skills every Thursday from 1 – 4 at Sedona Arts Center’s ceramics department to create either wheel-thrown or hand-built bowls. This year’s fund-raising will benefit Sedona Arts Center, The Sedona Community Center and The Sedona Food Bank. Call 928.282.3809 to see how you can help.

 

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

 

I see a troubling trend these days. I see our politicians cutting funding to vital communal lifelines such as public broadcasting and the arts. Schools are sending teachers pink slips and the world is upside down. As banks and corporations get bailout after bailout, it's inevitably up to us to bail ourselves out. It’s up to us (you and me) to support, create and build our communities – one by one, brick by brick.

 

Last week I wrote a piece for The Scene’s “High Art” and the Sedona Events Alliance about the importance of art as a building block of our society and future generations to come. It was Oscar Wilde who stated, “The self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy.” Life imitates art, and art imitates life.

 

It’s true; the arts provide a foundation for communities to grow. But it’s not the group that is so vital – it’s the individuals that truly make a difference. Each friend, family member and aficionado supporting the arts is the mortar that holds firm the foundation of our society. You don’t have to be an artist, musician or writer to appreciate, share or be involved in the arts. Art flows through each and every one of us and ties us all together. Art is at the very center of every society.

 

Imagine if there was no art, no music, no dance, and no theater; no one to entertain you, no place to lose yourself in imagination, nothing to inspire, delight or nourish your soul. This desolate world would be gray and dry and silent. Thankfully this world does not exist. Our world flourishes thanks to museums, galleries, theaters and centers and schools of art. These are vital resources, where people gather and unite to share their souls, dreams, memories and more. These places offer us a chance to escape, individually into the minds and souls and worlds of those we admire, affecting each of us distinctively.

 

We need our galleries museums, theaters and schools and they need artists, writers, musicians and teachers. But most importantly – they all need you. You don’t have to be an artist to support an artist or become a member of an arts association; you just need to appreciate the world of art that surrounds you. So, stand up for the arts and public programs in your local community. Support your local friend or family member that donates their time and life to these organizations. Let everyone know that you understand how important art is in your life. Being a member of a local nonprofit makes all the difference in the world.

 

 

March is membership drive month at Sedona Arts Center. SAC has been a cultural and educational anchor in Sedona for over half a century. It has continuously contributed to the quality of life in our community by providing arts education, developing emerging artists and stimulating Sedona’s economy by drawing students, acclaimed artists and faculty from all over the world to participate in classes and workshops. It has created a place for people to gather, share their visions and slowly construct a community that is praised today as one of the finest art communities in the country.

 

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

I’ve written a few times about the fact that art is subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder and whatnot, but that’s the last thing you want to hear if you are about to purchase art. If you are interested in buying or collecting art, you don’t need an education in art history or the arts in general to take those first steps.  Most people think of art buyers as part of some elitist group, those who are versed in ‘art speak’ and spend millions of dollars on bizarre unrecognizable sculptures or paintings. People, who invest in art then sell it for millions more, do so because it is fashionable. But the simple fact is most people begin collecting art because they love it.

 

Learning about Art

 

Now, before you go spending all your hard earned cash on art as an investment, you should at least understand the fundamentals. There’s no need to spend years in art school for this – you can learn by visiting local museums and galleries to familiarize yourself. This will also help you discover what styles and manner of art you actually like. These are great places to ask questions and find out more about the art world and that ‘art speak’ I spoke of before. Don’t be intimidated when walking into a gallery for the first time – they are in the business because they are passionate about art and are typically staffed with knowledgeable and helpful people. But trust your instincts, because there’s no reason to talk with someone you feel is stuffy or demeaning to you.

 

Choosing Art

 

Now that I’ve got you walking around galleries and museums finding out about style and color, how do you go about choosing art? The first rule of thumb is that you should always start with art you actually appreciate. This brings me back to subjective art and where true beauty lies. Always choose art that you admire or feel a connection with. Trust your instincts and your eye. Buying art is for you and no one knows what you like better than you. It could be the design, the color, or even the subject that speaks to you and says, “take me home.”

 

If you are buying art as a financial investment however, remember that art takes time to mature. Don’t go out looking for a Vincent van Gogh or Jackson Pollock piece that you can try to get a return on. These artists have pieces sold and resold so often, it will be a nightmare finding an investor to spend more on a resell. Instead, look for an emerging artist that you think will be the next Klimt, Picasso or Warhol. This approach takes quite a bit of research and time. Look through art magazines and hit up those galleries and upcoming shows – listen to buzz and see who’s talking about whom. Buying art that is reasonably priced and will be highly sought after is your objective in this case. However, keep in mind that the art market fluctuates and so does the worth of art. You may also want to remember that many an artist’s work becomes more valuable after they’re gone… hence the “starving artist” rarely gets to enjoy the riches of their own work.

