Posts Tagged ‘Dayton Art Institute’

My mom was an art teacher for 31 years at South Seminole Middle School. A paint brush with her name on it is one of the few mementos I have of her time there. There’s something beautifully simple about a used paint brush, and this one brings back a flood of memories growing up looking at books in our home showing the work of great painters. I was drawn the most to the works of Winslow Homer, Claude Monet, Salvador Dali, and Vincent Van Gogh.

As a teenager, my mom took art classes at the Dayton Art Institute, and later studied art at Ohio State. I’ll never know exactly how that impacted my creative sensibilities, but I do think my sense of composition was formed in looking at those paintings in books year after year.

My mom was born on this day during the depression. In the years before she died I enjoyed hearing her stories that filled in the gaps of her life. While in high school she worked at radio station WINK in Dayton, Ohio where a young Jonathan Winters was getting his start. And when I asked her if any of her art students went on to have a career as an artist she mentioned Colorado-based artist Scrabble Campbell. It’s so hard to make a living as an artist that John Mellencamp recently said that despite his love of painting, it was easier to become a rock star.

My mom with a creation by one of her students

P.S. This morning in American Cinematographer magazine (April, 2022) I read about the HBO documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light directed by Sam Pollard and shot by Henry Adebonojo (and also featuring archival footage shot by John Simmons).

”For me as a filmmaker, I always take strength from artists because of the courage they exhibit in doing what they do, as well as their vision — the way they see the world. I’m working with a different kind of canvas than they are, but I can take so many things from them to alter what might be an ordinary palette and turn it into something dynamic.”
—Cinematographer Henry Adebonojo

Scott W. Smith is the author of Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles

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