Donna Howard - Artist and Official Boss of Myself

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In a recent magazine interview I was asked "Art often has the capacity for lasting influence and impression. Are there any works that have had an effect on you a long time after you first saw them?"  I immediately remembered the day I realized Art was powerful...

Me: Absolutely, and I have no idea what the actual work was. But I’ll tell you the story of the day I realized Art was powerful – and hysterical. Mom and Dad decided dragging 5 kids under 8 to an art museum was a good idea. I vaguely remember the art or much of the day until I heard my 3-year-old brother’s laugh. Oh man it was a good one! A laugh that only a little kid can release – pure unadulterated joy! And it didn’t stop. I had to find my brother – he was in another room in the De Cordova museum. I turned the corner and there he was standing in front of a Wall-sized painting of a reclining nude woman. He stood there alone – little chunk of a kid- and laughed like a goon! I remember looking around the room. And the people were laughing too! They were laughing at Brian but way more than that – they were experiencing this little kid’s Art journey and enjoying it right along with him. It felt for a moment like everyone was connected to the painting. The entire scene couldn’t have lasted more than some seconds – I know now it was a pretty small museum back then and Mom and Dad swooped in, red faced, scooped him up and hustled him out. I was too young to really appreciate Fine Art but for some reason I was not too young to feel the connection in the room that day and know that Art is amazing. (And Hysterical!)

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