Arts for Everyone Is My Livelihood

The Swing

Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Swing, 1767 (Wallace Collection, London)

Suzanne’s Story
The Decisive Moment (with apologies to Henri Cartier-Bresson.) As the daughter of an art teacher, I grew up surrounded by art books. My childhood summers were spent pouring through them, marveling at the velvet cushioned swing featured in Fragonard’s The Swing (which differed substantially from the splinter-inducing apparatus in Lincoln’s Pioneer Park) and staring in guilty fascination at Christ’s thorn spiked green skin in Grunewald’s Isenheim Alterpiece, so I guess my decision to study art history in college was a predictable one.


Continue Reading…

Art Is My Livelihood

Bart’s Story
Art is my life.

It always has been, whether I knew it or not. According to my biological mother, I’ve
been drawing ever since I could hold something in my hands, yet ironically; I was
the only one out of my brothers that wasn’t drawing on the walls.

There Are Places On The Map That Do Not Exist

There Are Places On The Map That Do Not Exist

Growing up I knew I could draw and that others appreciated it, but I never saw it as a possible career or life path. I wasn’t a particularly bright student, in fact I was getting Ds my senior year of high school. So after graduation, I ended up enlisting in the Nebraska Air National Guard, serving for six years.

Continue Reading…

The Guitar Is My Livelihood

Morgan’s Story
Growing up, my brother Dylan played the guitar and bass and was in several bands. I went to all of his shows and was always excited to watch him and his friends perform. I soon realized that I wanted to do the same thing because it looked like so much fun.

I started playing guitar when I was in the eighth grade. After my parents gave me my first guitar for Christmas in 2000, I started taking lessons. Playing the guitar became one of my favorite hobbies. During my senior year of high school, I joined the jazz band as the guitarist and became an even a better player.

Continue Reading…

Writing Is My Livelihood

S.R.’s Story
How many times have I thought, That’s not what I meant or I don’t know what you mean?

I ask because I don’t know.

I have such a hard time making sense of things.

So I write, and I revise.

What I mean: I grew up with books. They were my best friends—and in many ways they still are. When I was left behind in the schoolyard, books taught me how to imagine, how to think, how to continue (against every influence to the contrary) to believe in magic. It wasn’t exactly the story that enticed me; it was the language. How words manage space and time and sensation with only a set of squiggly, bent lines. That’s alchemy.

Continue Reading…