We find, have, take, make, and can be just in or out of time; it passes quickly or slowly and sometimes stands still; we often have too much or too little of it on our hands and now and then we just don’t know where it has gone. But the one thing that I am most sure of is – we are a part of it, it’s a part of us and most of us live and die by the clock. Not only are we connected by time, but by each other as well.

Fossil fuels derived from creatures that walked the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago are a very important part of our lives. Millions of years have passed and we are still connected. Art, culture, language and so much more has been traveled and shared by billions over time. We are undoubtedly connected to each other in time.

And time is running out…

Time is running out to finish or begin that classical piece you’ve been working on. The clock is ticking on taking that art workshop, music study or volunteering. The seconds relentlessly pass, mercilessly shaping our futures, so don’t let it pass you by.

I have to juggle work, art, writing, play, school for the kids and more. Sometimes this can be a daunting task. I moved to Sedona not only for the beauty and inspiration, but mostly for the more relaxed lifestyle that can often escape me. So I simply make time, creating it from thin air, and I slow down. I remind myself that no matter what lies before me, there will always be that extra ‘time’ to make it happen. I prioritize and take a moment to see the beauty surrounding me, even if I have to stop myself dead in my tracks. (Which I often do)

What I’m trying to say is… Take your time.

Take the time to enjoy the world around you. Explore the country if you can – or at least explore your country (or backyard). Take time for your family, children and friends. Take time to create art, and experiment with the world of mediums available to you. Use this time to look into the connection you have with the world, people and the far and distant past. Express this time in your art. Share your art all the time.

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.

 

When I was growing up there were two things that fascinated me: Art and Science. I knew at an early age that I would follow either one of those paths as I traveled down the fantastic road of life. I studied and collected stones and examined EVERYTHING under a microscope. I experimented with chemicals, concoctions and all forms of fizzing, foaming, folly. I also drew each night and day. I captured through my youthful eyes the world as I saw it, both abstract and surreal at times. After a while I brought my attention to detail to my parchment and discovered realism. I found that my art has evolved (as have my beliefs) through a clearly scientific method of investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge and then correcting and integrating previous knowledge. What I ultimately came to realize is - my artistic experience is affected by a neural mechanism that is inherent within all of us.

 

I recently came across a paper from the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California in San Diego which proposed various theories on our propensity to enjoy art. The purpose of this essay was to stimulate a dialog between artists, visual physiologists and evolutionary biologists. It listed eight laws of aesthetic experience and how they related to the human artistic experience: peak shift, isolation, perceptual grouping, contrast, perceptual problem solving, an abhorrence of unique vantage points, visual metaphors and symmetry. These eight principles relate to cognitive brain function and our process of interpretation. The author wrote of our interest in art as “puzzling” while asking, “What biological function could this mysterious behavior serve?”

 

This question along with my own interest in human behavior led me to dive right in to trying to understand a little better the human artistic experience. I agree that the eight principles listed above can definitely be attributed to our basic instinctual and biological behaviors and how we process art; however I want to feel like there is more to it than meets the eye and I’m sure you do, too.

 

Aside from those who suffer from prosopagnosia, we all practice face perception on a daily basis. Our minds interpret and understand the face from birth. This is biologically hardwired into us and our survival depends on it. This is why we see faces everywhere, in everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to crumpled pieces of paper. Through facial recognition we have the ability to identify friendly people and complex pre-verbal communications. Artists have the ability to capture these moments in their art. This essence, or as Hindu artists often speak of “rasa”, is a way of evoking a direct emotional response from the viewer. This can be in the form of hyper stylized figures to caricatures (peak shift). The same way we recognize faces, we recognize these attributes and are drawn to them. We unconsciously are drawn to art that not only represents and depicts reality, but more so to art that enhances, transcends and distorts reality such as fertility figures in ancient art.

 

But that is just one of the eight laws mentioned in the paper! Of course we could go on to discuss how perceptual grouping works and why visual metaphors are so darn interesting… I won’t go into that today, but I will say this, “Art is within us.” As we live and breathe and see and hear, our art flows through us. Sure, we have biological triggers that make certain art interesting and more powerful than other forms of art. Yes, our minds recognize patterns and associate, disseminate, and discriminate. Indeed, once we recognize a pattern and have that ‘ah ha!’ moment, perceptual problem solving pats us on the back and we feel empowered. But our art is beyond just the biological. Our art is beyond the physiological experience. Our art is the life-force that affects change, growth and is a fine example of our absolute potential.

