I've had a quote stuck in my head all week. This quote inspired me to write in 'The SCENE' last Friday about how the Arts Center's philanthropic outreach builds a community. It gave me a sense of 'hope' for humanity and it's even helping me to write this blog.

But first let me tell you about my job. It's a dream job. That’s why last Friday I wrote, "I have a rare and wonderful gift. I am privileged enough to work at Sedona Arts Center, Northern Arizona’s oldest not-for-profit organization." -And boy did I mean it. Every day I am inspired and surrounded by creative thinkers, master artists and caring teachers. I overhear plans and dreams and visions of art. I get to silently observe the fantastic dreams of emerging artists. I am one part of a creative heartbeat that benefits all of us.

The positive reach the Arts Center has to our community stretches far beyond the walls of this broken art barn. It's true: as a nonprofit we rely wholeheartedly upon the kindness of strangers, but that kindness doesn't stop here. Those who have helped the Arts Center have helped to bring creative instruction to Navajo honor students, community support to other deserving nonprofits, art to children and adults, culture, diversity and so much more.

We are the heartbeat of the community. We are here to raise awareness, give hope and share culture within the world we create. We give back and support our community with everything that we do. We craft bowls for charity, combine classical and contemporary music with art and place the manifested visions of local artists on display for all to enjoy. We teach thousands of creative people to express themselves share their art and grow as artists each year.

Sedona Arts Center is an organization of national presence. We help to enrich not just local programs, but expand nationally and internationally with our field expeditions and workshops abroad. Our members show their works, emerging artists become recognized and students find their muse with us. We are an important anchor in Sedona’s community and have a foothold in its history.

And we love what we do.
And I love what we do.

Each year hundreds of volunteers join us and together we help others experience art and culture. Some are motivated by altruistic values; others see their service as a way to enrich their own lives. Whatever motivates you, we are grateful for you.

Oh, the quote you ask? It's about hope - Bob Hope. For it was Bob Hope who said, "If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble." - And my heart keeps getting better as I grow into roles to help humanity. How about you?

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

 About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

We’ve all been there, whether you are an artist or not... You’re in the middle of a project and you feel inspired, creative, and full of energy and life and then without notice, poof! It’s gone. Your motivation, inspiration and drive are shattered by a mistake; a blunder; a mess. But wait! Don’t despair! Times like these can be the greatest moments of your life.

Don’t fix it! Mistakes can be a magnum opus. Sure you feel like you have to start over sometimes. Just take a look at artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt, who all painted over their own work. But as we see when x-rays bombard these famous artists’ paintings, those mistakes are now being called masterpieces. So before you quickly cover your tracks take a moment to breath and see if that’s truly what you want to do. It is a painstaking process revealing layers upon layers of hidden works of art. So save us the trouble of x-ray vision and start fresh, leaving your work to evolve into what it was meant to be.

I know that dealing with creative frustration can be maddening. I often find myself performing various rituals to inspire the muse within me. I’ll light some incense, play some Dead Can Dance and flip through countless books just to try and stir the pot. But that doesn’t always work. Sometimes I need something stronger, something more powerful...

I need mistakes.

Life’s imperfections are inspirational and can make our art truly unique. I’ve often found myself on paths I never would have taken with my art thanks to the slip of a brush and the bump of my canvas. I habitually thank my son for in-house projectiles and sudden screams of joy, because of the masterpieces that are inspired shortly after. Thanks to the lighthearted view I take with my art and writing, I can truly embrace my shortcomings - and so can you. It’s a lot easier than you think.

We are not perfect beings and the perfect creators of our masterpieces. The world around us bumps and prods us into our perfect ends with absolute and unexpected accuracy. The trick is to move and sway with the world and see where it will take us. When the perfectionist is extinguished, the true creative genius is ignited. Let those little nudges guide you to a more free-flowing style or in a brand new direction. Brush off your mistakes and laugh at yourself. What you think is a blunder could in fact lead you into a field of freshly mowed motivation.

If you can do this, then you can see that imperfection is perfectly wonderful.

What was your best mistake?

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

 

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

This week I spent some time photographing, cataloging and admiring art for various reasons and purposes. I enjoyed interpreting for myself the thoughts and feelings each piece inspired within me, but was left wanting more. I wondered what the art meant to the artist who created it. Was he sad to paint such pale blue strokes; was she incensed when splashing those deep reds so aggressively onto that canvas? What was their story behind what I was feeling in their work?

