Little children shall lead them.

Here are two art works from the Oley Fair that I admired...a budding Wolf Kahn; and a future Robert Ryman? Does it really matter?

I've been thinking about children's art, and relatedly, the childhood art of now-professional artists. This was precipitated in large part by the current exhibit at Arcadia College's art gallery, led by the intrepid Richard Torchia

The current show is called Very Early Pictures, and features artworks from now-professional artists ranging from Ed Ruscha to Judith Schaechter and Randall Sellers (Spector Gallery; wunderkind of the graphite pencil). It made me wonder if it is ever possible to see the future adult-artist through a child's artwork, however precocious or not. Or is there no real connection; are "all children artists," like Torchia suggests? It made me think back to my Very Early Pictures. I remember one in particular drawn after a trip to, of all places, Dutch Wonderland, in Lancaster county. It shows my dad and I, seated in a weird, yellow bathysphere-type vehicle, dangling from a monorail, riding around with our legs hanging out, above a green and blue park scene. Funny. I'll have to dig out my childhood pictures sometime soon.

In a LA Weekly review of the Arcadia's counterpart show in LA, the author Doug Harvey says, interestingly, "...there's probably as much good art in this show as there would be in a show of contemporary works by the same group of artists." Hmmm. Maybe the whole problem here is that we are, as more "sophisticated and mature" viewers, projecting our perceptions and biases of art in general - largely "professionally-produced" art - on children's art...something not meant to be done, and indeed, disingenuous. Innocence de-based? Well, hardly...several of the pieces in Very Early Work were done in that most self-conscious of times, the teenage years. Yet, we never fully know ourselves; how can we expect children to think about how later viewers will see their work? We can't, and we shouldn't. We should just make sure they have sufficient supplies, and stand back and watch.

Dale Zimmer  – (Saturday, 22 October, 2005)  

Here are a few Very Early Pictures to start you off. Genuine PTG2 artwork. They'll be worth a fortune someday!

GIERSCHICK  – (Monday, 24 October, 2005)  

Well, Mr. Zimmer, you've got some interesting pieces here. I do remember drawing most of these. I must confess, I was genuinely shocked at seeing these drawings this morning, and felt strangely debased for a few moments. But I got over it. By the way, how do you insert links on your blog? I'm a little inept here...

Dale Zimmer  – (Monday, 24 October, 2005)  

The Blogger help file on the subject is here. Neither of our blog templates came with a links section, so you have to follow their instructions and paste the code to create one. It takes but a wee bit of time, if you understand the basics of HTML. I can explain more if you find their directions insufficient.

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