Last night I was in Salem for the premier of two films about two Oregon artists - Leroy Setziol and Jack McLarty - which are part of a larger project called Preservation of Oregon's Artistic Heritage. This project is my mother's brainchild - she's very proud of it, and I'm very proud of her.
The program is designed to capture the lives and the work of some of Oregon's best-known and most influential artists on film - and then to pair those films with curriculum pieces which teachers around the state (and elsewhere) can use in their classrooms to help bring art education back into the public schools.
But the curriculum is about more than just art - there are ways to include these films in many different subject areas, which really helps prove the point that art isn't just a superfluous and unnecessary thing. The curriculum pieces are all available on the website.
The films are available for purchase and one thing Mom encouraged people to do last night is either buy them for your kids' schools or talk to your PTA about doing so. They're $20 apiece, a nominal fee, and are a wonderful testimony to the importance of art in our lives.