Leaving kids out in the cold | AspenTimes.com

Leaving kids out in the cold

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:I am still trying to figure out this quote about the decision to discontinue the Valley Kids art show and I’m hoping someone can help me. Ms. Jacobson stated that as far as young artists are concerned: “They’re still included, but their artwork is not included.”Included how? Taken on tours by “young curators?” Please spare me. Who’d want to be a “young curator” anyway? I get the impression that Ms. Jacobson doesn’t think much of the artwork produced by those under the age of 13. No, this artwork is not “all contemporary art, all the time,” but it is important to the students that produce it, their families, and their schools. Perhaps fingerpaintings may not be beautiful, but the joy on a child’s face when he or she sees it displayed in the museum certainly is. I sure hope that someone so incapable of appreciating a simple smile is not the one teaching the “young curators” how to appreciate art.If it truly is the amount of artwork that is the problem for the art museum, then ask for help from the art teachers in the valley. They’re creative people; perhaps they can help by getting parent volunteers to help put up the show, or maybe working on one class project to display rather than individual pieces. It seems to me that a little outreach would go a long way to help solve some of the logistical problems. Which leaves only a quality problem. I am aghast about this part of the new program: After going on tours with “young curators,” the younger students would be somehow inspired to pursue their art interests. I haven’t really seen a child who needs inspiration to pursue art. Perhaps it is the unstructured nature of the art that is offensive to the new director. Maybe she would like the students to pick an art movement to emulate before they pick up their crayons and draw. Abstract expressionism, anyone? Wait a minute – a large canvas, embracing chance, glorification of the act of painting sounds like my son’s artwork to me. But then again, I’m a cultural heathen – just ask my husband. In the meantime, my son and I will be waiting for another nine years before he can once again proudly show me his artwork displayed in the museum. Thanks a lot. Until then, I’m not interested in financially supporting your museum. Ms. Jacobson, you’d better hope I’m not the only parent who feels this way.P.S. I just checked the art museum’s schedule – it turns out that the “Young Curators and Artists of the Roaring Fork” show will be held at the Aspen Meadows Heinz building. Incidentally, this is the only show off the museum grounds. Is it so important that Javier Tellez has almost 11 weeks at the museum while our children get none? Mary HolleyBasalt