 

I’m sure that we will one day be able to find a detailed reason why art makes us feel the way it does. But one thing is for sure – art will always make us “feel” something… no matter how much information we have as to why we feel it. So for now, I’ll leave my science out of art, but keep the art in my science.

 

 

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.

Have you heard about the Jackson Pollock bought at a thrift store for $5? Or how about the original version of the Declaration of Independence in a Tennessee thrift store that sold for $2.48 in 2007? Or perhaps you heard about the original Picasso found at a garage sale for $2?

“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure”

Although we’re not claiming $1Million finds, this statement couldn’t be truer this weekend at Sedona Arts Center’s rummage sale. We’ve been cleaning house and hanging, stacking and resting paintings on walls. Besides having the opportunity to take home a Marilyn Sunderman estate painting at a bargain, I’ve personally witnessed a trove of treasure being sorted. Everything from tools, kitchenware, chairs, computers, shelves, frames, costumes, stage props & fixtures, party décor, furnishings, darkroom equipment and more have been stacked, sorted and tagged for this huge rummage sale. And the best part of it all? All the proceeds help to benefit the Center’s Scholarship Fund.

I actually have to stop myself from personally collecting half the items in storage in the art barn. After walking through, I found at least two dozen things I wanted to take home with me. Now, I’m not a pack-rat, I can just imagine a million ways to recycle art and props. I’ve already framed one of my paintings and hung it in my office. But I’ll stop there. (Unless you have a truck and storage space for me!) There's just too many golden little 'finds' to search through and I have a lot of work to do...

The wealth of the event, however, can be found in the Special Exhibition Gallery, where we hung Marilyn Sunderman’s works. There are over 100 pieces both very large and small of her fabulous work. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Princess Al Sabah of Kuwait, former California Governor, Edmund Brown and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid all have her work in their collections and so can you! So if you have time, stop down and check out the treasures. It’s all happening at Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Road (North end of Uptown):

Fri. July 29th 7 - 11am
Sat. July 30th 8 am - 1 pm

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.

Earlier this year, I wrote my first art blog here at the Red Rock News. I stressed the importance of the arts in education, society and life in general. I asked you as individuals to keep art alive and well. I begged you to consider the art we take for granted in our everyday lives. I asked you to look at your walls, community and even your technology to see how it is a part of everything we know and love. I stressed the value of arts education in all its various forms in our public schools and reminded you that our children were the key to the future. I was desperate, sometimes hopelessly demanding justice as I watch our art programs beings stripped and defunded during these current economic upheavals.

 

But I am still always hopeful.

 

My hope today lies in all of you. I see that the arts are alive and well in the hearts of so many of you. I see people taking action and leading the way in an amazing world of creative thought and design. I believe that artists will always find new and imaginative ways to express themselves. This is clear in current and past events throughout history. We can now witness comic fans dedicating outstanding works to an entire exhibit honoring Conan O’Brien. Muralists like Ellen Griesedieck are creating national collaborative projects to voice their own views regarding the significance of arts in education. And of course we have all seen and heard of activist “guerilla” artists such as Banksy, making statements and even forcing their art upon us at the same time.

 

I see the arts alive and well in each and every one of us.

 

To make matters even better - all this week and next week I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by children immersed in art. It's that time of year when Sedona Arts Center hosts a summer art camp with Art for Kids. I am lucky enough to hear the laughter of children each morning as they start their day off with morning yoga and move on to their creative art projects. I get to witness the transformation of white panels into brilliant colors as the children work happily on the mural that will be on display all year round at the center. These programs rely on our support and participation to continue in the years to come.

 

And I will always be hopeful.

 

There’s no denying that the arts will always need loud voices to rise up against the challenges of budget cuts and ill-advised thought. There are still too many people that can’t seem to justify the arts over what they consider more logical programs to support. All I know is that art has always been important to me in my life and the lives of everyone I’ve ever met. I’ll always be able to recognize where the creative streak ran rampant to guide my friends and family down the paths they follow today. I can see art everywhere, on every street, in every home and even on everyone.

