Bruce Marion is a local artists who is coming to St. Vincent de Paul on Saturday, April 13th. He’ll be working with a group of kids to develop two abstract paintings. The paintings will be auctioned off at this year’s Golf-Fore-Charity event that is happening on Monday, April 29th.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a desire to create. I’ve been making art my whole life so I just like bringing and creating new, beautiful things into the world. I get inspiration from all different places,” Bruce said.
From the Helping the Poor website of the SVDP Phoenix.
Can you tell me what you’ll be doing at SVdP on Saturday, April 13th?
We’ll be working with two groups of kids and their parents. Each group is going to be creating an abstract painting. Each painting is going to be influenced by a piece of music that the group is going to listen to. The music is going to influence the color pallet that we use as well as the shapes that are used in the art piece.
The results we get are really amazing beautiful works of art so we hope the pieces could be used in the auction, [at Golf-Fore-Charity], by the end of the month as part of a fundraiser by St. Vincent de Paul.
How successful has your past work been with children?
I’ve done a number of art residencies at elementary schools. The schools came up with some incredibly gorgeous paintings that are now part of their permanent art collection. These paintings don’t look like children’s art. If you saw them, you would think they could be in any gallery. They’re truly beautiful.
The painting at the Scottsdale Arts Academy turned out so well that the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale used it as the main artwork in their lobby over a four-month period.
Can you tell me about the music you’ve used in the past to inspire these paintings?
We picked songs that contrast. One was a very classical orchestral piece that was very dramatic and dynamic. It was an excerpt of “The Firebird Suite” by Stravinsky. The other song used very melodious voices; it was “Circle Song” by Bobby McFerrin. It was beautiful voices sort of flowing and moving in and out of each other. It had a very meditative sort of quality to it.
We chose pieces that would really engage the kids’ imaginations and create a strong point of view and sense about it. We translated all of that into color and shape.
I’m not sure what pieces we’re going to use at St. Vincent de Paul just yet.
Why is art implementation in a child’s life important?
The kids’ reactions have been super positive. I think in every other subject in school, they’re trying to learn what the right answer is. There’s always a right answer. The beauty of art is that there are a thousand right answers. There are a million right answers. There is no one-way to do it.
I think a very strong component of humanity is our creativity and ability to envision these things and to want to envision these things. We’re a species of inventors and I think letting the kids and families tap into their creativity is very important. It’s not only fun but also it taps into a fundamental part and strength of who we are. Art is about affirming the uniqueness of each of us as an individual.
Art values creative thinking and taking leaps which other subjects like math and memorizing formulas do not do. That’s the type of creativity that was able to create the type of products that Apple computer did or that created the Internet. You know, it’s leaps of imagination and I think art fuels that
Art is very fundamental. It’s imperative to learning and it’s not just art, music feeds that and any other creative endeavors feed that, too.
Check out Bruce on his website at: www.brucemarion.com
Gretchen Burnton, author of this article, is the community relations intern at St. Vincent de Paul. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University pursuing a concurrent degree in journalism (with a specialization in Public Relations) as well as Film and Media Studies. She is also pursuing a minor in public service and public policy.