 

You see, my art is for me. When I raise my pen, smooth my charcoal or caress a canvas with my brush, I am opening my soul to paper, cloth and canvas. I don't think about what a potential buyer, admirer or passer-by will think. My art is an extension of a feeling, moment or place I am at in my life; ever changing, evolving and transforming to its perfect end. My interpretation will always be different from your own… so how do I share that with you?

 

I recently partook in the ‘Process of Art’ Faculty Exhibition at Sedona Arts Center. I shared one of my paintings as well as a short paragraph about the ‘process’ that inspired me to create and complete the piece I showed. It was poetic and somewhat elusive – but it shared what I felt, including a little bit about me. When people viewed my art, they were able to experience for a brief fleeting moment a little more than just eye candy. They were able to swim within my vision, a description of scent and the every changing process I took. To me, this makes the experience so much more fulfilling. Because now we’re not just viewing art – we’re experiencing it.

 

The most common view on gallery exhibitions is, “you are not well-versed enough to understand this art.” That’s where an attendant comes in and tells you how much you don’t comprehend and you write your check. Or is it?

 

Art is truly subjective. I’ve said that a thousand times. You will not see what I see in your art and I will not feel what you feel in mine. But… we can experience art together, in a shared moment. And that mutual understanding can be even more rewarding if we knew just a little bit more about your intentions, interpretations and desires that helped you create the art you present to us. So tell us how you felt when you painted that portrait. Describe in one sentence what it was that forced you to painstakingly carve each intricate line on a worn solemn face. Share with us your muse – and our appreciation will be unique in that we will join with your art experience… not just the visual of your art.

 

What inspires you?

What would you say about your art?

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

I have often walked through the canyons and mountains of Sedona and surrounding areas in awe of the natural beauty in this place I call home. There is no question in anyone’s mind that nature has carved and painted vistas that force you to stop, gaze endlessly and listen to the wind or breeze moving through the environment. I fell in love with Sedona’s beauty and quickly found myself connected, like so many others - through that beauty.

 

Today I spoke with my mother who has a number of acquaintances and friends in Japan, having lost contact with them many years ago; she is worried about their safety and wellbeing. Some of them had even lived with our family during their studies or work. They left behind art and books on the subject of Japanese art, culture and architecture that I often leafed through as a child. I found there to be a connection with the artists of Sedona and the artists of Japan, both ancient and contemporary. Whereas Western Europe, influenced by Mediterranean cultures and Christianity exalted mankind, Far Eastern artists, especially architects embraced and exalted nature. A few days ago nature heaved terrible destruction in Japan, destroying much more than infrastructure, homes, businesses, livelihood and worse: lives – it took away the art, architecture, the dreams and hopes of centuries of their civilization.

 

While I do not recall my mother’s friends from my early childhood or even before my time, her sadness had a deeper impact on me. I considered the connections to people I barely know, to the great losses of those things we have not had time to think about as people naturally come first. Entire towns were destroyed with the tsunami, taking with them centuries of art, cultural artifacts and architecture of temples and communities. I recall that the Japanese people predominantly practice Buddhism and Shintoism, using the latter primarily for ceremonies in life. Looking up the meaning of “Shinto” online I found it to mean “the way of the gods.” Shinto gods (kami) are “…sacred spirits which take the form of things and concepts important to life, such as wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers and fertility.” In concept, this is similar to many faiths, including our Native Americans, whose art we are honored to have close at hand. In fact, people of many faiths see inspiration in Sedona as do artists and architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright who designed The Chapel of the Holy Cross, nestled in natural rock. Imagine if suddenly an earthquake destroyed this area, including the art and architecture and natural formations that we admire and deem sacred.

 

In Shinto, nature is essentially a positive force despite being unpredictable - eventually good will prevail and all will be forgiven, if not forgotten. Art helps us to see our true selves and envision possibilities, to immerse ourselves in beauty and trust. Hope helps us rise above our fears and grief to see the beauty in our world and create magnificent wonders.

 

Relief plans are in place across the globe to help the nation of Japan and its people. Sedona Arts Center (SAC) is putting together a donation to provide relief to an organization that will inspire and give hope to the people to create and build what was lost. SAC is inviting a collector to donate a significant work to the May 21st 2011 Sedona Fine Art Auction. All proceeds from this donated piece will go to the Artists Help Japan fund. If you can and as you contribute to the humanitarian relief, please also add a donation to Artists Help Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Fund. The fund is founded by Dice Tsutsumi, an art director at Pixar Animation Studios. Dice was also behind the 2008 Totoro Forest Project to help preserve Sayama Forest in Japan and the Sketchtravel Project. Visit us online at SedonaArtsCenter.com for more information or to see what you can do to help. We at Sedona Arts Center send the Japanese people our heartfelt condolences and empathy for all their losses and wish for strength and a quick recovery.

