Tag Archives: Marsha Pippenger

The art in smart

Just a thought for today: Supporters of art are movers and shakers, which is why ART is the foundation of SMART!

I saw the peaceful city…

and it was here, in Dayton, where I live: The City of Peace. This reference may or may not be familiar to readers, but Dayton really is known as the City of Peace. This is due firstly, to the Dayton Peace Accords, the agreement hammered out here to end the war in Bosnia. Since that time Dayton has become home to the International Peace Museum, the Missing Peace Art Space, the Peace Bridge, and other endeavors to promote peace in our world. Much of our city’s efforts involves the artful pursuit of peace, as I call it. That’s because many of our efforts to promote peace are visual and literary.

I was thinking about this because yesterday in my church we dedicated a permanent Prayer Wall, a place for our notes to that higher power. This had meaning for me because I was asked to create the design for the Prayer Wall, which was then built in wood by a talented craftsman. My intent was to allude to the Western Wall in Jerusalem where people of all faiths come to tuck their written prayers into the cracks of the stone wall. Our wall is wood to match our sanctuary, but it evokes the Western Wall in its design. I designed it in three parts so it also alludes to medieval triptych altarpieces.

I would like to see our focus on peace spread throughout the world. Let’s work for that. And artfully speaking, designing the wooden Prayer Wall inspired me to create collage on canvas reflection walls, which I will be posting here!

We’ll start with one: Gold Reflection Wall9″w by 12″h collage on canvas, made of handmade and machine papers, clear acrylic          finish, wired and ready to hang, $165.

Some New Year’s Thoughts 2011

Art is life-giving.

It’s an intangible. How can you explain to someone who has never experienced the power of an original piece of work, something that has sprung from the thought of one human being, brought into existence due to that person’s trials and errors, sweat, mental anguish, trying to get it right, to make physical that which he or she sees in the mind’s eye? Art adds life – to the walls of your home, your cubicle at work, your city parks, the very roadways you travel – breath and thought and feeling and connection, a communication offered from the artist to you.

It was a difficult year, 2010. Many of us felt the negatives of an economy sliding downhill, jobs moving in not equal to the companies moving out, the broad sweep of cuts to the arts because funds are stretched to the nth degree just to cover the most basic of services. Hard decisions have had to be made. We all want to live in a community with plenty of recreational opportunities and cultural offerings. Most of us realize that in our current world we must get creative to provide those amenities when our cities are pushing to fill empty buildings, entice new enterprise, appeal to and keep our young adult residents.

This is why we need the life sustaining power of art more than ever, and it is also why it is time for those of us who live and breathe and work in the arts to do more – I know, I know, we all are always being asked to do more – but small things can truly add up to big accomplishments. There is strength in numbers, and while competition is healthy, there really is great power in collaboration.

Dayton, Ohio, where I live and work,  is remarkable in its offerings in the arts; it has more than most cities its size (a provable statistic by the way). We have more talented professional artists than most, we have fine galleries that could use more traffic and support, and we have an art institute that rivals those of many larger metropolitan areas. Dayton has been blessed by the philanthropy of past citizens who loved this city and its people; we are still enjoying the fruits of that generosity today. Moreover, we are charged with living up to that legacy. We need to, now more than ever before.


This post really has nothing to do with art, unless you take into account that there is an art to feeling thankful, especially in this world of so many trials and heartaches and just pure unadulterated meanness. I have felt lately that kindness is getting trampled by angry words and cruel actions, which makes it even more important to take in beauty, to admire creativity, appreciate thoughtfulness, hold close the ones we love, and to breathe in thanks for the blessings we do enjoy and pledge again not to add to that abyss of darkness but to radiate beams of light.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.