What kind of bird are YOU?
Another of our town’s artful community collaborations, conceived and produced by artist and National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA) Assistant Curator of Art Bronwyn Minton, manifests at Mix’d Media, Thursday, November 8, 6-9 pm, at NMWA. Sixty-five artists created pages of art that will come together in the exhibition Silverspot: A Graphic Novel. Each page illustrates a page from Silverspot, the Life of a Crow, by the founder of the Boy Scouts, Ernest Thompson Seton.
“In 1910 Seton was chairman of the founding committee of Boy Scouts of America,” writes Seton’s website bio. “He wrote the first handbook (including B-P’s Scouting material) and served as Chief Scout from 1910 until 1915. Seton did not like the military aspects of Scouting, and Scouting did not like the Native American emphasis of Seton. With WW I, the militarists won, and Seton resigned from Scouting. He revived Woodcraft in 1915, not as a children’s organization, but as a coeducational organization serving all ages, THE WOODCRAFT LEAGUE OF AMERICA.”
Seton looked a little like Mark Twain. Cool! Reading his bio reminds me of the very best movie of all time, “Moonrise Kingdom,” itself a sort of comic movie serial. Two Seton drawings are included in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Seton’s work – specifically the short story Silverspot from his first collection, Wild Animals I Have Known, published in 1898 – served as a jumping-off point for the community artist exhibition Silverspot: a Graphic Novel, says the museum.
“Seton wasn’t trying to anthropomorphize so much; he was simply trying to observe animals,” says Minton. “I liked this story so much. I chopped up the stories into 65 parts, and all the artists had to use the fonts and text I gave them, then illustrate that text.”
A make-your-own graphic novel art activity, crow trivia challenge for a Boy Scout-style crow badge, music by DJ Vert-One, and a raffle to award one lucky winner a Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Weekend Warrior pass are all on tap for the evening’s fun. Cover charge is $5. In addition to the exhibition and Mix’d Media event, a “sneak peek” preview of the show will be offered by Bronwyn Minton, assistant curator of art for the museum, and several guest artists at 11:30 a.m. on November 7th. www.wildlifeart.org
“Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011,” read the denverpost.com headline. The article says 310 arts organizations, part of Denver’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, (DCFD) reportedly spanning seven counties, reaped a 36% increase over their 2009 economic finish line.
What is the DCFD? It has, says its website, “distributed funds from a 1/10 of 1% sales and use tax to cultural facilities throughout the seven-county Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. The funds support cultural facilities whose primary purpose is to enlighten and entertain the public through the production, presentation, exhibition, advancement and preservation of art, music, theatre, dance, zoology, botany, natural history and cultural history.”
How did DCFD “get there?” During the state’s tough 1980’s era, when its state legislature cut off support for the Denver Art Museum, Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Natural History, and Denver Zoo, museum visitors started being charged admission for the first time, says DCFD. Surveys, they said, revealed that most visitors came from Denver’s suburbs and around the state.
“From this challenge, a unique and new idea was crafted,” says DCFD. “A small sales and use tax could help ensure the future of our cultural institutions. Landmark legislation was enacted to create the SCFD in 1988. More important, rural, suburban, and urban voters came together as partners to support their scientific and cultural organizations by approving the sales and use tax. Voters reaffirmed their support of the SCFD tax in 1994, and most recently, voters extended their support of culture by approving the SCFD legislation in November 2004 with 65% voter approval. SCFD will now sunset (or expire) on June 30, 2018.” http://www.scfd.org/
Happy Election Day! May it all turn out for the best!