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Why art? with guest blogger Victor Friedman

Why do I feel passionate about art and action research?  I have no  talent.  Drawing and painting never appealed to me.  I love to sing but cannot carry a tune.  My tuba teacher suggested that I join the swim team instead of the marching band.   Visits to art museums were  alienating  because I, quite literally  had no “taste” for art.  The turning point came a number of years ago when Ariane decided to pursue her passion for art into research on artistic interventions in organizations.  We had collaborated for years and wanted to continue working together. But I had no genuine interest in art or aesthetics, which seemed to me my weakest part.  But then I realized it might be a learning opportunity.  Ariane took me to museums and helped me communicate with art for the first time.  Rather than simply looking at pictures, I learned to wander and wait until a picture spoke to me.  And I tried to listen to feelings and thoughts it awakened in me  – to “taste” it.  That was a beginning and has led to many new discoveries.  I also began to realize how, in modern society,  we have taken artistic-creative-aesthetic activity out of our everyday life. So I like to play with bringing it back in.  For example, I put colored modeling clay on the table in my office and encouraged anyone who came to meet to start playing.  At first most people made figures, but then some students they started actually decorating the table. I then invited encouraged everyone to add to the emerging design.  One picture here shows the table in progress, the other shows the table complete.  And check out this website on the work of Jackson Pollock.  Have fun!

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