 

 Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

I am inspired by theatrical music that gives rise to vast worlds within my mind. I am inspired by the colors and soft sounds of a brilliant sunrise or sunset on these red red rocks. I am inspired by truthful words well spoken and laughter skillfully evoked. I am inspired by my own optimistic dreams and thoughts. I am inspired by peace, tranquility and balance. I am inspired by science and beauty and can recognize beauty in science. I am inspired by children who question everything about the world they live in. I am inspired by altruism.

What inspires you?

Inspiration comes in endless forms and countless ways, all unique to each and every one of us. It could find its way to us by way of birds singing, people dancing or something more subtle like a pattern, shape or color seen arbitrarily. It can be found hidden within a painting or far off in a cloudy memory of times long past. Or perhaps your muse is found in chain emails, discount coupons or thrift stores. These breakthroughs are a powerful force that can shape the world when not left to stagnate.

I want you to think for a moment on what influences you most. Allow your thoughts to drift away and remember what caused that painting to be born; that poem to be penned; that song to be sung; that sculpture to be carved? Think on what it is that motivates you to create, act or be driven to a purpose...

...and then experience it; change it; shape it - over and over again, each and every day.

Embrace that which inspires you. Fall deeply into your thoughts and dreams. Don't let the mundane in life slow the momentum of any new found enthusiasm. Take advantage of each edifying moment and use it to create something new that will perhaps give impetus to others. Illuminate the world with your ennobling words, music and art. Flow with life; flow with innovation.

 

Whether you are an artist or not, take a moment each day to feel the inspiration art bestows you. Appreciate the sounds of nature, music and the entire world around you. Become involved with those who create and inspire others. Share your creativity with your fellow human and living thing equally. Find your muse, welcome it and change the world.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


*Are you a potter or ceramicist that needs more motivation? There’s no greater inspiration than helping to create loving bowls for charity. Volunteer your skills every Thursday from 1 – 4 at Sedona Arts Center’s ceramics department to create either wheel-thrown or hand-built bowls. This year’s fund-raising will benefit Sedona Arts Center, The Sedona Community Center and The Sedona Food Bank. Call 928.282.3809 to see how you can help.

 

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

 

I see a troubling trend these days. I see our politicians cutting funding to vital communal lifelines such as public broadcasting and the arts. Schools are sending teachers pink slips and the world is upside down. As banks and corporations get bailout after bailout, it's inevitably up to us to bail ourselves out. It’s up to us (you and me) to support, create and build our communities – one by one, brick by brick.

 

Last week I wrote a piece for The Scene’s “High Art” and the Sedona Events Alliance about the importance of art as a building block of our society and future generations to come. It was Oscar Wilde who stated, “The self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy.” Life imitates art, and art imitates life.

 

It’s true; the arts provide a foundation for communities to grow. But it’s not the group that is so vital – it’s the individuals that truly make a difference. Each friend, family member and aficionado supporting the arts is the mortar that holds firm the foundation of our society. You don’t have to be an artist, musician or writer to appreciate, share or be involved in the arts. Art flows through each and every one of us and ties us all together. Art is at the very center of every society.

 

Imagine if there was no art, no music, no dance, and no theater; no one to entertain you, no place to lose yourself in imagination, nothing to inspire, delight or nourish your soul. This desolate world would be gray and dry and silent. Thankfully this world does not exist. Our world flourishes thanks to museums, galleries, theaters and centers and schools of art. These are vital resources, where people gather and unite to share their souls, dreams, memories and more. These places offer us a chance to escape, individually into the minds and souls and worlds of those we admire, affecting each of us distinctively.

 

We need our galleries museums, theaters and schools and they need artists, writers, musicians and teachers. But most importantly – they all need you. You don’t have to be an artist to support an artist or become a member of an arts association; you just need to appreciate the world of art that surrounds you. So, stand up for the arts and public programs in your local community. Support your local friend or family member that donates their time and life to these organizations. Let everyone know that you understand how important art is in your life. Being a member of a local nonprofit makes all the difference in the world.

 

 

March is membership drive month at Sedona Arts Center. SAC has been a cultural and educational anchor in Sedona for over half a century. It has continuously contributed to the quality of life in our community by providing arts education, developing emerging artists and stimulating Sedona’s economy by drawing students, acclaimed artists and faculty from all over the world to participate in classes and workshops. It has created a place for people to gather, share their visions and slowly construct a community that is praised today as one of the finest art communities in the country.

 

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.