 

Leaving Fear Behind

 

Perhaps you have friends that are true art lovers or artists themselves in art clubs and frequenting the art scene. Don’t let this stop you from buying or collecting art…take them along, listen to them, but in the end remember whose walls that art will ultimately adorn. How many times have you heard about the interior decorator who has redone someone’s home and made it fit for Traditional Home or Modern Home, etc., but has taken out the comfort and personal style of its owner? Keep that in mind as you are the one, and your family, who will live with the art you select on a daily basis. So start collecting, but love what you buy.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

Last week I wrote on supporting the Arts throughout the community and beginning with the schools our children attend. Art begins in the home as those of us young enough can remember our parents putting up our masterpieces on the refrigerator, or have children of our own now continuing this wonderful tradition. As children we are free to express ourselves through paper and crayons and proud to share it with anyone who would look. Imagine telling a child their special drawing is not up to par or misses the whole point of good art.

Art is subjective. There isn’t any standardized method to evaluating the quality or magnificence of a painting, drawing or sculpture. We can’t measure, weigh or scientifically calculate the superiority of art, because beauty truly is “in the eye of the beholder.” I recently read an article where the writer demanded more quality artists in the world. He claimed he had the answer to ‘the problem with art’ today, which was simply, “there are no good artists left in the world.” I disagree wholeheartedly. Creative expression should run freely with less of the judgmental, biased and opinionated repartee of the critics.

Whether you are an adult taking up painting for the first time or a child exploring colors, the last thing you need is a detractor telling you how to express yourself. Art is an extension of ourselves and while criticism becomes part of our growing experience, it should only be constructive and never something that takes away the freedom of expression and creativity. Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock, Warhol, Murakami, Leibovitz all broke with tradition in their art styles and what they wanted to express. They had their detractors who considered their art not good enough too. Imagine if they took that to heart and stopped creating.

…Which brings me back to children’s art and education.

In my home the children’s creative expression runs wild in a thousand artistic forms. I always encourage them to draw outside of the lines - to not be afraid to take the untamed approach to art in all its forms. Artistic expression needs encouragement and the freedom of experimentation. Artists seek approval from family, teachers and friends, who often discourage them or exclaim, “Don’t quit your day job!” if you’re an adult artist, or consider a child’s art as merely an extension of playtime. Parents often give their children coloring books and are so proud of them when they color ‘within the lines.’ They guide their children to color how they feel they should. “Hair isn’t pink! Here are the colors you can choose from.” What they should be saying is, “Paint that hair blue! Ignore the lines! Green faces? Sure! There is no wrong way to color or express yourself.” Don’t box in life, creativity and conception – we need artistic freedom in society more than you can imagine. Start with our children.

So what can we do to help our children?

Encourage them to color outside of the lines. Give them big paper, then bigger paper, and then even bigger paper and tell them to draw beyond the edges. Let them know that it’s never wrong to express themselves in what you might find to be bizarre or questionable ways. Let them choose colors – and by doing so you can get a glimpse into their world. Let them learn from their ‘mistakes’ and teach them that sometimes a blunder is simply the path to a masterpiece. Give them the creative freedom to be masters and they will change the world.


Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

There’s no argument – when it’s time to cut funding or make ‘simple’ budget cuts, the arts are on average the first to go. As museums, theaters, schools and art centers feel the effect of the recession, it becomes increasingly more difficult to attract supporters. Arts institutions and school programs are closing, downsizing and reorganizing as our fragile economy runs its course. Our President’s most recent State of the Union speech promised science, technology, engineering and math, but what about the arts? Was that left out deliberately as irrelevant or ignored out of indifference?

Too often the arts are overlooked and considered “frivolous and unnecessary,” but the fact is - the arts teach us about humanity and how to be more civil and caring in the world. Creativity allowed to nurture expands possibilities and dreams. We should always promote imaginative and creative thought in our schools. The arts encourage expression, communication and exploration of our cultural and historical understanding. Arts education strengthens problem-solving, critical thinking, develops cognitive and creative skills and adds to overall academic achievement. Many great thinkers and inventors studied the arts and some even gained recognition as creative artists. Will we have another scientist, inventor and artist like Leonardo DaVinci? Bottom line is we do need artists in our world to connect us to understanding our humanity.

The general public is slowly beginning to understand the importance of art, but we are sure to have some hurdles to overcome as various programs are still being cut from our schools. Let’s always strive to allow creative expression to be included in our children’s curriculum. Their imaginations will bring us the products, lifestyles and even the sound and look of the future we will all inhabit. Look around and see how art in its many forms encompasses your life. See the beauty and inspiration that builds your world and remember to pass that along to everyone you know, especially children. Recognize how each and every creative program is a building block of our society.

I believe the arts will always survive, but we will need louder voices and individuals willing to stand up and remind us how important our creative world is. I am one of those voices, asking you to join with me and be a part of just one of the millions of changes we can make together.

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

 

 

About:

Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.