Thursday, March 20, 2008

So what’s the big deal about art?

Artist: Age 3

I’ve always lived with art. Always. See? Here I am at age 3, paintbrush in hand. I’m a constant creator. Art is a huge transformational element. It’s creative expression. It’s a core element of me, and of my reinvention.

At the last Ignite Portland, I felt a bit disconnected from a lot of the talks. I asked myself if I was “getting” this thing? Robots? But the talk that really peaked my interest was by Adrienne Fritze, a woman who transformed her life from an advertising executive into a new life as an artist. To tell her story, some of it personal and raw, up on a stage, to a packed crowd (with a lot of tech-based folks!) at The Bagdad, just kicked ass. Turns out she runs an artist’s collective…

And this month’s audio show, DIY, Portland, “a revolutionary arts show about DIY projects" by Julie Sabatier, has an interview with Adrienne and her work. Adrienne works with incarcerated women through art therapy. (Sidenote: Did you know glitter is considered contraband in prison?) In fact, the whole show/podcast is about the Art of Survival. How does art transform us? Provide us sustenance? Allow us to explore issues through it? Adrienne says “It changes people: it’s incredible.” I couldn’t agree more. And Adrienne’s own story of transformation through art is beautiful. Awesome woman.

If you’re looking for a new podcast or to be inspired, take a moment to listen to this great show. It’s online and waiting for you now.

About DIY, Portland
This two-year-old show has grown up from Portland's grassroots to become a full-fledged documentary series, featuring recorded field sound, in-studio interviews and personal narration blended with music from Pacific Northwest artists. In 25 episodes, the show has covered a diverse range of topics from zines to underground restaurants to home funerals. In addition to on-line, the show airs on KBOO Community Radio in Portland (10am the third Thursday of every month), and is syndicated on stations such as KUGS in Bellingham, Washington and KRFP in Moscow, Idaho.

Thanks, Julie, for doing the work you do. Love it.


Julie said...

Thanks for the plug, LeAnn! Hope to see you at the listening party tonight at the Waypost (though it sounds like you've already had a listen.

Anna said...

LeAnn, you have obviously been adorable your entire life!!

Love this photo.

LeLo said...

What's with everybody using my real name today?! People! It's LeLo! LELO!


Anonymous said...

Very cute pic Lelo:)


Anonymous said...

Lelo ~

Thanks for the kudos in your blog. It's humbling and fulfilling simultaneously.

And I'm glad you were in the audience that night at Ignite. I knew there had to be sympaticos out there amongst those 750+ faces...

That was one of the most difficult presentations I've ever made. Can't tell you how many times I wanted to toss my cookies - while waiting for the first group to get done, during the break before we in the second group got up, while standing in line waiting to kick off the second set of presentations, after I got off stage.

And I'd do it all over again. So many people found inspiration for themselves in what I shared - and that was the payoff for me.

Thanks for being one of the folks holding the space for the arts to be used in empowering, healing and joyful ways.

If you get a chance, I'll be doing a longer presentation - 10 minutes at the Better Living Show at the Expo on March 29th. The topic is "Incorporating Art into Everyday Life". Info is here:

Would love to meet you in person.

Be well...

To art and all it brings!