Art can teach children so much more than how to draw a perfect circle.
Karen Blessen is an award-winning freelance artist and writer based in Dallas, Texas. She is the first, and still the only, graphic artist to be named as a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, Karen led the Dallas Love Project, a city-wide art exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. 10,000 pieces of art, which highlighted themes of universal peace, were installed and exhibited throughout Dallas. On this week’s episode, Karen discusses where her inspiration for her art comes from, how art helps children in more ways than one, and some of her upcoming art projects.
Key Takeaways:[3:10] Karen is the only artist who has received a Pulitzer Prize for her work. [3:45] How did this art project first get started? [4:50] Karen provides safe spaces for kids where they can create art without judgement. [6:55] The children can choose from different mediums to express themselves. How does Karen know which kid will do better with sculptures or paintings? [9:15] What kind of lessons can children learn through art? [12:40] If you were a great peacemaker, what would you do? [17:05] Three years ago, the Dallas Love Project taught children the various different meanings of love. It gathered over 20,000 participants. [18:55] This year’s project is in response to the negative tone the election had. It will focus on how everyone has the capacity for influence, respect, and compassion. [27:10] There’s no question about it that even for an adult, this world can be very overwhelming. [35:00] After a young man died outside of Karen’s apartment, Karen created 29 pieces of art to help work through the pain and the unfairness of the world. [39:45] What is it that breaks your heart? [46:40] You must have passion for what you’re doing. Every project will have its ups and downs. [50:25] Karen is a big supporter of meditation. It has helped her greatly with her work.
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