 

I see the arts alive and well within you, and for that - I am grateful.

 

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.

What makes art beautiful and who decides what fine art is and what makes fine paperweights? I’ve had seemingly endless debates on this subject throughout the course of my life. Too often, artists and non-artists look at a painting and say, “My three-year-old could paint that.” Then there are also those three-year-olds who have been dubbed creative geniuses who finger paint in the style of Picasso and the magnitude of Michelangelo. Art is most certainly subjective, but to whom?

As artists, we depict what we feel or have become familiar with through the subject of our art. It often isn’t exactly what we see; rather, it is what we feel. When we paint, sketch, or sculpt, we are giving meaning to something we want others to perceive. It is our journey and our vision. However, each of our experiences differs from others; therefore we react to an artist’s depiction by bringing our own interpretation to the table. It’s great to understand why the artist created their particular piece and what motivated the direction of their work, but it is equally important to understand why it impacts us the way it does.

Art is an idea to build on. It lives on long after the artist has passed and can be the subject of countless debates, theories, theses and coffee-table discussions. Sometimes the artist’s original interpretation will never be known, but the work will be left to the beholder. It’s times like these that we should relish, because now the art is in fact left for us: the individuals. We have the honor of then truly experiencing a work that has no pre-attached defining quality. Instead of being told what to feel and what to see - we can experience what we feel and what we see for ourselves.

And above all, it is important not to criticize a work of art, but to experience it, to learn from it and enjoy or hate it all the same. Sure, you don’t like that painting or sculpture. It can be horrendous or insulting and offensive yet somehow sublime. This doesn’t necessarily make it ‘bad’ art. Perhaps the artist was in fact, trying to create that shocking or offensive reaction. The truth is, it’s truly hard to say what’s good and bad in the art world. Oh, here it comes - the flurry of emails discussing color, technique, the elements and principles of design and how I’m wrong. But that’s okay! As an artist I always welcome critiques and disparate opinions. I understand that we’re all different, but we’re still connected (even if it is by our opposing views).

Be kind, understand yourself and absorb what you feel, see and touch when experiencing art. Don’t be too quick to judge or label a work as ‘bad’, but take a moment to at least be ‘aware’ of the work before you. The message behind that particular piece might just be the reaction you take with you. Remember that artists are sharing a part of their soul so tread softly at first, before trampling. What you hate may in fact be loved by others.

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.

Over the last four weeks I’ve creatively colored the elements in various hues and shades to illustrate our oneness to nature and each other. Today I will keep things simple and sum it all up with a reminder that we are all connected.

 

As artists, we have the power to create an amazing world filled with beautiful imagery and fantastic design. We build communities, nations, parks, museums and social structures. Lives are enriched with entertainment, design and imaginative works by the creative individuals who share their art. We sculpt, paint, photograph, sing and devise. Our work often comes directly from nature - and for that reason, we should always be mindful of our place in the grand scheme of things.

 

Using eco-friendly products and recycled materials when creating art is just the beginning. There are many other things to consider as we move forward through time. This can include anything from changing your energy habits to simply taking extra care when out in nature. Without going into great detail, here are a few things to remember. (Don’t forget to share what you do to keep the planet beautiful and safe while creating your art!)

 

There’s nothing more fabulous than trekking out into nature (especially here in Sedona) and setting up an easel or tripod to capture the beautiful landscape. If you are a plein air painter, you can choose to use eco-friendly paints and solvents while enjoying your painting expedition. Just remember to be mindful of the place you choose as your natural studio and tread carefully along your path. Consider the beauty you are about to capture and leave it as unscathed as you can. The more artists that find their way into the wild, the more conscious we should be of our own footprints we leave behind. Keep the world you capture beautiful and encourage others to do the same.

 

Acknowledge your connection to the natural world. Consider that we are connected to every living organism on the planet. Understand your impact on the world around us and remember to make decisions accordingly. Conserve as much as you can, because the days of consumption are over. Our children need our thoughts, deeds and actions to match a sustainable future - where they can live on (with our art), ideas and passions. We are the leaders and actors of change. With this comes great responsibility to the world and the people around us. Your compassion for the planet will shine through in all you create and do.

 

Be the example for others to follow - and they will.

 

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.