Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Redford Center

I am involved in this amazing new organization, "The Redford Center" http://redfordcenter.org/ Robert Redford and his family have created this non profit to inspire positive social and environmental change through the arts, education and civil discourse. Besides doing great work in areas of the environment and social justice, what I feel is particularly potent about the Center is their group process they utilize to create dialogue and change. Along with all relevant experts in the particular field of concern, Robert Redford's long standing personal vision of also having artists involved in problem solving and discussions adds an out of the box thinking that can help catalyze solutions.
Last week was one of their first public events in San Francisco. It was an evening of discussion led by Redford Center's Director, Lee Bycel and Robert Redford. In additon, during the evening they honored two local actviists: Avery Hale, a young woman, 16 yrs. old who has started a organization" Step by Step" http://www.stepbystepforshoes.com/ that delivers shoes to poor villages in South America. Also honored was Victor Diaz a principal at Berkeley Technology Academy, a high school continuation school.http://www.berkeley.net/alternative-hs/
A particularly moving moment for me was when Robert Redford was describing early influences in his life. He told how he was a terrible student, and that he was rarely interested in what was being taught. He was constantly doodling in class. The teacher, in an attempt to shame him, forced him to stand in front of his 6th grade class and explain why his drawing was so much more interesting than what she was teaching. Totally humiliated, but lacking any recourse, he began to describe his drawing to the class. His drawing showed B-52 war airplanes shooting at cowboys who were driving a group of Indians off a cliff to their demise. To his surprise, the class actually found it very interesting too and were riveted. In a moment that could of gone either way, the teacher, recognizing the magic that was occurring in her now attentive classroom allowed him to continue. Putting her ego aside, she offered Robert a 15 minute time slot every Wednesday, at the end of class, so he could come up and describe and narrate his stories. As we all know, this is the work he still does today. Storytelling.
I was honored to be able to design the awards that were handed out that evening as well as having my work projected as the backdrop to this event. painting shown "May" 70" x 90" Oil and Beeswax on Panel.

redford

Lee

10 comments:

ArtPropelled said...

Fantastic backdrop and award and what a great opportunity to showcase your work. I loved Robert Redford's doodle story.

William Hall said...

That is absolutely outstanding! Your work looks great at that scale. What is the book being given to Redford in the second image?

Maggie Neale said...

Glad to be guided to your postings. Love the greens in the painting and the story of Robert Redford's doodling and storytelling. Wishing you continued success.

William Hall said...

Just thought I would let you know that I have been receiving spam from your twitter account. I think it probably has been hacked.

Nicholas Wilton said...

Thanks for your comments----the "book" being given in the photo is actually a print mounted on a hardwood panel. I designed these to be used as the awards given out that evening.

Ellis Nadler said...

great stuff

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Traci Suzanne Marvel said...

Wow! How awesome! I was a featured artist at the Sundance resort from September 2010 - November 2010. It is one of the most amazing inspiring places.
Nicholas you fit so perfectly with the vision and mission of The Redford Center. Congradulations and I look forward to each and every email I get from you showing your latest works. I was sohappy to see you have a blog and a FB page. Cheers to letting go and letting art happen ~ Merry Christmas! Traci